I am a certified Carrot Soup Lover (totally a thing) – and this roasted carrot and coconut milk soup with quinoa is the most recent version to steal my heart.
This carrot and coconut milk soup is pretty similar to this beautifully simple roasted carrot soup recipe, but with a few more ingredients for added flavor AND a hearty swirl of quinoa for a bit of heft and protein.
It’s lightly spiced, deliciously smooth, and surprisingly hearty.
Why Roast Carrots for Carrot Soup?
Roasting veggies creates magic – we all know this. It caramelizes the sugars in veggies – especially root vegetables like carrots – squeezing out all of the flavor it can.
When creating this soup recipe, I asked myself – is it REALLY necessary to roast the carrots? Because if we can save having to wash a baking pan and make it all in one pot, I’m all for the efficiency.
So I made two batches side-by-side – one with roasted carrots, and one that skips the roasting step, instead cooking the carrots directly in the soup. And you know what? Both were good, but the roasted version was markedly better. It just simply had far more depth of flavor – a little sweeter, a little earthier, and a lot more “get my spoon back in there, I want more.”
Verdict? Roast those carrots for extra deliciousness. But if you don’t want to, you’ll totally be okay.
For this carrot soup recipe, we have the following ingredients:
- Carrots – shocking, I know!
- Curry powder – just enough for some lightly spiced flavor
- Vegetable broth
- Coconut milk
- Salt & pepper
To make it, you roast the carrots and make the quinoa. While those are cooking, you sauté the aromatics and get the broth going. Puree, add coconut milk, ladle into bowls, and add spoonfuls of cooked quinoa to the finished version.
For this recipe, I was inspired by this carrot soup recipe from BBC Good Food and by the Spiced Carrot & Red Pepper Soup with Couscous recipe in the Smitten Kitchen Everyday cookbook (affiliate link; worth the price for the red lentil soup recipe alone). I loved the idea of a carrot soup with a swirl of grain-like pasta. I thought I’d try quinoa for the added protein quotient, and there is just something really satisfying about the mix of the two.
Creamy Roasted Carrot Soup with Coconut Milk & Quinoa
For the roasted carrots
- 1 pound carrots (peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Pinch salt and pepper
For the quinoa
- 1/4 cup red quinoa (white quinoa works too)
- 1/2 cup water
For the rest of the soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion (diced)
- 3 medium garlic cloves (minced)
- 1 teaspoon mild curry powder (or your favorite curry powder)
- 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (plus a bit more for thinning the soup if you prefer)
- 1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
- 14 ounces canned coconut milk (1 can; full fat)
- 1/2 teaspooon kosher salt (plus more to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (plus more to taste)
- a few springs of parsley, chopped (optional)
Roast the carrots
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 degrees Celsius). Spread the carrots on a large baking sheet and drizzle with the 2 teaspoons oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Toss with your hands or a spatula to coat the carrots evenly and roast until tender and dark golden brown on the portions of carrots that are touching the pan, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
Cook the quinoa
- Rinse the quinoa well and drain water. Place in a small saucepan and add the 1/2 cup water. Put over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook until fluffy and tender, about 15 minutes. Alternatively, cook according to package instructions.
Make the soup
- You can start this while the carrots are roasting and the quinoa is cooking.
- Place a large soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil. When hot, add the onion and a little pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender, about 8 minutes.
- Add the garlic and curry powder. Cook, stirring constantly, for one minute.
- Add the vegetable broth and the ginger and cook until the ginger is tender, about 5 minutes.
- At this point, if your carrots are done roasting, you can add them to the soup. Otherwise, remove the soup from the heat until your carrots are roasted.
- Once the carrots are done, transfer them to the pot. Working in batches with a blender or using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Return to the soup pot (if necessary).
- Stir in the coconut milk. Increase heat to gently heat the soup to your desired temperature.
- Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired. If you prefer a thinner soup, you can add more broth at this time. I like this one a bit on the thicker side – like a thin queso – so it will have enough heft to hold the quinoa on top.
- To serve, ladle soup into bowls and add 2 tablespoons of quinoa to the center. Stir around the edges if desired to help incorporate the quinoa (and because it is kind of fun and looks pretty!) Top with a bit of chopped parsley if desired and serve.