Savory Carrot Ginger Soup
This savory soup was a staple at Sisters Tea Parlor for many years and was featured both in the spring and the fall. Exceptionally, rich and creamy, this soup ranks high on the umami scale and should be enjoyed all throughout the year. Savory Carrot Ginger Soup freezes beautifully making it a great addition to your freezer meal recipe collection .
- immersion blender
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 pound carrots peeled and chopped into 2" pieces
- 1/2 small onion diced
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- In a large soup pot, melt butter over medium low heat. Add the vegetable oil.
- Add the carrots and onion to the pot. Cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring often. Add chicken stock, brown sugar, ground ginger, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil for one minute. Cover the pot and reduce heat to medium low. Allow mixture to simmer until carrots are fall apart tender.
- Remove soup from heat. Using an immersion blender, puree soup until it has a velvety smooth consistency. Or, puree in blender or food processor in small batches. (Use caution as soup will be very hot.)
- Place the pot of soup back over medium heat and add heavy cream. Taste for seasoning. Add brown sugar, ginger, salt or pepper as needed to taste.
- Heat thoroughly, but do not return to a boil. Serve immediately.
- This Savory Carrot Ginger Soup may be kept in the refrigerator for up to four days. To reheat, warm over medium low heat in a small pot. Stir often. Serve immediately once heated through.
- This soup is easy to freeze as well. Simply, measure 1-2 servings into a freezer safe storage bag. Label and date. Frozen soup will be good for up to three months if properly packaged. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or under cold, running water. (For food safety, never thaw frozen foods that contain protein under hot water.) Once thaw, or nearly thawed, remove soup from the freezer storage bag and pour into small pot. Heat over medium low and stir until heated through.
Some of you are saying to yourselves right now this soup sounds delicious. Others, let’s be transparent here, are saying out loud “ew” or “why?” I’ll tell you honest skeptics why. It is downright delicious, first and foremost. It hits taste sensations like sweet and umami making a decadent combination. Any doubters, do yourself a flavor-favor and make this soup. Make a ½ batch if you feel yourself resisting. You’ll be so glad you did. One major bonus to this soup is it totally qualifies as “one pot” cooking. This reduces cleanup (woohoo!) and saves space on your stove top for other things if you’re a multi-tasker. This recipe can be doubled or even tripled if you want to make a really large batch. Our Kitchen TEAm in the tea parlor made this soup in a 12 quart stock pot because it was so popular. I use the same size pot and proportions when I make it at home so I can make large batches. It’s a great way to stock my freezer with instant meals. I thought about it years ago and realized that making a quadruple batch takes about the same amount of time and effort as a single batch. So now, I do this with many of my recipes–soups, cookie dough, scone dough and even some breakfast and lunch recipes. It’s a great time investment for me to prep a few extra ingredients and increase a recipe’s ratios to make something good to stock pile in my fridge and freezer. With a fulltime work-from-home husband and college-aged kiddos always on the go still at home, this practice makes it easy to help them eat well and avoid not so healthy choices. I reserve some in the fridge for the week and I pack the rest in freezer bags in single serving portions. I label and date the bags, freeze flat on a tray and then tuck them away in the freezer for a rainy day…or anytime someone is hungry and looking for “something good”. Sometimes that’s me! Like all recipes, the quality of your ingredients will absolutely affect the final flavor of this soup. I do not recommend using baby carrots to make this soup. Too often, baby carrots just taste like soap. My opinion, it might not be yours. Baby carrots would certainly be easy to use as you would just drop them into your pot. Of course, as always, if you have baby carrots on hand and you want to make this soup then use baby carrots. If you are making a shopping list to prepare this recipe later, write down good old regular carrots. To cook the carrots and onions, place your pot over medium heat and add the butter and oil. Once the butter has melted, add the carrots and onions. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are translucent. Add the chicken stock, brown sugar, ground ginger, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil for one minute. Cover the pot and reduce heat to medium low. I want to point out this recipe calls for chicken stock and not chicken broth. Chicken stock is much richer than canned chicken broth and will make this soup deeper in flavor. If you don’t have chicken stock, chicken bone broth would be an excellent substitution. You can use canned chicken broth; again, if that’s what you have on hand then use it. Canned broths are often thinner in substance and typically seasoned. We want the flavor of our soup to feature the seasoning we’re adding and not be complicated by a pre-seasoned chicken broth. When I don’t have a good chicken stock or bone broth on hand, there is a go-to product I use that I always have in my refrigerator. It’s Better Than Bouillon Roasted Chicken Base. I keep the beef version in my fridge, too. I love this stuff and I want to say that I’m not being compensated or paid for saying so. BTBRCB is amazing! It adds wonderful umami flavor to all my savory recipes that call for chicken stock or just need a little something extra. It is seasoned with garlic, onion and turmeric, but those notes really complement this Savory Carrot Ginger Soup. Allow this stock mixture to simmer until the carrots are soft. Cook the heck out of them. I mean they should fall apart when you look at them. Because we are simmering the carrots in all the components of the soup—minus the heavy cream—all their richness and the sultry flavor of the spices will melt together in the pot. Seriously, there’s some really good things going on in that pot and we want to give it time to happen. Plus, have you ever tried to puree an al dente vegetable? Not ever going to happen. Once the carrots are too tender to pick up with a fork, it’s time to begin the beautiful transformation. This is my favorite part of the recipe and where all that simmering is rewarded. I prefer to use my handy immersion blender to puree this awkward looking mélange into silky orange gold. Those carrots we so patiently cooked into mush are going to quickly surrender to the mini blades of the immersion blender and yield the most wonderful, ginger scented concoction. If you choose to use a food processor or blender for this, puree in small batches. This is why I like the immersion blender so much. I can puree the whole pot with just a little extra clean up. So, puree away with either appliance until you achieve the consistency you desire. I like a very smooth soup without any pieces of carrot remaining. You may like a little texture left in your soup. It’s up to you how far you take this step. And now, we add the cream. Cream, glorious cream. It’s what takes this soup to that next-level feeling of luxury. It is sublime. It doesn’t take much and you can decide how much or how little you add. I add all the cream that’s called for and maybe even a splash more. Just be aware of one thing: the cream is going to alter the flavor that is currently in your pureed soup. If you add extra cream, you may need to adjust the seasoning. You’ll notice at the end of the recipe, that I recommend tasting the soup and adding more seasoning as needed. Be light handed though, it’s easy to add more and impossible to take back out. Salt, pepper and ginger should be taste tested, but don’t forget about the brown sugar. Fresh carrots differ in their level of sweetness and flavor. Sometimes, fresh carrots may not be very sweet and you may want to add a pinch or two more of brown sugar to suit your expectations. It’s important to remember, taste is personal. Too sweet to you is not sweet enough for someone else. Ginger is another flavor that some like more of while others prefer less. I have a tendency to play around with recipes adding more of the spices I like and leaving out the ones I know my family doesn’t like. I use new recipes as a good starting place and then take the scenic route. Having mentioned that, here’s a tip I love to share. If you’re a recipe-tweaker like me, do yourself a favor and do this if you’re not already. Make notes on your recipes. Make lots of notes. The next time you make that recipe, you won’t be scratching your head trying to remember how you made it last time. Or, in my case, the hubby won’t take one bite and ask what you did different this time. (World’s most annoying question—love you, honey.) I hoard cookbooks, but most all the recipes I use are written in worn spiral notebooks with lots and lots of notes. I do it for me and I do it for my daughter who is learning to cook. I make notes on the recipes of what I add, take out, and so on. One day, when she makes something from one of my recipes it will taste the way I made it. When she makes own changes, she’ll write it down. I have dropped the ball a few times. Sometimes, I think to myself that I’ll make notes later, but then I forget. I kick myself every time I make gumbo. I did this one thing one time and now it’s lost in my head. The gumbo from my as-is recipe is always good, but that one time it was GREAT! Now, I always feel a little tinge of disappointment over my gumbo, because I can’t remember that crazy little thing I did differently. If I had just written it down when it was fresh in my mind! Arg. One of my dad’s favorite adages is “the key to a good memory is remembering to write it down!” Yep, he’s right on that one. I would also like to say this on behalf of your future generations. The family members that will inherit your recipes don’t want pristine recipe cards or unmarred cookbooks. They want YOUR recipes for the food you made and how you made it. Someday, someone who loves you is going to want to recreate what you made from your heart. Making notes on your recipes is a way of sending your love through food to your future family. Fortunately, I wrote down every tweak of this recipe so every time I make it, I get that lovely familiar flavor with every spoonful. And, one day, when Abbi is craving something her mama made, she’ll have all my notes to make it just so. I encourage you to try this recipe. It’s a beautiful soup, comforting and full of goodness. Be sure to print it so you can record your own tweaks. Then you can share it with your future generations-or have them make it for you now and tell them to make enough to put some in the freezer for later. Life is good. Enjoy!