Carrot Soup With Toasted Spices and Pecans 2.000

Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Dinner in Minutes Feb 26, 2019

Even folks who like carrots sometimes will pause at a soup with this vegetable as the star ingredient. This soup passes muster with that audience, however, thanks to texture and a blend of toasted spices.

Don't skip the pecans, which complement the carrots' sweetness.

2 - 3

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 2-3 servings; makes about 4 cups

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound carrots (no tops)
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk or whole milk
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin (may substitute ground coriander)
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, for serving


Cut the onion into 1/2-inch dice. Peel and mince the garlic.

Melt the butter in a deep pot over medium-low heat. Stir in the onion, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt; cover and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the onion has softened. Meanwhile, scrub the carrots well, then trim and cut them into thin rounds.

Increase the heat to medium; stir in the carrots, milk and water. Once the liquid begins to bubble at the edges, cover and cook for 20 minutes, until the carrots become tender.

While the carrots are cooking, toast the pecans in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat for a few minutes, until fragrant and lightly browned. Transfer to a cutting board to cool; coarsely chop them, if desired. Add the cumin, celery seed, crushed red pepper flakes and black peppercorns to the skillet; toast for a few minutes until fragrant, then pour into a dedicated spice grinder or use a mortar and pestle to crush and blend them.

Uncover the pot and add all but a pinch of the toasted, crushed spices; use an immersion (stick) blender to puree the mixture into a smooth soup. Stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Divide among individual bowls. Garnish with the remaining toasted spices, a dollop of sour cream or yogurt, and the toasted pecans.

NOTE: If you use coconut milk, transfer the can's contents to a container and use an immersion (stick blender) to homogenize it, or whir in a blender. 

Rate it

Recipe Source

Based on a recipe from “Cooking in the Moment,” by Andrea Reusing (Clarkson Potter, 2011).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at