Vibrant, cozy, and super nutritious, my Carrot and Orange Soup recipe is a welcome diversion from heavy holiday fare. Spiced with garlic and zippy chilli powder, this lusciously creamy bowl of goodness is the definition of healthy comfort food.
Why this recipe works
- It's dairy-free. The combination of earthy, sweet root veggies with zingy citrus, piquant chilli, cozy ginger, and caramelised onions - makes this soup an utter delight to enjoy. And even though this dreamy blend has the mouthfeel of a cream of carrot soup, there's not a lick of dairy in it (though I do like a slight drizzle on top).
- It's quick. What's more, this simple soup comes from the humblest of origins, requiring just eight ingredients and about 30 minutes to make. Homemade soup is the ultimate salve to a cold and weary traveller; one that can be on the table in the timespan of a sitcom is akin to stumbling into the mythical city of Atlantis. My friends, this soup is my weeknight soup-er hero!
- It uses simple ingredients. The ingredients needed are probably in your pantry already. The fresh ingredients (carrots, onions, and orange) can keep for relatively long. That is why this is my go-to meal for when I'm returning home from my adventures.
- It's flexible. The recipe is also quite flexible, meaning you can use whatever you have on hand. No dried chilli? Toss in some fresh! No fresh ginger? Use the dried stuff. Want to make it vegan? No problem! This soup can do it all.
- It freezes well. Finally, this is a great candidate for freezing. Make a big batch, freeze it into muffin tins and toss them in a zip-top bag; when you're feeling peckish, microwave 2-3 pucks worth, and you have a nourishing, home-cooked meal on demand.
What goes into this recipe
This delightfully inexpensive carrot and orange soup requires only eight (8!!!) ingredients, most of which are probably already in your pantry. Here's everything you'll need:
- Carrots - Any carrot colour will do here, but I often have the traditional orange kind in my crisper drawer. Don't bother peeling them - the peels are not only good for you, but they will also disappear into silky nothingness when you blend them. You can also easily swap in parsnips for the carrots if you prefer.
- Orange - Citrus is always best when it is fresh, but you can switch to boxed orange juice if you need to. That said, if you do opt for boxed, you'll sadly lose out on the extra brightness of the zest. To get the most juice from your orange, give it a firm roll on the countertop for 10-20 seconds before cutting. Also, be sure only to use the orange part of the zest; that white pith is somewhat bitter.
- Onion - Any colour of onion will work fine here. I used a red onion because that's what I had on hand, but white or yellow would be just as good. You could also swap in shallots or leeks if needed.
- Garlic - Fresh is always best, but you can easily use ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder for each fresh clove.
- Chilli - I love dried chilli flakes and probably have a half dozen varieties bumping around in my spice drawer. Go with cayenne; opt for sweet paprika for a more mild flavour. You can also use fresh chilli if you prefer - remember that the capsaicin (the compound that tastes spicy) lives mainly in the seeds and membranes of the peppers, so remove them if you prefer a less spicy soup.
- Chicken Stock - I love the added protein that chicken stock brings to the table because it helps to keep me feeling fuller for longer, but you can easily substitute vegetable stock instead. In a pinch, bouillon is another great pantry option.
- Honey - This is my liquid sweetener of choice (save the bees!), but you can use maple syrup, agave nectar, date syrup, or even some brown sugar here if you prefer.
- Olive Oil - Greek extra virgin olive oil is the best, but use what you have on hand.
How to make this recipe
- Step 1: Dice the onions and chop the carrots into even-sized chunks
- Step 2: Add the olive oil and sauté the onions and garlic until softened.
- Step 3: Add the orange zest, carrots and honey and stir to combine for another minute.
- Step 4: Add the chicken stock and cook for 40 mins or until the carrots are tender.
- Step 5: Blend the soup using a hand blender or food processor until smooth and creamy.
- Step 6: Add the orange juice and cook for five more minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then serve and enjoy!
This simple carrot orange soup is simple to prepare, but I do have a few extra tips to share:
- Always keep frozen onions on hand. If you're extra tired, having pre-chopped onions can make all the difference in the world! As a bonus, there are no tears when you're chopping them. No need to defrost before using.
- Feel free to use frozen carrots, too! Frozen carrots are a great way to make this an entirely pantry-friendly meal. You can also opt to use baby carrots, which are similarly sized and small enough for the saucepan.
- Dress it up with a bit of garnish. Take a meal that looks vibrant (albeit plain) to a restaurant-worthy dish with a quick drizzle of cream or cold-pressed olive oil, some fresh coriander leaves, or a dollop of sour cream or greek yogurt.
- Give it time. This orange and carrot soup will taste even better after a night in the fridge.
What to serve with this recipe
However you choose to devour this light and nourishing soup, I'm pretty sure you're going to love it!
Can I make this soup ahead of time?
YES! I love soup because it gets better after the flavours have a chance to meld. This orange and carrot soup will last for seven days in the refrigerator or six months in the freezer.
Can I make it vegan?
Heck yeah, you can! Swap in vegetable stock and either maple syrup or agave nectar, and this recipe will be entirely plant-based.
Are there any extra shortcuts?
You know it! Frozen chopped onions and frozen carrots will cut back on your prep time. You can also opt for ginger paste (refrigerated or frozen), so you barely even have to break out your knife!
If you've made this recipe or any other recipe on the blog - don't forget to rate it and leave a comment below. You can also follow the blog on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest OR sign up to the Newsletter for the latest delicious recipes.
Creamy Carrot and Orange Soup (dairy free)
- 2 tablespoon Olive OIl
- 1 Red Onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon Dried Chili Flakes, or swap in ½ of a fresh chili, minced.
- 2 tablespoon Honey
- 8 Carrots, cleaned well and chopped into even chunks
- 4 C Chicken Stock
- 1 Orange, juiced
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Fresh Cilantro
- Yogurt, Sour Cream or Cream
- Dice the onions and chop the carrots into even sized chunks.
- Add the olive oil and sauté the onions and garlic until softened .
- Add the carrots and honey and stir to combine for another minute.
- Add the chicken stock and cook for 40 mins or until the carrots are tender.
- Blend the soup using a hand blender or food processor until smooth and creamy.
- Add the orange juice and simmer for another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish as desired and serve!
- Always keep frozen onions on hand. If you're extra tired, having pre-chopped onions can make all the difference in the world! No need to defrost before using.
- Feel free to use frozen carrots, too! To make this an entirely pantry friendly meal, frozen carrots are a great way to go because they are already prepped. You can also opt to use baby carrots, which are similarly sized and small enough for the saucepan.
- Dress it up with a little garnish. Take a meal that looks vibrant (albeit plain) to a restaurant worthy dish with a quick drizzle of cream or cold pressed olive oil, some fresh coriander leaves, or a dollop of sour cream or greek yogurt.
This post was first published in July of 2013 put was republished with new pics and information in December 2021.