Like carrots? You’re going to love this carrot soup recipe. It’s luxuriously creamy and full of incredible roasted carrot flavor.
This classic carrot soup is a wonderful soup to serve with your favorite winter salads, sandwiches, and even holiday entrées. Since carrots go well with so many other flavors, it’s a versatile soup to keep in your repertoire.
You might be pleasantly surprised to learn that this creamy soup is actually made without cream. It’s a light and healthy soup, not to mention budget-friendly, too.
I tried making the soup with sautéed carrots instead of roasted, but roasted carrots give this soup magical powers. If you’re a fan of my butternut squash soup or cauliflower soup, the method for this recipe will be familiar already.
Since I can’t help but play around with flavors, I came up with three fun and simple variations—carrot ginger soup, curried carrot soup, and Thai curried carrot soup with lime. You’ll find details in the recipe notes. It’s about time this food blog had a proper carrot soup recipe, and it’s really four in one!
How to Make the Best Carrot Soup
You’ll find the full recipe below, but here are a few key factors.
1) Roast the carrots
Roasting the carrots condenses their flavor, which brings out the carrots’ best sweet-and-savory notes. This step makes all the difference between a ho-hum carrot soup and a why-is-this-so-good carrot soup.
2) Cook some aromatics and spices
Meanwhile, we’ll sauté some chopped onion in oil until tender. Then, we’ll add some fresh garlic, plus ground coriander and cumin. The spices make the soup taste more interesting in a subtle way. (If you’re out of coriander or cumin, though, you can omit them.) Cooking the spices in oil for about 30 seconds wakes them right up, while it mellows the garlic.
3) Simmer to bring it all together
Then, we’ll add vegetable broth, water, and the roasted carrots when they are out of the oven. We’ll gently simmer them all together for 15 minutes to bring all the flavors together.
Of note: I’ve been experimenting with using water instead of vegetable broths in soups, and I rarely miss the broth. If you’re cutting costs or watching your sodium intake, water is a great option here. I’ll share my notes on this subject in greater detail soon.
4) Blend in a stand blender
Stand blenders always yield ultra creamy results. Immersion blenders don’t come close! That’s why I always recommend blending soup in a stand blender instead. I don’t like cleaning extra dishes, either, but the resulting texture is worth the effort. You can find my favorite blenders in my Amazon shop (affiliate link).
Be careful while blending. Let the soup cool for a few minutes before transferring to a blender, never fill past the maximum fill line (it could explode), and be careful near the steam escaping from the lid (it’s hot!).
5) Finish with butter and lemon
You won’t believe how much difference a tablespoon of butter makes at the end. Once blended into the rest, it makes the soup taste more luxurious without dulling the other flavors like cream does (did you know that soups could be this creamy, without cream?). Adding some lemon juice brightens up the finished product and brings it all together.
Three Delicious Carrot Soup Variations
You know me—I couldn’t help but play around with this recipe. Here are three truly delicious variations on the “basic” recipe. Actually, let’s call the “basic” version classic instead. It does not taste boring!
1) Carrot Ginger Soup
Another classic! The carrot ginger variation is especially good if you are under the weather, or trying to warm up from the inside out. Add freshly grated ginger along with the garlic (see amounts provided in the recipe notes).
2) Curried Carrot Soup
This might be my favorite option. Simply add some Indian curry powder along with the other ground spices. Carrots and warming curry spices are a perfect match. You can also add some ginger to this variation, if you’d like.
3) Thai Curried Carrot Soup
You guessed it—add some Thai red curry paste for a lively carrot soup with irresistible Thai flavors. At the end, blend in some lime juice instead of lemon. This variation is especially beautiful when garnished with chopped peanuts and fresh cilantro leaves.
Please let me know how your soup turns out in the comments! I love hearing from you.
Wondering what to pair with this carrot soup? Here are a few suggestions:
- Arugula and Wild Rice Salad with Zippy Lemon Dressing
- Farro and Kale Salad with Goat Cheese
- Green Salad with Apples, Cranberries and Pepitas
- Kale Pecan Pesto over pasta
- My Favorite Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Mujadara (Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions)
Looking for more creamy, lightened-up soups? Here are a few more favorites to bookmark:
- Classic Tomato Soup (Lightened Up!)
- Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Soup
- Creamy Roasted Pumpkin Soup
- Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Creamy Roasted Carrot Soup
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
- Yield: 4 bowls 1x
- Category: Soup
- Method: Blended
- Cuisine: Various
This homemade carrot soup recipe is ultra creamy (yet cream-less) and full of rich, roasted carrot flavor! It’s the best carrot soup you’ll ever have. Recipe yields 4 bowls or 6 cups of soup.
- 2 pounds carrots
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt, divided, to taste
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- 4 cups vegetable broth (or water)
- 2 cups water
- 1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, to taste
- 1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup, if desired.
- To prepare your carrots, peel them and then cut them on the diagonal so each piece is about ½″ thick at the widest part (see photos).
- Place the carrots on the baking sheet. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Toss until the carrots are lightly coated in oil and seasonings. Arrange them in a single layer.
- Roast the carrots until they’re caramelized on the edges and easily pierced through by a fork, 25 to 40 minutes, tossing halfway. (Heirloom carrot varieties will roast in as little as 25 minutes, but regular carrots are more dense and typically require 35 to 40 minutes.)
- Once the carrots are almost done roasting, in a Dutch oven or soup pot, warm the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and turning translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add the garlic, coriander and cumin (if following a variation, see recipe notes for additions). Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Pour in the vegetable broth and water, while scraping up any browned bits on the bottom with a wooden spoon or sturdy silicone spatula.
- Add the roasted carrots to the pot when they are out of the oven. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, to give the flavors time to meld.
- Once the soup is done cooking, remove the pot from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Then, carefully transfer the hot soup to a blender, working in batches if necessary. (Do not fill past the maximum fill line or the soup could overflow!)
- Add the butter, lemon juice (or lime, if following the Thai variation), and several twists of black pepper. Blend until completely smooth. Add additional salt and pepper if necessary, to taste. Add another tablespoon of butter if you’d like more richness, or a little more lemon juice if it needs more zing. Blend again, and serve.
- This soup keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for about four days, or for several months in the freezer.
Carrot ginger soup variation: Add freshly grated ginger with the garlic and ground spices. Use 1 teaspoon for subtle ginger flavor, 2 teaspoons for more prominent flavor, or 1 tablespoon for relatively spicy carrot-ginger flavor.
Curried carrot soup variation: Add some curry powder with the garlic and ground spices. Use 1 teaspoon (mild) or up to 2 teaspoons (somewhat spicy), depending on your preferences. For curried ginger soup, also add 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger at this time.
Thai curried carrot soup variation: Add Thai red curry paste with the garlic and ground spices (be sure to choose a vegan/vegetarian option if you’re avoiding fish produces, such as Thai Kitchen). Use 1 ½ teaspoons (mild) or up to 1 tablespoon (relatively spicy), depending on your preferences. Substitute lime juice for the lemon. You might like to garnish your bowls of soup with some chopped roasted peanuts and fresh cilantro leaves.
Make it dairy free/vegan: A few options. One, if you enjoy the flavor of the blended soup without butter, you can skip it altogether. For more richness, you could blend in a tablespoon of good olive oil or use cashews instead of butter. Soak ¼ cup cashews for 4 hours, then drain and rinse them (if you have a high-powered blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec, you can skip this). Add the cashews when you would add the butter.