This Wholesome Carrot Soup Recipe will Warm You Up on a Cold Day

On chilly days, do you know what I crave? Creamy, comforting carrot soup.

Vertical image of two white bowls with orange and white liquid with an herb garnish next to wine glasses with white wine, with text in the middle and bottom of the image.

To be honest, at first glance, this soup is the kind of recipe I would normally pass on. Its primary ingredient is a vegetable. Carrots, no less.

I mean, you know that I like carrots in a French slaw, but in soup?

The method of soup-making often tends to concentrate flavors, strengthening their pungency. This might not be something that you think you want to happen to carrots, especially if they aren’t your favorite vegetable.

Vertical top-down image of a white bowl with orange liquid and garnishes and a spoon.

But this soup is good. Like, insanely good.

It is creamy and sweet, comforting on your throat and your stomach. You’ll recognize the earthy taste of carrot, but along with it are hints of spicy clove and punches of sauteed onions and garlic.

I ate two bowls of this soup, right away. It’s wonderful with swirls of cream and bits of chopped fresh parsley on top, and each fragrant, colorful bite dissolves on your tongue and sends warmth through your body.

Vertical image of two white bowls with an orange liquid and white liquid garnish with chopped fresh herbs on blue patterned napkins.

It’s healthy, but more importantly, it’s delicious. Trying something new, even if you think you might not like it, sometimes proves to be supremely satisfying. And I love that.

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Horizontal image of one white bowl with an orange liquid garnished with white liquid and chopped fresh green herbs on a blue patterned napkin with a metal spoon next to the bowl.

Wholesome Carrot Soup

  • Author: Shanna Mallon
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Chase the chill away with a wholesome carrot soup recipe. This simple bowl of healthy goodness is what you need to warm up and feel full.


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 whole cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/8 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley


  1. Heat oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add carrots, onion, and cloves, and sauté until onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute, until fragrant.
  2. Add 3 cups broth. Cover and simmer until carrots are very soft, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes.
  3. Remove cloves from broth and discard. Puree soup in batches in a blender (or use a stick blender in the pan). Return soup to the same saucepan.
  4. Stir in the lemon juice and sugar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Thin to desired consistency with more broth, if desired.
  5. Place soup back over medium heat until heated through. Ladle into bowls. Drizzle with cream and top with parsley. Serve immediately.


Adapted from Bon Appetit, May 1996.

Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate until ready to reheat, garnish, and serve.

For a vegetarian version, sub vegetable stock or water for the chicken broth.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian

Keywords: carrot, soup, healthy recipes, clean eating, comfort food, winter recipes

Cooking by the Numbers…

Step 1 – Prepare Vegetables, Chop Parsley, and Measure Remaining Ingredients

Horizontal image of ingredients in various bowls on a dark wooden surface.

Using your trusty vegetable peeler, a sturdy cutting board, and a chef’s knife, peel and slice the carrots into rounds.

Peel and finely chop half of a large onion.

Peel garlic cloves and roughly chop them, or mince with your garlic press.

Remove the stems and chop the fresh parsley leaves until you have about 1 tablespoon total.

Measure all remaining ingredients as they are listed in the ingredients list, so they’ll be ready to go when you need them. Keep the cream in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve, so it will be cold when you’re ready to whip it.

Step 2 – Cook Vegetables

Horizontal image of cooked carrots and vegetables in a dark pot.

Add the oil to a large, heavy saucepan and place over medium heat.

Once the oil is hot, add the prepped carrots and onion, and the whole cloves to the pan. Saute until the onion is translucent and soft, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes.

Stir in the garlic, and cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, until it’s fragrant.

Step 3 – Make Soup

Horizontal image of sliced carrots and broth in a dark pot.

Stir in 3 cups broth. Cover the pot and let simmer until the carrots are soft, stirring occasionally. This will take about 30 minutes.

Remove the cloves and discard them. Using an immersion blender, or working in batches in the blender, puree the soup until smooth.

Horizontal image of pureed orange liquid in a dark pot with a wooden mixing spoon.

Return the soup back to the saucepan if you removed it to blend, and stir in the lemon juice and sugar. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. If it is too thick, you can thin out the consistency with more broth.

Whisk the cream in a medium bowl, until slightly thickened. This will take about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Place the saucepan back on the stove over medium heat, and stir occasionally until reheated all the way through.

Horizontal image of one white bowl with an orange liquid garnished with white liquid and chopped fresh green herbs on a blue patterned napkin with a metal spoon next to the bowl.

Serve in bowls with a drizzle of cream and a sprinkle of parsley.

Can I Make It Spicy?

If you like added heat in your meals, you can certainly amp up the spice in this soup. Simply stir in about an eighth of a teaspoon (aka a “pinch”) of cayenne pepper, and taste to see how you like it.

Horizontal image of two white bowls with an orange liquid with spoons on blue patterned napkins next to wine glasses.

You can add more spice as you like, using an additional pinch at a time to increase the heat as desired. Proceed with caution so you don’t make it too spicy! (Don’t panic: here’s what to do if you’re a bit heavy-handed.) If you enjoy a mix of spices, you can also garnish with a homemade dukkah spice blend, which is what we use for our other carrot soup recipe, featuring roasted vegetables!

For even more soup inspiration, check out the recipes below:

Would you serve this dish as an entree on a cold winter night, or as a prelude to the main course? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to come back to rate the recipe once you try it!

Photos by Raquel Smith, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on March 20, 2009. Last updated: November 30, 2020 at 16:48 pm. With additional writing and editing by Meghan Yager and Allison Sidhu.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home,, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.

6 thoughts on “This Wholesome Carrot Soup Recipe will Warm You Up on a Cold Day”

  1. I sure like the sound of anything insanely good! I’ll put that book on my library holds list and your pot is very lovely indeed.

  2. Lucy is beautiful, personally, i dig her name. i am so jealous of your Le Creuset, i’d like one myself.

    i’ve thought of making carrot soup, if only i can wrap my head around it. the color sure is pretty!

  3. my dear! I’ve missed you. I’ve been away far too long…I hope all is well. thank you for recommending this book. there are few things that I don’t eat but funny enough..mushrooms and pickles are two of them and they were two of the things that you first listed. I think I should check the book out. xx

  4. Thanks, Kickpleat! (PS: I love being able to get books from the library)

    Lan – I used her again today and am even more smitten. Coolest thing ever. You need one. And the color IS pretty, right? Love it.

    DD – I agree! Orange sherbert, tic-tacs, orange m&ms, creamsicles = all should make you smarter or healthier or something. I guess I’ll settle for happier.

    Chessa! Welcome home, friend! Nice to have you back from Florence (!) and blogging again. Glad to know, BTW, that I’m not alone in my mushrooms/pickles prejudices. Small steps.

    Sarah – thank you! I hope you do, and let me know what you think!


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