My Recipe Box

Chilled Curried Carrot Soup


Serves 4

Yields about 5 cups.

Most supermarkets carry Madras-style curry powder, which is the type I recommend. I suggest buying a new can at least every six months—curry powder loses much of its punch over time. The 3/4 tsp. curry powder here will give you a fragrant soup with mild warmth. If you like things spicier, just add a bit more.

  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter or vegetable oil
  • 1 lb. carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large shallot, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 heaping Tbs. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. seeded and minced fresh serrano or jalapeño (about 1/2 a medium-size chile)
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 3/4 tsp. Madras-style hot curry powder
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 cups homemade or low-salt canned chicken broth or water
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. fresh lime juice; more to taste
  • Freshly ground black or white pepper
  • Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
  • Toasted pepitas or pine nuts for garnish
Venting the lid of the blender prevents the heat from building up inside, which could cause hot soup to spew out all over the kitchen. Draping a dishtowel over the vented lid guards against splatters.

Heat the butter or oil in a wide soup pot over medium heat. Add the carrots, onion, and shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, chile, coriander, curry powder, and a generous pinch of salt. Cook until fragrant, another minute. Pour in the chicken broth, cover partially, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer gently until the vegetables offer no resistance when mashed against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon, 25 to 35 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Ladle some solids and broth into a blender, taking care to fill the jar no more than two-thirds full. Before turning on the blender vent the lid by removing the popout center if there is one, or just open the lid a bit. Drape a clean dishtowel over the vented lid. Purée the soup in batches if needed and then strain through a medium sieve. Stir in the coconut milk and lime juice; season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill thoroughly. 

Before serving, thin the soup gradually as needed with up to 1 cup of water and adjust the seasonings. Ladle the soup into bowls or cups. Garnish with a few cilantro leaves and the pepitas or pine nuts.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 150; Fat (g): fat g 8; Fat Calories (kcal): 70; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 4; Protein (g): protein g 5; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 17; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 330; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 15; Fiber (g): fiber g 4;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This is my all-time favorite lunch during the summer. I've been making it for years -- since I first read it in the magazine.

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