After the onion, the carrot may get my vote for the most versatile, most tasty vegetable.  Great in all kinds of dishes, one of the three legs of a mirepoix, and critical prop in just about every Bugs Bunny cartoon, I’m not sure what I’d do without these lovable, orange roots.  And today (at least form a cook's perspective) all the heirloom carrot varieties available are very, very cool.  In this recipe video, I show you how to make a very simple, very tasty carrot soup.  I love soups like this one, that are really simple to make, and require just a few core cooking techniques, that highlight in season vegetables and produce, and that simply taste great.  It’s fun to play around with different garnishes, and it’s easy to add other spices and herbs to mix up the final flavor.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Recipe Overview & Keys to Success

To make the best carrot soup, there are just a few cooking techniques you should follow:

  1. I like to start off with a bit of bacon or pancetta (although to keep vegetarian you could omit).  The soup is still very healthy, and I find that little bit of pork adds a very subtle layer of flavor, complexity and depth that is missing with just vegetables
  2. I’m using low sodium chicken stock, because I want to control the salt content.  Anytime you reduce liquids the flavors concentrate, and if your stock is too salty, your soup may be real salty
  3. Simmer, don’t boil, the carrots until they are tender.  You need all the vegetables tender before blending; but if you cook them too long/too hard, I find the color of soup become more dull
  4. Finally, taste and season as you go, for the best results.  After blending, the addition of a bit of lemon juice, (the acid) brightens up all the flavors and helps them pop

RECIPE FOR CARROT SOUP

Ingredients for Carrot Soup (for 4)

  • 2 slices of thick cut bacon or pancetta; diced
  • 1 yellow onion – coarsely chopped
  • 5 carrot coarsely chopped
  • 1 celery rib coarsely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves coarsely
  • 1.5 quarts of chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon of thyme
  • 1/4 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 small can (about 6 ounces) apple juice
  • Sour cream for garnish
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt & pepper

Carrot Soup

  • Add the bacon to a soup pot over medium heat, with a drizzle of olive oil
  • Sauté the bacon until crispy
  • Add the chopped onion, celery, garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Sauté until the onions are translucent
  • Add the thyme and sauté for 30 seconds
  • Add the peeled, chopped carrots, add the apple juice, and enough chicken stock to cover by 2 – 3 inches (use water if you don’t have enough stock)
  • Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer
  • Allow to simmer until the carrots are soft; probably about 20 minutes
  • Once tender, blend the soup until smooth and creamy
  • Taste for seasoning
  • Add the cream and a squeeze of lemon, and salt/pepper if needed
  • Taste again, and adjust again

I serve mine with a garnish of sour cream, which you can either just spoon into the center, or put into a sandwich bag, clip off the corner of the bag, and pipe onto the soup in whatever design you’d like.  Hope you enjoy it!!

Total Time: 
65minutes
Prep Time: 
15minutes
Cook Time: 
50minutes
Main Ingredient: 
Vegetables