(Note: this post was originally published on March 7, 2021. The date above reflects migration to the new platform.)
A Cozy Plan
It's time for a big, cozy bowl of the most nourishing soup around! This Butternut Squash Carrot Ginger Soup is like a super-comforting winter hug that's good for the body too. It's healthy comfort food at its best.
I've been making this carrot soup recipe for many years. It's a favorite in our house; I make it at least every few weeks during the winter. In addition to being delicious, it also makes my body feel good. It's loaded with veggies, very hydrating, and packs a big gingery punch. Ginger is known to have many health benefits, so I like to really load this soup up with warming, nourishing ginger.
A Carrot Ginger Soup Upgrade
Although I love classic carrot ginger soup, I often find it to be a little bit harsh. The ginger is just so powerful. Some recipes counteract this by adding sweetener. But here's my magical solution, and what makes this soup so unique: use a 50/50 mix of carrots and butternut squash! It's like a carrot soup recipe and a squash soup recipe in one.
Butternut squash is naturally sweet, so it will help balance the assertiveness of the ginger. It also has the same color as carrots, so the final product will still have the appearance you expect of a carrot ginger soup. When it comes to veggies my philosophy is definitely the more the merrier, so adding in the squash is great nutritionally too. I've also done this very successfully with kabocha squash and sweet potatoes; basically anything orange and sweet will work great. Enlisting the help of squash is the perfect way to give this healthy comfort food recipe a kiss of natural, plant-powered sweetness.
Make It Your Own
Looking to make this carrot ginger soup into a meal? No problem! I like to crisp up a bunch of chick peas under the broiler and serve them on top as protein-rich "croutons". It's also delightful with your favorite crusty bread, which is perfect for scooping up all that velvety gingery goodness. I've even on occasion pureed some white beans right into the soup itself to add protein and heartiness; it works great, you don't even know they're there.
You'll see in the recipe list and instructions that you have some options for customizing this carrot soup recipe. You can choose how much coconut milk to add, which will control the richness of the soup. You can also add some lime juice at the end if you want to take the flavors in more of a Thai-inspired direction (and because the combination of ginger, coconut milk, and lime juice is truly magical).
And then of course you can and should go all-out with the garnishes! They add wonderful texture to the soup (creamy! crunchy!) and are just so much fun. A few creative toppings certainly make this healthy comfort food dish feel even more special.
Can I Freeze Soup?
Yes! Most soups freeze beautifully, and this is definitely one. First, cool any leftovers to room temperature, then transfer the soup into one or several containers and pop them into the freezer. If you think you'll just want to thaw one portion at a time, I suggest using a few smaller containers rather than one large one. It can stay in the freezer for up to a few months and is great for when you have a busy day! When you're ready to enjoy it, thaw the soup in the refrigerator for a day in advance and then reheat it how you like. Or, just take it right from the freezer into the microwave, making sure to stir it frequently for even re-heating.
Let's Talk Ingredients
Here's what you'll need for this recipe, as well as some thoughts, tips, and possible substitutions. If you make any substitutions, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below.
Salt and pepper
Carrots. The stars of this carrot soup recipe! Use orange carrots so they match the color of the squash.
Liquid of choice. My preference is to add about a cup of coconut milk (full-fat, the kind in the can!) and do the rest as water. Increasing the portion of coconut milk will yield a richer, more velvety soup. You can use vegetable stock instead of water if you prefer, but it's not necessary since the ginger flavor overwhelms a delicate stock.
Fresh ginger root. I don't recommend trying to substitute dried/powdered ginger. The ginger is really the flavor powerhouse in this healthy comfort food recipe, so fresh is the way to go.
Fresh lime juice (optional). Just a bit of lime transforms this whole soup and takes it in a very Thai-inspired direction.
Garnishes of choice. In the photos here, I've shown my bowl of soup with pepitas, sesame seeds, fresh cilantro, and a big drizzle of coconut cream. Cashews would also be great. Or maybe some crispy chick peas?? I'm a firm believer that you can never have too many garnishes!
This carrot soup recipe really has everything. It's velvety, a tad sweet, a tad spicy, and very cozy. You can make it as creamy as you like. It's nourishing for the body, but also soothing for the soul. This soup has definitely become a healthy comfort food go-to in our house, especially on very chilly January and February evenings.
My hint? Make a big pot of this on a Sunday evening and have leftovers all week! It keeps great in the fridge or freezer and makes for such an easy meal on a busy winter night. I've even been known to spoon this soup over tofu and veggies and call it a broth bowl, AND to use a few spoonfuls (cold) as a salad dressing. This is a very versatile soup!
I hope you'll give this carrot ginger soup a try! Incorporating the butternut squash is a simple and yet transformative upgrade to the classic.
It makes me so happy to hear from you and see your creations! Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this recipe. If you post a photo on Instagram, hashtag #TheRogueBrusselSprout and tag me (@TheRogueBrusselSprout) in the post text so that I'm sure to see it.
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Few c water and/or full-fat coconut milk (see ingredient notes in the post)
Few inches of fresh ginger root
Juice of a lime (optional)
Garnishes of choice
Dice the sweet onion. In a large soup pot with your cooking oil of choice, saute the onion with generous salt and pepper until tender and transparent. Don't caramelize it since it will impact the color of your soup.
Meanwhile, peel, seed, and cube the butternut squash. Peel and cut the carrots.
When the onion is done, add the squash and carrots to the pot. Cover the veggies with just barely enough liquid to submerge them (see liquid options in the post above; this will be some mix of water and coconut milk). Don't add too much! You can easily add more liquid later if needed.
Bring the soup to a boil.
While the liquid is heating, peel the woody outside from the ginger root and grate it on a fine grater, then add it to the pot.
Keep the pot at a low simmer until the squash and carrots are very tender, about 20-25 minutes.
Puree the soup completely, either using an immersion blender or by transferring in batches to a regular blender. The former is much easier, while the latter can yield a more velvety texture if you have a high-power blender.
Simmer for a few more minutes to bring the flavors together. If desired, you can add a bit more water or coconut milk to thin the soup to your desired texture.
If you want to go in a more Thai-inspired direction, add the juice of a lime and give the soup one final stir just before serving.