When times were tight, I’d go to the dollar store for groceries. On one occasion, I picked up a bag of carrots in the hopes that my two-year-old would want to have them as a healthy snack. By the end of the week, defeated by a toddler, I found myself staring blankly at a wilting bag of carrots I could not afford to waste. And so this roasted carrot soup was born. I use brown butter for nuttiness, cream to add body, and ginger and thyme to elevate the flavors. It’s so good, it got props from Chef Gordon Ramsay when I made it on MasterChef.
Is Roasting Necessary?
Roasting is what makes this soup special. It’s the greatest gift you can give a root veggie with very minimal effort. All you have to do is chop carrots and put them in an oven! As the carrots roast, they develop deeper flavors through caramelization. Don’t worry if a few of them charr, as that browning will add a nice smokiness to the finished product. Roasting also reduces the time you’ll need to keep your carrots simmering on a stove. Make sure to slice carrots evenly, so they cook at the same pace.
Boiling Instead of Simmering
Do your best to keep your soup at a simmer, not a boil. You’re looking for gentle bubbles and steam. Otherwise, you’re evaporating most of your liquid before the carrots are through cooking. Boiling soup also causes nutrient loss and destroys aromas. A gentle simmer > a raging boil. ( If you’re single, you can also apply that equation to your love life. You’re welcome.)
Can I freeze carrot soup?
Yes, you can freeze carrot soup. Make sure to freeze it in individual portions, as you should only thaw it once. It should keep for up to three months. After that, you can thaw it in the fridge overnight and reheat it in a pot over low heat, or pop the individual portion into a microwave straight from the freezer—cover to avoid splatter, and cook until it’s steaming.
What can I serve with carrot soup?
This soup is very filling, but it also pairs well with these fantastic recipes:
- Spinach Feta Grilled Cheese
- Crunchy Kale Chicken Salad
- Lemon Pepper Chicken With Orzo
- How To Make A Frittata
- 2 lbs carrots ($1.49)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.12)
- 1/2 tsp salt ($0.03)
- 4 Tbsp salted butter ($0.50)
- 1 yellow onion ($0.65)
- 1 tsp thyme ($0.10)
- 3 cups water ($0.00)
- 3 cups chicken broth ($0.36)
- 1 cup heavy cream ($1.12)
- 2 tsp fresh ginger ($0.21)
- 2 sprigs Italian parsley (optional) ($0.05)
- 4 Tbsp sour cream (optional) ($0.08)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Clean the carrots and cut them into 1/4 inch rounds. Add them to a sheet pan, then drizzle with olive oil and salt. Roast the carrots at 400°F for about 35 minutes until they have softened and begun to caramelize.
- While the carrots roast, dice the onions. Add the butter to a large Dutch oven and cook over medium heat until it foams and the milk solids start to brown. Turn off the heat, add the thyme and cook for one minute, to infuse the butter.
- Turn the heat to medium and cook the onions in the browned butter until the onions are translucent, about two minutes.
- Add the chicken broth, heavy cream, ginger, and water. Cover and leave the lid slightly ajar. Simmer until carrots are done. Do not boil, as the cream will curdle.
- When the carrots have begun to caramelize, take them out of the oven.
- Add the carrots to the chicken broth. Cook uncovered until carrots easily fall apart when pressed by a fork. There is no exact time for this, but it will be anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the age of the carrots, how thick you cut them, how long you roasted them, and the cook temp of your soup.
- Add soup to a blender, Take the center cap off of your blender lid and cover with a towel. Blend in two batches and puree.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a few leaves of Italian parsley
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How to Make Carrot Soup – Step by Step Photos
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Peel the 2 pounds of carrots and cut them into 1/4 inch rounds. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Roast the carrots at 400°F for about 35 minutes until they have softened and caramelized.
While the carrots roast, dice the onion. Add 4 tablespoons of salted butter to a Dutch oven and cook over medium heat until it foams and the milk solids start to brown. Add 1 teaspoon of thyme and let it cook for a minute.
Add the diced onion to the browned butter and thyme. Cook the onion until they are translucent, about two minutes.
Add 3 cups of chicken broth, 1 cup of heavy cream, 2 teaspoons of ginger and 3 cups of water. Scrape up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add the ginger. Cover and simmer with the lid on until the carrots are ready. It’s important that you not boil the soup, as the cream will curdle.
Once the carrots have started to caramelize, take them out of the oven.
Add the roasted carrots to the chicken broth mixture. Simmer until they soften so much they fall apart easily when pressed by a fork. There is no exact time for this, but it will be anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the age of the carrots, how thick you cut them, how long you roasted them, and whether you simmer or boil your soup.
Before blending the soup, remove the center cap off of your lid and cover the hole with a kitchen towel. This prevents steam from building up and blowing the lid off your blender. Add half of the soup to the blender and puree. Repeat.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. If you’d like to garnish your soup, try it with a dollop of sour cream, some Italian parsley, and black pepper.
This soup is absolutely delicious! So rich and simple. Will definitely be making it again.
Really excited about this! I had a carrot soup at a restaurant years ago and have been trying to recreate it since. Maybe this will be the one…
Is there a reason to add the cream at the beginning rather than just before blending?
Some flavor compounds are water soluble while others are fat soluble, so by simmering with the cream it gets infused with a lot of flavor. :)
I recently tried out one of your recipes and it was a hit with my family! Your cookbooks are definitely worth having on hand.
This was very good! I had a bag of baby carrots to use up and it was about the right amount. I cut some of the bigger ones in half to even out the size before roasting, but not much chopping. Followed the recipe except I added a little garlic powder at the browning butter step and used half and half instead of cream.
I don’t have a blender, so I had to let the mixture cool down enough to use my Nutribullet – which did a fabulous job of pureeing the soup, though it took several batches. I also didn’t add the half and half until the end when I heated it back up. Very rich and flavorful.
I would probably never think to make carrot soup but this was an excellent way to use up carrots! My husband ate a full bowl, and I told him he only had to taste it :-) And Monti, I thought you were awesome on MasterChef! Cheers!
Really delicious soup! Will add it to my rotation!
I just made this soup, and I’m absolutely bowled over (no pin intended!) at how delicious it is. Its very simple and easy to make, and so thick and hearty and flavourful!
I roasted the carrot discs in my air fryer, and they turned out perfect, with toasted edges, and no mess or fuss.
I served it with some marmite grilled cheese sarnies, and it was a perfect comfort meal on a cold, wet day.
This is one of the best soups I’ve ever made. But I have a couple of notes:
1) After you blend the soup, adjust the thickness to taste with water, then season to taste. This may be obvious to anyone who has made blended soups before but is a serious omission for newcomers.
2) A high-powered blender makes a huge difference in the final texture. After years of getting by with a $15 Oster I bought in college, I finally got a Vitamix. I know not everyone can afford them, but they are worth it. They have a reputation for lasting forever, so I bought mine used
Thanks again for a wonderful recipe. My wife wasn’t thrilled when I said I was making carrot soup, but she loved it too!
Couldn’t agree more with Stephen here! Probably one of the best things I’ve EVER made and I cleared out the fridge too! I don’t even like carrots that much lol. Added a bit of water at the end and even our Ninja blender didn’t get it 100% smooth but it was still DELICIOUS!! Ate with grilled cheeses/melts and coleslaw. Thanks Budget Bytes!
This was excellent! Great caramelized flavor from the roast carrots, onions, and brown butter. The cook time on the carrots will seem obnoxious but is probably necessary – I made another carrot soup that only called for the roasting and blending and it wasn’t nearly as smooth as this one. I replaced the thyme with fresh sage since I had it, this worked really well. I also waited until the blending step to add the cream, to avoid the risk of curdling. By the time my carrots were soft enough I’d lost quite a lot of liquid to evaporation, so after blending I added water back in gradually until it had the consistency I wanted.
I love the sage sub!! XOXO -Monti
Delish soup. I had a lot of carrots that I needed to work through so I made a double and half sized batch. Absurd amount of soup, really, but I’ve frozen it into single portions and I’m looking forward to making my way through it all this winter season.
Is the thyme fresh or dried?
The thyme we used was dried, but you can use either or. Just remember 1 tablespoon fresh thyme = 1 teaspoon dried thyme. XOXO -Monti
Delicious for fall and winter. I forgot the ginger but I think it was tasty with just the thyme and a little hit of sage. I was sneaking sips before I even blended it.
This recipe doesn’t come up in a search for carrot or carrot soup on your website.
We’ve been having a terrible time with the accuracy of the search function on our website. Sometimes, if you’re looking for a specific ingredients, it’s way easier to use our ingredient index rather than the search function.