How wrong is it that I completely exaggerate the benefits of foods to impress my children? Carrots are good for your eyes; we know this. But did you know that carrots instantly make it possible for you to spot a fire truck four blocks away? IT’S TRUE.
Real talk, though—carrots are not only good for you, but they are one of my favorite bases for an easy soup. They cook quickly, and when blended with a few simple ingredients, turn into a smooth, rich, and slightly sweet soup that is a wonderful bowl of warmth on a chilly winter night.
Plus, you can make it in about 30 minutes.
Soup is on, right?!
THE BASICS OF CARROT SOUP
The key to carrot soup is, unsurprisingly, the carrots. If you can, try to get a few bundles of the smaller carrots with the stems still on. I find the bulk bags of de-stemmed carrots are less sweet. Ultimately, though, you can use any carrot—even purple or white ones—and I won’t yell at you.
Beyond that, this soup is a great entry level vegetable soup for kids, because they are easily available and something kids are exposed to regularly.
A TIP FOR SWEETER SOUP
Be sure to start your veggies over a medium heat so they don’t brown. If the onions get brown, it can add some slightly bitter notes to the soup and overpower the sweet carrots. If you do get a few brown onion bits, feel free to scoop them out before continuing with the soup.
CURRY CARROT SOUP VARIATION
I like to keep my carrot soup limited on ingredients to let the carrots shine, but if you want to jazz up this version a bit, curry is my favorite add-in. Choose a mild yellow curry powder, and start with a small amount (one to two teaspoons) if this flavor is unfamiliar to your kids.
Stir the curry powder into the onions as they sauté, and then make the recipe as written. You can add more curry powder while the soup simmers if you want to up that flavor.
- You might also like our recipe for Carrot Ginger Soup!
SERVING OPTIONS FOR CARROT SOUP
I usually serve this soup as a soup-and-salad situation with crackers, toast dippers (recipe below), or bread and butter. You could also serve it with grilled cheese sandwiches, like classic tomato soup.
STORING AND FREEZING CARROT SOUP
Soups freeze well, and this carrot version is no different. Frozen carrot soup will store for up to six months and reheats perfectly, from frozen, on the stovetop over low heat.
The DAD ADD: Cheesy Toast Dippers!
Tossing a handful of crackers next to this soup is easy and delicious, but if you have the time, these toasts are the ideal side. I like to use a sturdy baguette and top the slices generously with olive oil and Parmesan cheese. As they bake, the bread gets toasted, and the cheese turns into a crispy lid on top of each slice.
If you do it right, the toasts are super crunchy, and you need to dip them in the soup to soften them up a bit! These are fine for kids as well, so feel free to toss them on a plate. My kids preferred normal crackers, though.
THE REPORT CARD
If you’ve ever painted a house, you know that the painting isn’t the hard part. It’s the cleanup. Same goes for feeding soup to a two-year-old.
Kids like soup, in my experience. They like to dip stuff in it, drink it, slurp it, spill it, and spray it. So, just get mentally prepared that, most likely, your battle with the soup will start once dinner is over, especially if you have young ones.
My kids both did great with this soup and had full servings! They skipped the toast dippers and asked for just normal sandwich bread with butter, which I was happy to make for them. My four-year-old actually managed to NOT get soup on the ceiling, which was extra special. My four-year-old, meanwhile, has always been an overachiever, especially in the category of food flinging.
MORE EASY, CREAMY SOUPS TO TRY!
Easy Carrot Soup Recipe
For the soup:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 2 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper (optional)
- 4 tablespoons heavy cream, divided
- Fresh chives, minced
DAD ADD: Cheesy Toast Dippers
- 8 slices baguette, sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 Preheat the oven to 400°F for the Cheesy Toast Toppers.
2 Cook the veggies: In a large pot over medium heat, add butter and onions. Cook until onions turn translucent, 3 to 4 minutes, but don't let them brown at all. Season with a pinch of salt.
Add carrots, garlic, and dried thyme, and stir together. Cook for 30 seconds just until garlic becomes fragrant.
3 Add the stock and simmer: Add stock and bring mixture to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes until carrots are very tender.
4 Meanwhile, make the cheesy toast dippers: Spread your baguette slices out on a baking sheet and drizzle them with olive oil. Then sprinkle generously with finely grated Parmesan cheese.
Bake toasts at 400°F until edges are browned and Parmesan cheese is starting to turn a light tan color around the edges, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove toasts and set aside.
5 Finish the soup: When carrots are tender, use an immersion blender right in the pot to blend soup until smooth.
If you don’t have an immersion blender, remove soup from heat and allow to cool until it isn’t steaming hot. Then you can blend in batches in a standard blender and return it to your pot. Return the blended soup to low heat and season with salt and white pepper (optional).
6 Serve the soup: Ladle the soup into bowls and swirl in about a tablespoon of heavy cream into each bowl. Garnish the soup with a sprinkle of paprika and fresh minced chives. Plus, add a cheesy toast dipper!
Leftover soup keeps well in the fridge for 5 days, or you can transfer it to freezer-safe ziptop plastic bags and freeze it for up to six months. Reheat soup gently over low heat on the stovetop.
Don’t freeze the soup if you’ve added cream to it, because it will most likely separate. In theory, it would taste the same once it is reheated, but I prefer to stir in fresh cream and freeze the soup without the cream in it.
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