Day 97: Chilled Carrot Soup with Honey ♥

Chilled Carrot Soup with Honey, bright with spices and small kick of cayenne, sweetened w a drizzle of honey.
graphic button small size size 10 A simple carrot soup, bright with spices and a small kick of cayenne, sweetened with a drizzle of honey, soured with a splash of lemon juice. Served cold and dreamy good! (Looking for a carrot soup recipe serve to serve hot? I recommend my long-time favorite, Laura's Carrot Soup.) graphic button small size size 10

~recipe & photo updated 2011 & 2014, recipe republished 2014~
~more recently updated recipes~

2005 Original: I just love pretty food! And this is very very pretty, a deep autumn orange. And it calls for stuff that's likely already on hand. And it's very healthful – only 90 calories a cup and no fat! And it's cheap, to boot!

All these things make this soup a winner, no matter what! Still, be aware that the texture and taste are, to my taste anyhow, a bit unusual, a bit of a surprise. The lemon slices do jazz up the presentation – and while the drizzled honey falls to the bottom of the bowl, by the time you get there, you're spooning up the last drops because it tastes soooo good in contrast to the (mild) heat of the cayenne.

2011 Update: Yes, the color really is that almost-psychadelic orange! This soup surprises, you expect it to taste earthy and carroty but instead, the carrots provide bulk and sweetness but the flavors that come forward, especially when the soup is served very cold, are the spices, the "sweet 'n' sour" of honey and lemon. I loved this soup the second time just as much as the first.

"I think it is quite simply delicious." ~ Anonymous


Active time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 60 minutes to finish plus several hours to chill
Makes 5 cups

5 cups water plus bouillon, commercial chicken broth or homemade vegetable stock
1 large onion, chopped
1 pound carrots, peeled, cut in half-inch pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (the kick, I found this a perfect proportion, not too much, not too little)
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt to taste (I needed none)
Very thin lemon slices
Additional honey

Place the water/bouillon / stock in a large pot or Dutch oven over MEDIUM HIGH. Chop the onion and carrots, add as prepped to the still-warming liquid. Add the remaining ingredients (except the finishing ingredients) and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and let simmer until the carrots are completely cooked, about 40 minutes.

Transfer to a blender in small batches (see IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP), blend til smooth, in batches if needed. Place in a covered container and refrigerate for several hours for flavors to meld.

To serve, add the additional 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice and salt to taste. Place soup in bowls and top with lemon slices and drizzle with honey.

WORK SMART Get a small head start in the cooking process by starting the liquids while preparing the other ingredients. This trick works with all soups.
BEST CANNED CHICKEN BROTH According to Cooks Illustrated, the Swanson's 100% Natural Goodness product is best among canned chicken broths - I get the big can, use what I need, then keep the rest in a glass container in the fridge to use within a week or so – if nothing else, the dog loves it on kibbles!
NO HOMEMADE CHICKEN STOCK Don't use homemade chicken stock for cold soups, it has so much natural collagen that the soup will be clumpy and globby.
TO REDUCE THE SODIUM Use a homemade vegetable broth, not a commercial stock.
NO MORE BABY CARROTS Regular readers know that when it comes to cooking carrots, I'm biased to peeling and chopping the real thing because pre-peeled baby carrots in bags simply lack flavor. To gauge whether the extra time is worth it for you, consider that the entire prep time for this soup, including peeling/chopping the carrots and onion, assembling all the ingredients took twelve minutes.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP Hot liquids will expand and EXPLODE in the blender. Fill your blender only half full with the hot liquid and even then, firmly hold onto the top when you push the start button.
BLENDER VS IMMERSION BLENDER The blender is necessary - the carrots were too much for my favorite immersion blender.
TO CHILL QUICKLY The original recipe suggests a fast-chill process: Place the blended soup in a metal bowl placed in a larger bowl of ice and cold water for about 30 minutes.
SERVING IDEA Pour into small chilled glasses with slivers of lemon over the rims. Voila, a virgin apertif, a refreshing I-could-have-had-a-carrot-V-8.

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~ Paleo Carrot Soup ~
~ Bourbon-Glazed Carrots ~
~ Creamy Carrot Pur&e;e ~
~ "Wonderful" Glazed Turnips & Carrots ~
~ more carrot recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ Laura's Carrot Soup ~
~ Mashed Potatoes & Carrots ~
~ Baked Cabbage Wedges ~
~ more carrot recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column


~ Tomato Gazpacho ~
~ Chilled Zucchini Soup Shooters ~
~ Raw Corn Chowder ~
~ more cold soup recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ Favorite Summer Soup Recipes ~
~ Cantaloupe-Tomato Gazpacho ~
~ Fruity Gazpacho ~
~ Sweet-Corn Soup with Shrimp ~
~ more cold soup recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column

A Veggie Venture is home of 'veggie evangelist' Alanna Kellogg and the
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2005, 2011 & 2014

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Since when are chickens vegetables?

    Chicken stock as an ingredient in a recipe nullifies that recipe as being vegetarian! I am shocked that this would not occur to someone who describes herself as a "veggie evangelist." So much for evangelical fervor--but then we know that from people like Jimmy Swaggert! Shame on you!!!

  2. Hi APNY ~ A Veggie Venture is 100% vegetable recipes, often but not exclusively vegetarian. I'm sorry if you've arrived here from a board or some other source that made you expect vegetarian recipes. Please be assured that most of the recipes are indeed vegetarian, or like this one, easily adjusted. Thanks for stopping by, I hope you'll come back often, this time knowing what you'll find.

  3. The chicken broth ruins it. Have you seen an egg farm lately? Be assured that any broth from chickens comes from spent hens, an industry term denoting animals that are within 18 months as good as dead from the conditions they are forced to endure. Watch the video at: . You will not eat chicken broth again, that is, if you call yourself a moral and kind-hearted soul. Thank you for listening. - Pamela R.

  4. Hi Pamela ~ I respect and honor your choices. Please, in turn, respect mine, even when you disagree passionately.

  5. Well, to offer something that isn't an outright attack of your character. I recently have made this, and I think it is quite simply delicious. I'm going to be stealing your veggie goodness recipes here on out! Finally veggies that aren't soaked in butter or completely devoid of any flavor. I'm not a big fan of carrots but I'm definitely holding onto this one, here's to hoping the hubs thinks it's tasty, too!

    (If it helps, I didn't think this was a vegetarian site; merely recipes from someone who liked their veggies as much as most men seem to love their beef.)

  6. Hi Anonymous ~ Thanks for 'getting it'! And I'm so glad you and the hubs both like the soup! Must remake this one ... I can see it in little martini glasses that arrived recently!

  7. Maybe an old recipe, but still a good one! Carrot soup doesn't get enough love -- this is wonderful. Thanks.

  8. How is this if you make it hot? Does it lose something?

  9. Kitchen Riffs ~ Thanks! I just love this soup!

    Anonymous ~ Y’know, I’ve never tried it hot! It obviously starts off hot so maybe give that a try first and then you can compare and report in!

  10. Myrna in West Palm Beach, FLAugust 15, 2014

    Occasionally I serve suppers to our local community theater casts between matinee and evening performances and SOMETIMES there are leftovers. One of the routine menus includes carrots, which I take home. I shall save this recipefor just such an occasion ... In fact I may just go buy carrots and make the soup right away and not wait for the next production! We do love carrot soup that much!

  11. Hi Alanna
    I wanted to say that I am looking forward to trying this, today Borchst is on the go. This carrot soup is next in line. Also want to say that I admire your tact and politeness in response to the first two commenters above. That would have been very difficult for me. You Rock. One of the first things I read when I started visiting your site is that it is not vegetarian, so understanding why people attack is beyond me. My soup needs attention. Gotta go

  12. Myrna ~ This is a perfect soup for warm Florida weather, hearty but chilled. I hope you love it too!

    Anonymous ~ Why thank you, that means the world. I go back and forth between understanding people’s concerns and wishing we could just all be kind and generous to one another. But thanks for noticing. Let me know how the borscht goes, so so good, one of my oldest “official” recipes!

  13. Borscht turned out very good. I don't have a "official" recipe, just do it as my very first boss; waitressing from a high school era job showed me.( gosh 38 years ago) Never quite the same but always similar .

  14. Anonymous ~ Aiii , silly me, I assumed you were using my recipe for Karelian Borscht! Love that your recipe goes way back. Mine too!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna