I’ve never made carrot (or pumpkin) soup before. Since we’re in the 21st Century, I did what any great chef would do and used Facebook to do a little poll. I asked friends and 3MBB readers for their insights on what makes a carrot soup great, and many nice carrot-lovers weighed in. And then I stole all the nice people’s ideas for my recipe below and made a stupendous soup. Thanks, guys!
This hearty soup gets high marks across the board. It tastes decadent and rich while packing a healthy kick. It’s seriously easy and quick to make. It looks stunning topped with cinnamon and a drizzle of heavy cream, which you will have on hand after making it. And it’s highly inexpensive, especially if you already have a good spice collection!
All in all, this soup takes about 5 minutes to wash and chop, 35-45 minutes to simmer, and another 5 minutes to puree the vegetables and season it at the end. It makes the final step even easier if you have a blender stick, because you can puree the soup in the cooking pot. Just be careful not to splash, ouch!
And yes, I used canned organic pumpkin puree. Sure, fresh pumpkin would have been better, but I wanted to use up what was sitting in my pantry. Also, I didn’t bother peeling the carrots; I just scrubbed them with a rough brush when I washed them. But the real trick with this dish lies in the seasoning and texture: make sure to add enough spices, salt, and honey, and to puree it thoroughly until it is creamy and bisque-like.
Serve it in smaller portions as a Thanksgiving starter, or in larger portions as a hearty winter main topped with homemade garlic croutons (thanks, Travis!), buttery biscuits, and a dollop of creme fraiche on top. And most important of all:
- 1 lb. carrots, washed, ends removed, and coarsely chopped
- 3/4 large white onion finely chopped
- 1 small green apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
- 2 large cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 4 cups or 32 oz. chicken stock
- 1 1/2 cans organic pumpkin puree
- 1 small can water chestnuts, drained
- 3 tsp. curry powder
- 1/2 tsp. dried ginger
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 whole allspices
- pinch each of allspice, nutmeg, and ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp. (up to 1/2 tsp.) cayenne
- salt to taste (about a tsp.)
- 2 tbsp. honey or maple syrup
- 1/2 cup or 4 oz. heavy cream
In a large soup pot, melt butter and cook onions, garlic, carrots, and apple until onions are translucent. Add spices and half of the chicken stock, and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Stir in pumpkin puree and the rest of the chicken stock and simmer, covered, for another 10-20 minutes or until carrots are soft. Remove from heat, and remove allspice and cinnamon stick. Puree everything else with a blender stick (or in batches in the blender) until almost smooth. Add cream, salt to taste, and honey, and puree until soup is creamy and very smooth. Serve with creme fraiche and garlic croutons or crusty bread and butter.