This carrot leek soup brings the flavors of earthy root vegetables together with mellow leeks and vibrant fresh thyme. The result is a nourishing, delicate soup that's also comes together in a cinch. It's simple to make, and a perfect use of the cool-weather vegetables you'll find at your farmers market.
What's in it?
This soup is easy to make and made with simple ingredients you can find in just about any grocery store. Leeks, carrots, and celery form the bulk of the soup while fresh thyme gives a pleasant herbal note. Where a mushroom stew might be hearty, this carrot leek soup is light and delicate.
The vegetables and herbs simmer together in homemade chicken broth (you can also substitute vegetable stock or bone broth) until fall-apart tender. Then you'll add sour cream, which gives the soup a lovely creaminess, and blend them all together.
Tips for making good soup
Like most soups and stews, this recipe is both straightforward and simple. You begin first by sweating the vegetables with a little salt, then simmer them in hot broth until tender before pureeing the soup to a lovely, uniform creaminess.
Here are some more tips to keep in mind:
- Clean your leeks thoroughly. Leeks are grown in sandy soil and accumulate grit between their leaves. Clean them by soaking the leeks in water, draining, and giving them a final rinse to remove all the sand and dirt.
- Cut your vegetables into uniform pieces so that they cook evenly.
- Sweat the vegetables, don't sauté them. Because this soup has a delicate, fresh flavor you'll want to sweat your vegetables instead of sautéing them. Cook them in hot fat with a sprinkle of salt so that they release their liquid, becoming tender without browning.
- Cook your vegetables until they fall apart when pressed with a fork, but avoid cooking them much longer lest they taste too sweet or overcooked.
- Purée the soup completely, adding more liquid if necessary. This soup is meant to be delicate and smooth, so puree it completely before serving to ensure any large bites of carrot are suitably broken up.
- If you don't have an immersion blender, use an upright blender instead. Work in batches, filling the blender only ⅓ full at a time, to blend the soup until completely smooth.
Carrot Leek Soup Recipe
- Melt the ghee in the bottom of a Dutch oven or heavy stock pot over medium heat, and then drop in the leeks and thyme leaves. Sprinkle them with salt, stir, and then cover the pot. Allow the leeks to sweat in the hot fat about 5 minutes, or until they begin to turn tender.
- Dump the celery and carrots into the pot, and then pour in the chicken broth. Increase the heat to medium-high. When the contents of the pot reach a boil, turn down the heat to medium, and simmer, covered, about 25 minutes or until the vegetables are fall-apart tender.
- Turn off the heat, and then stir in the sour cream. Puree with an immersion blender until perfectly smooth, and then ladle into bowls to serve hot. Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Make it dairy-free by swapping olive oil for ghee and blending soaked cashew nuts and a squeeze of lemon in place of the sour cream.
Swap shallots for the leeks, and add lemongrass and ginger in place of fresh thyme. Swap the sour cream for full-fat coconut milk.
Top the soup with toasted mustard seeds and microgreens or with toasted pumpkin seeds.