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?
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.
- 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)
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- Let cool slightly and transfer to a blender. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add maple syrup, if desired.
- 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.
- Serve the soup with the pesto on the side. Garnish with a drizzle of coconut milk, if desired.