Carrot Soup with Carrot Top Pesto

Carrot Soup with Carrot Top Pesto /

If you went to your farmers market over the weekend and came home with a beautiful bunch of carrots with their tops still attached, then this soup is for you. From root to stem, carrots are the main ingredient here along with a few staples that you likely already have in your kitchen.

I’m really excited about this one in case you couldn’t tell – it’s so simple and delicious with no cream, no cashew cream, and no coconut cream (ok just a tad for garnish, but it’s really not necessary). The creamy base of the soup comes purely from the pureed carrots.

The soup is great on its own, but it’s extra tasty with scoops of pesto that I made out of the carrot tops. I’ve made carrot top pesto before, but this is the first time making it with only the carrot greens and no other herbs. Because who has basil this time of year?

Carrot Soup with Carrot Top Pesto /

I made this a full weeknight dinner by serving the soup with a simple kale salad made of leftover brown rice, a few carrot curls, dried cranberries, a drizzle of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. I also smashed some avocado on toast and topped it with dollops of the carrot top pesto.

Like most soups, this keeps well in the fridge for a few days so it would be a great make-ahead Thanksgiving starter.

4.8 from 5 reviews
Carrot Soup with Carrot Top Pesto
Serves: 3 to 4
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onions
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 heaping cups chopped carrots (save carrot tops)
  • 1½ teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 3 to 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup, or to taste (optional)
  • coconut milk for garnish (optional)
Carrot Top Pesto
  • ¼ cup pepitas
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1½ cup coarsely chopped carrot tops
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ to ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon maple syrup (optional)
  • grated parmesan cheese (optional)
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and a generous pinch of salt and pepper and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add the smashed garlic cloves (they’ll get blended later) and chopped carrots to the pot and cook about 8 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
  2. Stir in the ginger, then add the apple cider vinegar, and then add 3 to 4 cups of broth, depending on your desired consistency. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the carrots are soft, about 30 minutes.
  3. Let cool slightly and transfer to a blender. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add maple syrup, if desired.
  4. Make the pesto: Wash your carrot tops well, and set them aside to dry. Pulse the pepitas and the garlic in a food processor with pinches of salt and pepper, scraping down the sides of bowl as needed. Add the carrot tops and pulse again. Add the lemon juice and pulse again. While the blade is running, drizzle in the olive oil until the pesto blends smoothly. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding the maple syrup if it’s too bitter, or a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese if it’s too grassy.
  5. Serve the soup with the pesto on the side. Garnish with a drizzle of coconut milk, if desired.


If you make this, let us see! Tag your photo with #loveandlemons on Instagram.


  1. Rachel from on said:

    I’m actually slightly gutted that there is not a market near me that does not take the tops off of carrots now.

  2. ceren from on said:

    this looks like the perfect soup for colder nights :) We recently launched the world’s first online platform called, where you can book tours&activities with nonprofits, and at the moment we are giving away our cookbook with recipes from nonprofits for free to everyone who signs up here ! We would be honored if you could check our recipes! :)

  3. Allyson from on said:

    I’ve never made carrot top pesto but I love the idea. This looks so vibrant and elegant- I’m dreaming about making this for lunch today.

  4. Everything looks amazing, love the idea of using everything from the carrots.
    Can’t wait to try it, pinning! :)

  5. Carrot top pesto…now that’s something I’ve never heard of! It looks absolutely delicious though! Beautiful styling as well.

  6. I just made the carrot pesto this year for the first time after going to Stone Barns and they had it there. It came out delicious and now I have a great carrot recipe to use with it, thanks!!!

  7. Grace from on said:

    What a beautiful and vibrant soup! And the pesto sounds delicious. I can’t wait to give this one a try – thanks for sharing.

    Grace |

  8. Aida from on said:

    This sounds delightful! I’ve been fighting a bug all week and would love to cuddle up with a bowl of this soup!

  9. Kelley from on said:

    I’m sorry to admit it, but I’ve never eaten carrot tops. I imagine they’re a little bitter?

    • jeanine from on said:

      they are a little bitter (and a bit grassy), but once you mix them up with the other ingredients you can make them delicious :). (You can always start with half basil, half carrot tops if you’re worried about the flavor!)

  10. Anne from on said:

    This looks beautiful. Do you mind if I ask what kind of photo equipment you’re using? I’m just starting to get serious about a blog I’m working on.

  11. Medeja from on said:

    Looks amazing! Beautiful color and taste must have been great too.

  12. Wendi Wilson on said:

    Apparently I may be the first person to try this recipe and post any result. Amazingly, our CSA delivered EXACTLY the carrots with tops intact to make this – just yesterday. Feeling a synchronicity, here I am. The pesto is NOT bitter. Truly fresh and clean carrot greens / tops are very parsley like to me. I am a person who enjoys the elemental flavor(s) and loved the pepita / garlic / lemon / carrot green combo without need for maple syrup. your mileage may vary. Soup is still cooling before the blend. The apple cider vinegar smell is a bit strong, but I think the ginger prevails. Yum to come.

  13. Isabelle from on said:

    It looks so delicious that I am even thinking of making this soup tonight. I will just add some more garlic in it to make my husband even happier :). Creamy soups, consumed with some rusk have always been my weak spot, thank you for this lovely recipe.

  14. Fiona Mackay on said:

    Your website is amazing and so is the food. Would have struggled to become vegan, and stay vegan, without Love and Lemons. Beautifully photographed, fantastic tasting food – with light, bright and sparkling commentary! Thank you.

    • jeanine from on said:

      Thanks Fiona :)

  15. Lynda on said:

    I made this soup today. It is amazing! I didn’t have carrot tops either, but I garnished with coconut milk. I am so glad I discovered this blog. Every recipe I have made is phenomenal. Thank you!

    • jeanine from on said:

      Thanks Lynda! I’m so glad you liked the soup :)

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  18. fiona mackay on said:

    This carrot soup has real depth and is incredibly delicious. I did not have any carrot tops to hand – but love the idea from nutritional point of view. The pesto sauce still worked beautifully. Thank you! Looking forward to making, and eating again.

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  20. Babby on said:

    Looks and sounds wonderful…just curious about the nutrition, especially the protein.
    Is this information available? Thanks!

  21. Dana on said:

    This soup came out really good and spicy- the ginger had quite a kick. I added some cayenne at the end plus a little coconut milk, lemon and lime juice when blending.

    I don’t have a food processor and I didn’t want to wash the blender twice so I made a pseudo pesto with the immersion blender. Carrots didn’t have tops so parsley stepped in with garlic, olive oil, lemon and lime juice. Then I strained most of the bright green liquid from the pesto and used it for drizzling. It made a bright, zesty topping!

    This soup would be great if you’re sick!

    Thanks Jeanine!

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