Carrot Leek Soup
Mess Level: Low
Yield: 2-4 Servings
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 35 min
For The Soup
- 1 lb Carrots
- 1 Leek
- 1 Medium Shallot
- ¼ Cup White Wine
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
- 4 Cups Vegetable Stock
- Salt to Taste
- Pepper to Taste
- Oil for Sauteeing
Optional Thyme Infused Oil
- 1 Bunch Thyme
- ¼ Cup Neutral Oil
- Peel the shallot and slice it into thin rings. Set aside a ¼ of them in a small bowl, and cover them in lemon juice to begin pickling; save the remaining shallot for the soup.
- Thinly slice the leek, then peel and cut the carrots into ¼ slices.
- Heat a soup pot to medium heat and add enough oil to lightly coat the bottom. Add the shallot and leek and saute them for a few minutes, keep your heat low enough to avoid browning them very much. Add salt to taste.
- Add the carrot and saute for 30 more seconds and add a bit more salt. Add half the bunch of thyme if using, then deglaze with the white wine and simmer until the wine is nearly gone.
- Add enough stock to cover the carrots by a half-inch. Bring to a simmer then cover and simmer on low until the carrots are very tender, about 20-30 minutes, then remove the thyme stems.
- Transfer the mixture to the blender along with one teaspoon of the lemon juice from the pickling shallots and (carefully!) blend until smooth, adding more stock until your desired consistency is reached. Taste and adjust as needed. Return to the pan and heat until the desired temperature is reached. Garnish with the pickled shallots, a drizzle of oil, and fresh cracked pepper.
- Optional Thyme Infused Oil: Strip the remaining thyme off its stems and heat the oil on the stove until it reaches 350 Fahrenheit. Fry the thyme for 30 seconds to 1 minute, just until crispy, then very carefully pour the whole mixture through a fine-mesh strainer. Transfer the thyme to some paper towels to drain and immediately sprinkle with salt. Allow the oil to cool then top the soup with the fried thyme and a drizzle of the infused oil.
Did You Make It? Tag Us!
- Vegan: Yes! This dish is naturally vegan.
- Gluten Free: Yes! This dish is naturally gluten free.
Slow Cooker: Follow these steps if you want to make it in a Slow Cooker:
- Complete this recipe through step 4, then transfer to the crockpot and cover the carrots with veggie broth. Cook on low for 6 hours, then complete the remaining steps.
Instant Pot: Follow these steps to make it in an Instant Pot:
- Use the saute setting on your instant pot and complete this recipe through step 4. Cover the carrots with the broth and pressure cook on high for 30 minutes. Use the manual release, then complete the remaining steps.
Meal Prep: Follow these steps if you want to prep ahead of time:
- Complete this recipe all the way through. Allow the soup to cool and store it in the fridge for up to a week. Keep the shallots in their pickling liquid and store in the fridge as well. The thyme oil will hold for two weeks on the counter, though the fried thyme won’t hold much longer than a day in a covered bowl on the counter so you may wish to make the thyme oil the day you want to eat the soup.
- When ready to eat the soup, heat on the stove stirring frequently until piping hot. Thin with more veggie broth or a little water as needed. Serve with the pickled shallots and fried thyme oil.
Why do you try to avoid browning the aromatics?
- The aim of this soup is to bring out the natural sweetness of summer carrots. This is best done by gently cooking everything rather than creating a darker flavor by caramelizing everything. No biggie if you get a bit of brown though.
This soup is a bit bitter, how can I fix it?
- If your carrots weren’t quite as sweet as you hoped just add a pinch of sugar.
Can I leave out the white wine?
- You can (though I highly recommend it), simply add a pinch of sugar to make up a bit of flavor.
Is the thyme-oil worth the work?
- I think so! However, I’ve made this soup multiple times, and not having thyme on hand has never stopped me from making it. You could certainly swap out any hearty herb you’d like such as oregano, rosemary, or sage.
Ramblings of a Line Cook
I was in the middle of making a carrot-leek soup and had been drinking a bit of the white wine I was cooking with, as is only proper on a Sunday afternoon, and I accidentally dumped the pickling liquid of some shallots that were meant for a different recipe into the soup. It was a brilliant mistake - The shallots had infused themselves into the lemon juice and it brightened the soup brilliantly.
I’ve made this soup a multitude of times since and I cannot get enough of it with a glass of pinot grigio and some warm sourdough bread with butter and salt. A grind of fresh cracked pepper, some pickled shallots on top, some fried thyme if I have it lying around.
It could be eaten on a warm summer day and chased with a popsicle or eaten in the middle of a snowstorm in the dead of winter (though there is no substitute for sweet, summer carrots fresh from the garden) with a hearty IPA. Simply put, you cannot go wrong when you let the vegetables speak for themselves.