Orange Carrot Soup

orange carrot soupCarrots are so cheap, why wouldn’t we all cook them more often? That may not sound like a very generous thought, but seriously, this Orange Carrot Soup is probably less than a buck a serving, and you would never, ever know it – in fact, it seems fancy. And it seems even fancier if you serve it chilled, because chilled soups speak of Classiness with a capital C, or at least that’s what I’ve always felt.

The little bit of rice adds body to the soup, though it’s not strictly necessary.  And healthy, wow. Top the soup with minced fresh herbs of your choice, or a spoonful of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt. Some lightly cooked corn kernels are also pretty and provide texture.

Orange Carrot Soup


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons uncooked long or short grain rice
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher or coarse salt, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper (if you have white pepper it will keep the soup a purer color)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • Finely grated zest and juice of one orange
  • 1/2 cup half and half (optional)

1. In a stockpot heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, rice, salt, pepper and sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes until everything is well coated and the onions softened. Add the broth, raise the heat to high, bring the soup to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes.

2. Add the orange zest, and using an immersion blender blend the soup until very smooth. You can also transfer the soup to a blender or food processor in batches, and puree it until smooth, transferring each batch of soup to another pot or serving.  Also, after the soup is pureed, you can put it through a sieve for total silky smoothness, but I rarely do.  If you are using the half and half, add it now.

3. Taste, and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve hot, warm, or chill and serve cold.

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