Carrot and Ginger Soup is silky smooth with a vibrant colour and a hint of warm spicy sweet ginger. There are very few ingredients in this speedy to make comforting soup and it’s thickened naturally with pureed carrots so there’s no gluten or dairy. And it’s budget friendly too, made with ingredients easily found year round.
The best carrots to use for this soup are fresh picked when in season because they have the best flavour but if you’re buying them off season look for loose carrots that still have the tops so you know they’re the freshest. The tops should be nice and green and shouldn’t look dried out. You can even save the greens for garnishing the soup. The bagged carrots will work too, just avoid the ones that look overly large and dried out. And you probably want to avoid “baby” carrots because most of them are just regular carrots ground down into smaller sizes so some of the nutritional value is lost and they don’t store as well as regular carrots.Jump to Recipe
I actually found an interesting website, the World Carrot Museum which has lots of good info about carrots from growing to storing to cooking. It also includes some fun facts and claims, for instance drinking carrot juice might get rid of grey hair. Who knew?
Cooking with fresh ginger
Fresh ginger is the other star in this Carrot and Ginger Soup recipe. In fact, you need more than you think. And adding a bit more right before serving makes sure you get that fresh ginger hit because cooking ginger mellows the flavour. If you haven’t worked with fresh ginger before, it’s quite common in grocery stores and you won’t believe how inexpensive it is. It’s sold in pieces so you can pick the size you want. Ginger is easy to peel too, you can use a regular veggie peeler, the tip of a spoon or a sharp knife. You don’t really need to peel ginger, the skin is totally edible but for this recipe I prefer to peel it first just so the bright vibrant colour of the soup shines through without dark bits from the ginger skin.
Make sure you cut off any dry looking ends, otherwise you might get a woody bite. The inside of the ginger shouldn’t be dry. I recommend buying a piece larger than you need so you can trim it well and use the best part. A piece about the size of a thumb will give you at least a tablespoon of grated ginger. A large thumb.
To make this simple soup, start with a small onion or a few shallot. Shallots are a bit milder than onion and even have a hint of garlic but not enough to overpower the flavour of the carrots and ginger. Gently sauté them until they’re golden, then add chopped carrot, shredded ginger and a carton of vegetable broth. Simmer away for about 20 minutes, tasting and seasoning as it cooks. I use white pepper because I like the look of Carrot and Ginger Soup without black pepper.
Once the carrots are fork tender, puree with an immersion blender or pour the soup into a regular blender and whiz it up. You might have to do that in parts, depending on the size of your blender. If you’re using a regular blender, let the soup cool a bit first and then reheat it after so you don’t risk splashing hot soup out the top.
I tested several versions of this soup and we all agreed that adding sour cream just diluted the flavour so we chose not to use any. It was a unanimous vote to let the pureed carrots be the only thickening factor. Chicken broth overpowered the gentle flavour of the carrots too so the best broth for this soup is definitely vegetable. And with no thickeners, sour cream, milk or butter it’s actually gluten free and vegan. Without being a recipe that’s modified to be that way.
Right before serving stir in a bit of reserved grated ginger. This will add a little kick, giving you a fresh ginger blast of heat. If you’re really adverse to heat in soup, just stick with the cooked ginger. And if you’re the other end of the spectrum and like extra heat you can drizzle some hot chili oil over top.
And that’s basically it. I told you this was simple.
Here’s the recipe:
Carrot and Ginger Soup
- 1 small onion or 2 shallots
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger plus extra added at the end
- 1 carton vegetable broth 900 ml or just under 4 cups
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp white pepper
- 1¼ lb carrots about 5 large
- chopped fresh parsley or carrot tops for garnish
- Finely dice onion or shallots. Grate ginger. Peel and chop carrots.
- Add olive oil to large pot and turn heat to medium-low. Gently sauté onion/shallots until softening and golden.
- Add ginger and cook for 1 minute, then add carrots and stir to combine.
- Add vegetable broth, salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium, bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until carrots are fork tender.
- Remove from heat. Puree until very smooth.
- Stir in fresh ginger before serving and garnish with fresh chopped parsley or carrot tops.