Sign up

You deserve to feel great, look great & LOVE your body

Enter your email for your FREE starter kit to get healthy & lose weight without dieting:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Spicy Carrot Ginger Soup With Lemon

by | Sep 15, 2010
Spicy Carrot Ginger Soup With Lemon

Spicy Carrot Ginger Soup With Lemon

Last weekend I bought some amazing, gnarly looking chantenay carrots from the San Francisco Ferry Plaza farmers market. When I found them at Tierra Vegetables they were just begging me to turn them into soup. I rose to the challenge, but first I had a few problems to solve.

Usually when I eat or make carrot soup it is in one of two styles. It can come either curried, warm and spicy, or gingered with hints of cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. While I love these soups, they feel a little too much like fall and winter for me to get excited about them when summer in SF is just starting.

I didn’t want a soup that is warm and wintery, I wanted a carrot soup that is bright and summery.

To achieve this I started with carrot and ginger, but add a twist. Rather than spicing the soup with cinnamon and other fall flavors I added tumeric and a few Thai chili peppers to give it color, flavor and some heat. Then I brightened it up with lemon juice and preserved lemons. The soup is finished with crème fraîche, scallions, ginger flowers and lemon-scented olive oil.

To my delight this soup turned out amazing and unlike anything I had ever tasted. And it was exactly what I wanted. If you don’t have preserved lemons, I’m sure zest would produce a similar effect. Likewise, you can swap a serrano pepper for the Thai peppers and sour cream for crème fraîche. Ginger flowers and lemon oil are just bonus.

To blend the soup I used my new Cuisinart immersion blender (aka hand or stick blender), and I was very pleased with the result. I’m really happy about this because the Cuisinart is half the price of the Braun blender I used to use.

You can make the soup in a regular blender if you do not have an immersion blender.

Spicy Carrot Ginger Soup With Lemon


  • 3 chantenay carrots or 5-6 regular carrots, peeled and cut into half inch slices
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 inch fresh ginger root, grated
  • 2-3 Thai chilies or 1 serrano chili, chopped and seeded (optional)
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 qt vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 lemon juiced (and zest if desired)
  • 1/2 tbsp preserved lemon strips
  • Crème fraîche
  • Scallions
  • 1 tbsp butter or olive oil
  • salt to taste

Heat butter or oil in a heavy bottomed soup pot and add onions. Saute until they become translucent then add the carrots, half the ginger, peppers and tumeric and cook until carrots are tender, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. If the vegetables start to brown, lower the heat.

When the carrots are soft add broth and bring to a boil. Simmer until the carrots are very tender and can easily be cut with a fork, about 10 minutes. Remove soup from heat, add the rest of the ginger and preserved lemons and blend until smooth, about 5 minutes. Add water as needed to thin the soup. I ended up adding 2 full cups.

If you are using a regular blender, be very very careful when blending hot liquids. Only fill the blender half full and blend in batches, holding the lid down with a kitchen towel. I’ve had many steaming soups explode and burn me, and it is not fun. That’s why I love my hand blender.

At this point you can filter the soup through a fine mesh strainer if you like, but I prefer to keep all the fiber in the soup and simply blend it very well. The texture is rich and silky this way, but will be thinner if you filter it.

Whisk in lemon juice and adjust salt to taste. Ladle hot soup into a bowl and garnish with crème fraîche, scallions and lemon oil.

This makes a fairly large batch of soup. However, carrot soup freezes extraordinarily well so feel free to freeze a couple pints for later. The soup will keep 3-4 days in the refrigerator.

What is your favorite way to make carrot soup?

Originally published Sept 7, 2009.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Farmers Market Update: Height of Spring

by | Apr 26, 2009
Fava Beans

Fava Beans

If you have been meaning to go to the farmers market but still haven’t gotten around to it, I strongly suggest you make it happen next week. Some of these Spring treats are only available a few weeks out of the year, and they are peaking right now.

This week I bought young fava beans from Iacopi Farm. Normally fava beans require a substantial amount of work to prepare, including shelling, blanching and removing the tough skin of each bean with a pairing knife. When young however, fava beans can be roasted and eaten whole. Last night I put mine in the oven with tomatoes, green olives, chili flakes and anchovies, then sprinkled on capers, parsley and lemon juice when I pulled them out. It was amazing.

Baby Artichokes

Baby Artichokes

Thumbalina Carrots

Thumbalina Carrots

Strawberries are also particularly special right now. At Dirty Girl Produce I found strawberries from both first year plants and second year plants, and I was astounded by the difference. Apparently as strawberry plants get older they produce smaller, sweeter, more concentrated fruit. These made for the most intesely flavored berries I found at the market. The young berries were also wonderful though, big sweet and more juicy than the second years. I bought both. Can you tell which is which?

Shell Peas

Shell Peas

1st & 2nd Year Strawberries

1st & 2nd Year Strawberries

The flowering kale rabe was gone this week, but asparagus is available in all sizes and colors. The variety of onions right now is remarkable.

Finally, since I have been interested in Moroccan cooking lately I have been reading a lot about an ingredient called preserved lemons. I bought one this week from Boulette’s Larder and used it to make the best hummus I have ever had in my life.

Preserved Lemons

Preserved Lemons

Yellow Onions

Yellow Onions


  • Baby artichokes (Iacopi Farm)
  • Young fava beans (Iacopi Farm)
  • 1st year strawberries (Dirty Girl Produce)
  • 2nd year strawberries (Dirty Girl Produce)
  • Tangelos (Hamada Farms)
  • Meyer lemons (Hamada Farms)
  • Rainbow chard (Capay Organics)
  • Sugar snap peas (Capay Organics)
  • Endive (Madison Growers)
  • Mediterranean cucumbers (Madison Growers)
  • Leek (Marin Root Farms)
  • Spring onion (Marin Root Farms)
  • Yellow onion (Marin Root Farms)
  • Carrots (Star Route Farm)
  • Tatsoi (Star Route Farm)
  • Arugula (Star Route Farm)
  • Asparagus (Zuckerman’s Farm)
  • Tangelo (Peredez Farms)
  • Italian parsley (Chue’s Farm)
  • Baby bok choy (Chue’s Farm)
  • Garlic (Chue’s Farm)
  • Firm tofu (Hodo Soy)
  • Preserved lemon (Boulette’s Larder)
  • Red pepper anchovies (Boulette’s Larder)

What did you find at the market this week?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,