Super Simple Carrot Soup – the new pumpkin [5 ingredients]

carrot soup

Pumpkin soup. Such a wonderful comforting winter treat. Smooth and slightly sweet, with its warming sunny colour it’s one of those soups that can’t help but lift your spirits as the days draw short and dark.

The only problem is the pumpkin preparation. In particular hacking through that tough, tough skin. I have a really vivid memory from when I was little of my mother struggling to cut through a giant Queensland blue pumpkin. I remember thinking that this cooking thing sure looked like a lot of work. And when there’s pumpkin to prepare, I still hold that opinion.

So I can’t tell you how excited I was the other day when I sat down to a simple lunch of carrot soup only to be greeted with a steaming bowl of sunshine and sweetness with just the right amount of savouriness to balance it out. We’re talking a soup just as good as my beloved pumpkin but without the work.

To be honest I didn’t have very high hopes for this soup before I tasted it. I’d picked up a bunch of baby carrots with the intention of using them for something where they would be the star of the show. Flicking through St Nigel’s vegetable bible, there wasn’t a heap of options jumping out until I spied his carrot soup. It met the criteria for being vegetarian and showcasing my carrots. It would do.

We’re talking a soup that far exceeds expectations. And is super simple to prepare – I’d much rather make light work of chopping through scrubbed baby carrots than hacking into a pumpkin. So when you’re in the mood for some mood enhancing pumpkin soup, why not try out my baby carrot instead?

carrot soup

[5 ingredients]
Baby Carrot Soup

serves 3-4

Inspired by Nigel Slater (yes – still obsessed) in Tender Volume 1 – A cook and his vegetable patch.

If you can’t get your hands on baby carrots, regular carrots will be fine. You need about 450g or 1lb carrots.

If you prefer a creamy accompaniment to your pumpkin soup, you’ll probably enjoy a little splodge of sour cream or pouring cream in this soup but to be honest it’s lovely without. I like mine with some crusty sourdough slathered in butter.

The soy sauce might seem a little odd here but it really works to bring more than just saltiness to balance out the sweet carrots.

2 brown onions, diced
1 bunch baby carrots, scrubbed, trimmed & chopped
1 x 400g (14oz) tin tomatoes
pinch dried chilli flakes, optional
2-3T soy sauce

1. Heat 4T olive oil in a large saucepan and cook onion over a medium heat until soft and just starting to brown. Add carrots, tomato, chilli and 3C water and bring to the boil.

2. Simmer until carrots are tender, approx 20 minutes.

3. Process until smooth with a stick blender or food processor. Add 2T soy and taste. Season with salt, pepper and extra soy if needed.


  • How timely! I recently made carrot soup and decided it’s a great alternative to pumpkin soup too! I look forward to trying out your recipe next time.

  • Thx. so much for sharing…been looking for a simple carrot soup recipe for a long time. Here in Jamaica, pumkin soup is a year round staple but this carrot soup recipe is much easier! Thx.

  • What a lovely-sounding soup recipe! I adore carrots in just about any form but have not come across a carrot soup recipe that used soy sauce and did not require cream. Like you, I’d rather put the cream calories into the crusty bread & butter =;D Will be trying this out very very soon.

  • Nice idea to use soy sauce to balance the sweetness of cooked carrots…I never tried a carrot soup, neither a pumpkin soup actually…mmm…

  • great minds lucent imagery!

    pleasure yard edge

    meg – lovely to hear from a fellow butter fan. I’ve been having a bit of a soy sauce thing for seasoning because it give more savouriness than just saltiness – part of my vegetarian month discovery

    thanks for sharing it carole – glad you got some positive feedback

    mika – never had pumpkin soup? wow. just skip straight to this carrot version and save yourself the hard work chopping pumpkin..

  • Love carrot soup! Try carrot and ginger, too – the ginger gives the soup a nice kick! Same procedure, olive oil + onion + carrots + vegetable stock + ginger to your liking. You can add parsnips, too.
    I’ll definitely try your version – yum!

  • What a great idea – I like the addition of tomatoes and soy in this recipe (the recipes for carrot soups are usually without tomatoes and it sounds rather bland). I’m also thinking about buying Nigel Slater’s Tender Volume 1 – glad to hear it’s good.
    And a little question – how much is a bunch? 500 g?

  • That sounds so delicious, as I am already a lover of pumpkin soup I know I will love this too. And NO pumpkin to wrestle with. That is the only reason I haven’t got Pumpkin Soup in the freezer at this moment.

    I do feel stupid though, what is 3C Water measurement?

  • I confess to having completely taken on board the love of pumpkin soup that is so prevalent here in Oz – last week I roasted two butternut squash with 3 cloves of garlic and then just pureed them with some stock and it was very close to perfection! I love the idea of trying the same process with carrots.. will get back with results!

  • can’t wait to hear how the roast carrots go claire

    thanks johanna – memes aren’t really my thing – but you need to give st nigel some air time!

    mark – st nigel actually used fresh yellow tomatoes but it’s not tomato season here – the canned ones just cook into the soup and provide a supporting back note – you could try passata or even tomato juice as well

    sorry for being lazy – 3C is 3 cups.

    yep about 500g in a bunch

    great idea with the ginger – I love it

  • I realized while reading the comments that no one has actually tried to make this. I just did and thought maybe I should share my experience. I am not a very experienced cook but I think the directions are also a little unclear about certain parts of the process.

    The preparation was easy enough, but the problem I ran into was the actual simmering. With cutting the carrots into 4ths, it took close to 40 minutes of simmering to actually get anything close to done. Nearly all the water was cooked away by that point. I ended up having to add 3-4 more cups of water while trying to mix it just to get it to a soup consistency. The end result teetered on the edge of disaster and I ended up having to call my mother and ask for advice on how to save the dish (her answer: pour it into the blender and stop trying to make my poor stick blender struggle with carrots only 3/4ths done and add a lot more water).

    However, the end result was actually pretty good. Sweet and savory were balanced and it truly held the carrot taste throughout. But if you do make this recipe, cut your carrots into very small pieces to get to the recommended time of 20 minutes and be prepared to add more water if the end result isn’t as soupy as it should be.

  • I just made it, and boy was it delicious!!! I went back for seconds, and my mouth is calling for thirds while my stomach protests that it’s full. The soy sauce is a great secret ingredient. I tasted the soup before adding soy, and it was just okay, but with the soy sauce, fantastic!

    Shira: I didn’t have any trouble with it. Did you bring it to a full boil before simmering and then keep it covered the whole time? I had to run an errand after 18 minutes, so I turned it off, and pulsed it in the blender when I came back. My carrots were a teensy bit less done than I would have preferred, but not at all crunchy or hard to blend, and I had the same amount of liquid as when it started.

  • shira,
    thanks so much for taking the time to share your soup experince with me. I’m so sorry you struggled with it. I now realise that I should have been more specific with the carrot chopping size – and can imagine that if you only chopped them into quarters that it would have easliy taken longer than 40 minutes to cook them.

    glad to hear that you enjoyed the end result anyway.

    I’m glad you loved the soup – I am loving soy sauce at the moment – it makes such a difference as you noticed. and thanks for sharing your experience with the cooking process

  • It is delicious, mine made about 6 cup fulls. I made it exactly as the recipe but I added 1/2 teas of sugar as I always do this with tomatoes.

    I did feel nervous using so much soy sauce, but now I am pleased I did.

  • i made it yesterday evening and didn’t talk much about the recipe
    and my husband asked for more
    and he is a very carnivore
    it was delicious
    so easy to have all ingredients at home and always able to have a bowl of soup
    i adore your blog delicious recipes lovely fotos one of my daily musthaves

  • My other half and I tried out this recipe recently as it was the simplest one I could find online and we didn’t have much in the house. And it was FAB – we were so impressed with the end result. We didn’t have chilli flakes, so used ground chilli powder, but made no other adjustments. Now we’re planning to make a big batch to freeze. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Wow, great meal.

    Added 2 cloves of garlic and the result was fantastic.

    Thanks !


  • thanks Jules, must remember that one. Making it tomorrow, but sounds like it’s going to be a winner.

  • I have left-over pasta sauce that needs thinning, it was made with broad beans, peas, ricotta, parmesan and lemon juice. Any ideas? Thanks, Fran, By the way, carrot soup was fantastic, have given it to all the girls in my family. Thanks again.

  • awesome
    thanks for the link! glad you enjoted

    sorry fran
    missed seeing this comment.
    I’d just use some of the cooking water from your pasta to help thin a sauce or possibly a little cream if you want to keep it more rich.

    amd so glad you liked the soup!

  • Hi Jules,

    I was just searching for a good carrot soup recipe and found your eye-catching blog. I’m cooking the soup now and I will definitely be returning! In the meantime, I wanted to pass on a tip for dealing easily with pumpkins. In Australia we often put a whole, unpeeled pumpkin in the oven (at around 190 c, I think) until a knife slides in and out easily. After it cools, you can scoop out the flesh with a spoon. No hacking! No breaking a sweat! It also gives your soup a delicious, roasty flavour.

  • This looks so delicious and your site is awesome! I tried this tonight, added a few other spices: cumin, cayenne, and basil. I have a pretty spicy palette so it was a welcomed, heated addition. Thanks for posting!

  • n our all-new travel section, we spend a day in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Super easy to make and tastes like your classic pumpkin soup. Yum! Also added one grated carrot, and swapped one potato for a kumara/sweet potato.

  • Brown onions? Here in California, I’m familiar with red/purple, white and yellow onions. Could brown onions be another name for shallots possibly?

  • love love love! this recipe. I’ve been looking for a cheap, go-to soup recipe for awhile.
    this one definitely won’t break the bank, and its super delicious!

  • hi jules,

    i mixed in a teaspoon of miso in afterwards. we had a stem of ginger and a few cherry tomatoes, so i sauteed that in with a handful of shallots and red onions.

    currently adding it to the vitamix, with yesterdays yam

    yum! (i hope)

  • Just a variation- I use a processor as I can control the “particle size” of the soup better – don’t like the sludge a stab blender creates- this reduces the need to cook cook cook the carrots and gives texture to the soup,
    very good way to use surplus carrots if your crop turns out better than expected

  • good point mark!

    I’ve been experimenting with grating the carrots in the food processor first and it works well

  • I tried this recipe and really loved it! I had a big pile of fresh carrots (not baby carrots) and found this recipe. I pulled out an onion and a half I had sitting around.

    Two questions: 1) How big are the onions you used? (Mine were a big vidalia onions) 2) do you use salted or unsalted canned tomatoes?

    At first I thought that 5 ingredients was very limiting, but then I really appreciate not having to hunt around for ingredients that I never have.

  • HI Simon

    Just regular sized brown (yellow) onions.
    ANd my tomatoes are canned in tomato juice. No salt listed on the label.

    That’s the thing with 5 ingredients – it makes life easier and not necessarily less delicious

  • Yum! I made this today and loved it! I am a pumpkin soup disliker and I am so pleased I have found a yummy alternative!

  • Just made this today. Wow. I am impressed. In the saute pan, I did add two cloves of chopped garlic with the onion. I did have to cook the soup a little longer before blending it with some skim milk in the blender. I am bringing this batch of soup to work tomorrow and I am making another batch to take to church. I was given 7 pounds of baby carrots. So this is a great recipe to use them in! Thanks.

    Orlando, Florida USA

  • Dear Jules,
    I follow your food blog with interest and like it very much. In your recipies you use the T for teaspoon but what does C stand for? Can or … ?
    Best wishes from Iceland,

  • Hi Vilborg

    Actually T is tablespoon and t is teaspoon… C = cup. I’ve stopped abbreviating like this in my more recent recipes to avoid confusion. Very excited to be having someone in Iceland reading Stonesoup!

  • @Shira, I’m making this now and I’m running into the same problem – I’ve chopped my baby carrots into little rounds and 20 minutes wasn’t enough to get them blendable. I’m boiling it a bit more, and I’ll try again. Also – do not do what I am doing and use a hand mixer. Even with draping a tea towel over it, it’s still a mess.

    So far though, I’ve tasted the chunky results and it is wonderful.
    Thank you!

  • Amy
    Hope the soup turned out OK for you…
    Just what sort of mixer are you trying to blend with?
    It sounds like you’re using a hand mixer with beaters from the mess situation… which will be problematic.

    What you need is a stick blender – one of those hand held devices with a little blade on the bottom – you really need a blade to get a good puree – beaters like you would use to whip cream or eggwhites aren’t going to break things up enough…

    Would love to hear how you got on!

  • Made it for my daycare kids. Added some corn kernels and chopped turkey to give it some chunks. Everyone loved it even the pickiest 2 year old! !

  • Jules, That’s exactly my problem. Until I get a stick blender, I’ll keep making this as a really nice side dish and not try to blend it at all. I love the flavor the soy sauce adds.

    Thank you for the recpie!

  • I made this soup tonight and was disappointed. I think that it was a little too strong for my taste, even after adding milk.

  • Instead of soy sauce I add 3 chicken bouillon cubes and 2 teaspoons of red curry powder. I love your recipe , yum !

  • Heather
    So sorry you didn’t enjoy the soup.. did you say it had too much flavour? You know one of the great things about soup is you can always dilute them with water :)

  • Update – I got my stick blender and that could not have been easier. Hardly any mess at all. It tastes wonderful and it’s perfect for the rainy weather we’ve been having.

  • A friend passed on your website after hearing me complain about my inability (and ensuing frustration) to cook easy wholesome meals. I gave this carrot soup and the curried tofu a try today – I AM HOOKED! Ok, so I went a little crazy with the red pepper flakes, but other than that they were both absolutely delicious :) Thank you for your site, book and blog!

    Greetings from Singapore,

  • Carrot soup fills me up with nice memories of a Colombian Vegan restaurant my mom used to take us to as kids… Coincidentally, I went to Aspen, Co. and tried a carrot soup which had a little ginger blended in… Gave it a nice zing! I almost tasted cinnamon too! Yummm!

    Bon appetite everyone!

  • Dear Jules,

    Do you have to use brown onions I couldn’t find any at the store? Do you use whole tomatoes? I can’t wait to try this recipe! I LOVE carrots!! And love your website and recipes! Thank you for sharing!!!!

  • Hi Karen
    Any onions will work.. I shouldn’t have been so specific. And I use whole canned tomatoes because I think they tend to be better quality. Enjoy!

  • Jules,

    I just stumbled on your website from a link on and I’m very excited to try a few of your soups… but I would like to purchase a stick blender to get a good puree could you recommend one…

  • Paul
    Welcome to Stonesoup!
    I have a bamix which I really love… In the past I’ve had cheap plastic stick blenders and they usually burn the motor out in a year so I think it’s worth paying more upfront.. hope that helps

  • Dear Jules,
    We had your carrot soup today and it was the most delicious soup we ever had (I followed the recipe word by word) thanks, O

  • I have had an excess of carrots in my fridge for a few weeks now because I tend to buy bags when they are real cheap and use them for everything. Have a few hungry men over this weekend and thought to cook my own lunch for the next few days so I can get out of there hair and for them to make their own lunches XD Perfect, made a batch the night before…

    Love this site especially since I am on a tight centerlink budget at the moment. It is fantastic and healthy and it has me cooking a few meals at once using some of the same ingredients. who doesn’t love that.


  • Excellent recipe! I shall make it again to impress my next weekend guest! Thank you!

  • my madam was on holiday,,, then time they come back i must need to cook for them, espicially my two lovely kids. but inside my freidge is just a carrot only. and a chicken stock….. when i found this recipe i quickly cook it……its very simple but its really delicious,,,my madam say,,,, amazing soup, my lovely kids very enjoy to their dinner…..thank for super simple carrot soup

  • I juist made this & was pleasantly surprised-I didn’t want to wait for the carrots to be super-soft so I used the stick blender at 18mins because I don’t mind a chunky soup! I thought the flavour quite nice but added a teaspoon of honey to sweeten it & served it with a small drizzle of cream & a sprig of basil-yum :) Next time I’ll add some garlic too!

  • Wow-I forgot to mention how much better this soup is in a day or two-right up there with the best I’ve ever made. Definitely make it in advance!

  • Hi I am from Malta and I’m gonna try out this recipe tonight :))

  • Made this tonight and will make it again. I liked it as is, but it’s a pretty simple recipe and most of my family kicked it up a notch with some Tony’s Creole seasoning. :)

  • Hello
    I have found the answer to the pumpkin peeling problem is to use a sharp meat cleaver or similar weighty chopper; gives more leverage. Just preparing the carrot soup now ( I use my chopper on them too )

  • I made this soup today and it was a real hit. So simple to make, but so tasty! Using a lot less water and minus the soy sauce I could actually see this making a nice alternative to pasta sauce. Delicious soup. Thanks Jules.

  • Just made this soup added some corn from a corn on the cob I had it was real yummy and easy Thanks Mickey From Streamwood

  • Wauv, i gonna try this recipe when i have emptied my refrigerator. This blog looks like the answers to all my problems! i love the idea about few ingredients. It’s always a problem for a poor student like me to look up recipies because you have to get so many ingredients. Thx

  • Hi,

    this is exactly i was looking for. I am going to make this tomorrow.

    Thanks a lot

    Greetings from Czech Republic

  • I have used this recipe for years now thanks for posting it :) The only thing I do different is instead of soy sauce I add chicken bullion to the water and add hot madras curry powder. This recipe is a keeper!

  • This was really good, and as you indicated far better than the ingredients would suggest! Thank you.
    By the way, I too am a huge fan of Nigel Slater.

  • In most parts of the US, brown onions are known as yellow onions. A tin is a can. (Just thought the translations might help some who wouldn’t bother trying this otherwise.) Thanks for the recipe! Glad to have all the ingredients at home.
    [Glad this doesn’t have curry like some of the others!]

  • This soup sounds wonderful. I’m going to make it today.
    I just want to let you know, you don’t have to hack through tough skin to make pumpkin soup. I use jap pumpkin. I don’t peel it – just throw large chunks in the pot with onions, celery if you like and any veges you might have. Cook it till soft, then put in the blender. The skin blends in smoothly & adds to the flavour & nutrition.

  • Looking for a super simple soup with minimal ingredients this recipe caught my attention. After making it I’m adding it into my regular rotation. To make it even easier and lower in fat/calories, I just bubbled everything together until tender and then pureed in my blender until smooth. The soy sauce is magical. Have included it in my weekly roundup of WW friendly recipes and links here: Thanks again. Love your simple approach to cooking.

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