Cold and wet weather makes me long for soup, so a quick run to store and I had all the ingredients I needed to make this delicious and healthy Carrot Ginger and Cumin soup! We have had another very damp week here in Oregon. The Artist and I have been very lucky to stay warm and dry and we are grateful.
Homemade soups are really easy to make and completely open to interpretation. You can start one way and wind up with a completely different dish by taking a different direction with your ingredient and seasoning choices. They are also a terrific way to use up produce and pantry foods while we are staying in our homes!
I started to make a classic carrot/ginger soup today, but began thinking of Caribbean flavors and influences. Cumin and hot chile oil made their way into the soup and we wound up with something delightfully new and different.
Because the seasonings are more intense, there is less obvious carrot flavor and sweetness than the original version. The chili oil adds a pop of heat that quickly dissipates making it palatable even for those who do not like spicy food. I like the Baklouti Green Chile Pepper infused olive oil I found at Amphora Nueva. It tastes a lot like a hot Hatch chile, with a fresh and spicy heat. If your family prefers milder foods, you can leave it out entirely.
Today I used chicken stock because it was what I had in the pantry and I liked the flavor it added as well as the additional protein. If you prefer a vegetarian soup, just use vegetable stock instead. In either case be sure it is gluten-free if needed. If you use water in place of the stock you will definitely have a stronger carrot flavor.
This is a perfect example of how a recipe is merely a guideline, not etched in stone. We’ve gotten away from being creative and instinctive cooks, with fewer people learning from their parents and grandparents from childhood. The ability to watch as someone makes a dish they’ve prepared hundreds of times and never looking at a cookbook gives a child the knowledge that cooking isn’t dependent on recipes. Suddenly fears dissipate and creativity can take over, leaving you free to discover new and wonderful flavor combinations!
Today’s Carrot, Ginger, and Cumin Soup is perfect for lunch, brunch, a quick dinner, or as a first course. A piping hot bowl is not only healthy and delicious, but filling. Served with bread and a salad, this is a completely satisfying meal. I hope you enjoy it as much as The Artist and I do!
Take care my friends – have a wonderful weekend!
Key Ingredients for Healthy Carrot, Ginger, and Cumin Soup:
- Butter or olive oil
- Carrots, potato, onion, and garlic
- Thyme, ginger, cumin and bay leaf
- Chicken stock or vegetable broth (gluten-free if needed)
- Hot chile oil, optional
- Fresh lemon juice
Why do you have a potato in this soup?
It may seem strange to have a potato in a soup that will be pureed, but it does serve a purpose. Pureed potatoes add silkiness and body to the finished soup. It fools your mouth into thinking the soup has cream in it. Plus, most people have them on hand and they help make the soup more filling.
When pureeing hot liquids in a regular blender, only fill the container about half full to allow for expansion. Leave the top partially ajar to release the steam, cover with a towel and then turn the blender on. This will save you from scalding your hand and sending the soup all over your kitchen, including the ceiling!
If you choose to make these with olive oil instead of butter for a vegetarian or dairy-free version, add an extra pinch or two of salt to compensate.
How to make Healthy Carrot, Ginger, and Cumin Soup:
- Sauté the carrots, potatoes, and onions in the butter
- Add the garlic, chicken stock, water, and seasonings
- Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer, cooking for 30 minutes
- Puree the soup with an immersion blender or use a regular blender in batches
- Season with lemon juice and add chile oil if you want; adjust seasonings as needed
- Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with green onions, serving hot
Kitchen Tools I Use to Make This Recipe (affiliate links):
- Dutch oven or large stockpot
- Large spoon (if using a wooden spoon, use a new one if cooking for someone with celiac)
- Immersion blender
- Regular blender
This soup is naturally gluten-free. Just be sure that the stock you use does not have any gluten in it.
- 1/2 cup (8 tbsp; 1 stick) butter, cut into cubes, or olive oil (for dairy-free/vegetarian)
- 2-1/2 lb carrots, scrubbed and cut in large chunks
- 1 large Russet potato, peeled and cubed
- 1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- Kosher or fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 quart chicken stock or vegetable broth, gluten-free if needed
- 2 cups water
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 to 1 tsp hot chile oil, optional
- Thinly sliced scallions, for garnish
Melt the butter in a large, heavy stockpot or Dutch oven. Add the carrots, potatoes, and onions, and season with a little salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened and golden, about 20 minutes. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock, water, thyme, ginger, and cumin, and stir. Season with a little more salt and pepper. Add the bay leaf and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer about 30 minutes or until the carrots are tender.
Remove the soup from the heat, take the lid off the pot, and let stand for 10 minutes to cool slightly. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Puree the soup with an immersion blender or use a blender and puree in batches (see PRO Tip above) and return the puree to the pot. Season the soup with the lemon juice and stir in the chile oil if using. Taste and adjust seasonings as
Ladle into serving bowls and sprinkle with chopped scallions. Serve hot.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 164Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 367mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 5gSugar: 7gProtein: 5g
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This post was first shared in Feb 2017. The article was updated in 2020.