creamy carrot orange soup | the vanilla bean blog

It’s been cold here, colder than we’ve known. I’ve found myself hiding in layers of sweaters and socks and hand-me-down quilts. Our house creaks and booms as the wind tries to make it’s way in, but it cannot find us here. We all huddle close, eating popcorn and watching movies and losing ourselves in familiar books.

Soup and bread seemed like logical choices the past few days. After too many weeks of too many treats, my body begs for simple, clean foods: dug from the earth, and plucked from a tree.

‘The cold finds the skin but doesn’t find the heart. What I didn’t know then was that the cold constricts the blood vessels, which is important when one needs to staunch a hemorrhage, when one needs to stop the blood from flowing. So I’ll take my frosty windows and white world just as long as it pulls, pushes so the heart finds warmth and beats stronger, a fire, a flame, a Caribbean sea, a cup of coffee, you and you and you and me.’ – Melody Heide

A few things:

*I think this is my favorite part of Downton Abbey: if Downton Abbey took place entirely on Facebook. (spoiler alert)

*I received Tartine 3 for Christmas – it’s beautiful.

*My dear friend Melody wrote that paragraph above; the rest of her piece is here.

*Chia Lemonade! I love these photograph.

*I have a little interview in this month’s Spenser magazine, and also in the Huffington Post.


creamy carrot orange soup | the vanilla bean blog

Creamy Carrot Orange Soup
adapted from the Moosewood Daily Special

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup yellow onion, chopped small
1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced thin
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup crème fraîche (or sour cream)
zest of 1 orange
1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the butter over medium heat in a large stock pot or dutch oven. Add the onions and a good pinch of salt, and saute them until they are soft, but not browned, 4 or 5 minutes. Add the carrots and cook them for 10 minutes, then add the stock and increase the heat to medium high. Bring the stock to a boil, and then lower the heat and simmer the carrots until they are soft, about 30 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk the crème fraîche with a little bit of the hot broth, then stir it into the soup. Add the orange zest and orange juice to the soup and stir to combine. Blend the soup, using a blender or a stick blender, until smooth. Finish with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
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41 Responses to creamy carrot orange soup

  1. oh yes yes yes! carrot soup is one of my great favorites, and this looks like a delightful version that we’ll all love in my house. My husband calls it “orange slurry” :). I’ve never had a carrot soup flavored with orange juice before! I can’t wait to try this one! (and yes indeed it is SOUP TIME — last night we had Parsnip Apple Soup, have you ever had that? super great)

  2. This looks like the best thing on a colder than cold day.

  3. Tartine 3 is still on a way to my place, can’t wait 🙂 I can see that a carrot soup will warm you up, I like it so much.

  4. I am exactly the same – I only feel like having fresh, clean foods after the holidays’ splurge… This looks absolutely divine and I’m so tempted to try one day soon!

  5. Oh man, this looks amazing. I’ll just have to try it. LOVING the bread book, by the way! I had to haul ye olde bread machine out of the basement and dust it off… Never realized how much I missed the smell of yeast rising until recently.

    ~ Country Girl’s Daybook
    Recently posted: a mini movie review + Walter Mitty’s clementine cake. –>

  6. Laura says:

    Oh that passage is something fierce. Thanks for sharing it, miss.

    And yes. We’ve been huddled in with all of the familiar comforts and each other. Kind of nice actually–a forced/needed slow-down. Lots of satisfying and simple food for us too. The bright sunshine colour of that soup is beautiful. Love your interview on HuffPo! 🙂 xo

  7. Lindsey says:

    I agree with Laura above, this soup is such a welcome colorful brightness in the thick of this freeze! Lovely and simple flavors and looks so beautiful. Congrats again on the Huffington Post interview, a very refreshing read!

  8. I love the Downton Abbey on Facebook piece, so good! Also, I just made something very similar to this soup to warm up with this crazy weather we are having! : )

  9. Sini says:

    This soup is lovely, a true pick-me-up soup. Carrots and orange go so well together!

  10. Megan says:

    Sarah, these photos are SO LOVELY. Not that this is surprising, but they struck me even more than usual. I have a giant bunch of carrots that I think deserve to be made into this soup, and I love the idea of orange zest to brighten the whole dish. I will be making this one soon!

  11. Rauchelle says:

    This soup looks great, can it be frozen?

  12. very interesting – love the bright colors and OJ in soup. stay warm.

  13. I love carrot-orange soup and this recipe looks perfect! It’s pretty too!

  14. Kathryn says:

    Beautiful and bright and life-affirming! Just the thing on a grey January day. Hope you’re staying warm; so excited to see you in so many places online! xo

  15. I can even begin to imagine how cold it’s been for you guys lately! Huge congrats to you on all your features lately, it’s so well deserved xx

  16. Kelsey says:

    I could eat this, with a few thick pieces of sourdough, for the rest of my life. Truly. Warm hugs and heart to you, woman. You inspire me.

  17. Tieghan says:

    This just what the end of my day needs! Love the flavors and that gorgeous color!

  18. Sarah B. says:

    Stunning Sarah. Congrats on that huff post feature yayyy!!! I love this soup so much, so pretty! xo stay warm!!

  19. The soup is gorgeous! I too am craving fresh, nourishing flavors after all that holiday excess. Sending warm wishes your way!

  20. I can’t get enough soup this month! This looks delicious – I love the idea of fresh orange juice with the carrots. Can’t wait to try this.

  21. you have made it look so yummy I think I will try it even though I am not usually a carrot soup fan. I have to take a trip to the market this afternoon. I have been wanting to photograph some carrots and now I know what I will do with them afterwards. It is going to be very cold here the rest of the week. Soup is good for that.

  22. Greg Urbano says:

    Appreciating your food photography here!

  23. Rachel says:

    Oh my word. That Downtown Abby FB page is hysterical! Needed that laugh today.

  24. Angela Brown says:

    Love the pictures in this post! It’s been so cold here too (NYC); all I’ve been eating is hot soups for days! Years ago, I was in love with this one particular recipe for carrot and ginger soup. Somewhere in my travels, I lost the recipe and haven’t found one I like quite as much since. This one sounds great…I’m looking forward to trying it out this weekend. Thanks for sharing!

  25. Kenza Saadi says:

    This is just wonderful! Thank you.
    I like to add turmeric and at times a bit of curry.
    The photos on your blog are beautiful and a great inspiration. Thank you again!

  26. I’m so in love with these cream swirls on top! (I can never get that right in soups I’ve made!) This soup sounds like the perfect anecdote for this crazy weather we’ve been having. Cheerful and vibrant but warming and comforting at the same time. 🙂

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  31. Olivia says:

    I love this recipe! Made it twice now and it is has such a nice, tangy flavor and a beautiful color, just like in the photos… I recommend stirring in a little pesto with the cream if you like that flavor. Not only does it leave beautiful green swirls, the saltiness of it really complements the soup. But other than that, leave this recipe just like it is! A great soup, especially when it gets cold outside. Thanks for posting this!

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  34. This is a recipe i’ve never tried. Sounds delcious though. Will be giving this a go for sure. Thanks


  35. stephanie says:

    Sounds very tasty. I like carrot soup but never with orange….worth a try.

  36. Bela says:

    Just polished off a bowl of this! So tasty. I was surprised how much the orange flavour came through, I thought the carrot would overpower everything but very good. I added some ground ginger which cut the sweetness just enough to give it a kick. 🙂 Will make again!

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