Sunday, December 30, 2018

Carrot-Coconut Soup: Simple & Thai-Inspired for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

In the midst of lots of not so healthy holiday eating, I am keeping it simple for this Sunday's soup, Mark Bittman's Carrot-Coconut Soup from his website. But simple can still be rich, with layers of flavors from Southeast Asian ingredients. I liked the description of this soup and have been craving Thai food and loved the sunny orange color it promised.

Bittman says, "Creamy soups are equally good without cream. Coconut milk, Southeast Asian flavors, and a little heat are an unbeatable combination in this pureed carrot soup."

Carrot-Coconut Soup
(Serves 4)
2 Tbsp good-quality vegetable oil
4 scallions, white & green parts separated & chopped
3 stalks lemongrass, trimmed, bruised & cut into 2-inch lengths
2 Tbsp chopped fresh ginger
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
1 or more small fresh hot chiles (like Thai or jalapeño), chopped

about 1 lbs carrots, chopped
4 cups coconut milk, or 2 (14-oz cans) plus a little water
2 limes: 1 zested & juiced, 1 quartered for serving
1 tsp sugar (optional)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

Put the oil in a large pot over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the white parts of the scallions along with the lemongrass, ginger, garlic, and chiles. Cook, stirring and turning occasionally with a spatula, until the garlic is golden and the scallions and chiles begin to soften, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the carrots and a large pinch of salt and stir to combine. Add the coconut milk, lime zest and juice, and 2 cups water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat so it bubbles gently but steadily. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are very tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove the pieces of lemongrass, then use an immersion blender to purée the soup in the pot. Or let the soup cool a little, carefully purée it in a blender (working in batches if necessary), and return it to the pot. (You can make the soup in advance up to this point. Cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 2 days.) Reheat the soup until it’s hot without letting it come to a boil. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding the sugar if you think the tanginess and heat need balancing. Garnish with cilantro and green parts of the scallions, and serve with lime wedges.

Notes/Results: I kept the recipe pretty much the same as Bittman with the exception of slightly reducing the coconut milk and adding a low-sodium not-chicken bouillon cube for extra flavor. I did end up adding a pinch of sugar and the soup was well-balanced with it's sweet, salty, tangy, spicy, and savory notes. Really delicious if you are a fan of Thai soups and excellent with rice to round it out for a light meal. I would happily make it again.

Linking up to I Heart Cooking Club where this week it is December Potluck--any recipe from any of our IHCC chefs. 

 Now let's take a look into the Souper Sundays kitchen:

Lovely Tina of Squirrel Head Manor shared a fish soup for Aurelia & Jamie's of Love actually for Food 'N Flix and said, "In the spirit of that story line I made a Portuguese Fish Stew. This is a recipe from David Leite’s book, The New Portuguese Table. I know if I had picked the prime minister and Natalie story line I would’ve gone with chocolate biscuits. ... This is an easy stew to make and while it doesn't have potatoes or rice, it is very filling if served with homemade bread."

My pal Debra of Eliot's Eats brought a Holiday Hero Sandwich and said, "Use this for your next tailgate (or Superbowl Party or Christmas Eve festivities). I made this for our Christmas Eve buffet last year. Be a Holiday Hero and construct this sandwich this year (or for a New Year’s Eve party next year). ... Adjust the ingredients to the size of your loaf. Get really crazy and use a loaf you have to measure in meters!"

Thank you Tina & Debra for joining in this week! 
About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays (going since 2008) now has a format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches at any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:
  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up her in order to be included in the weekly round-up.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to it on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (optional).

Have a happy, healthy week and a Happy New Year!


  1. Love the flavors in this soup and if it's from MB it's almost always a winner. I recently signed up for his email list and am inspired whenever it shows up in my inbox!

  2. Happy New Year, Deb! The soup does sound great. I see more and more soup and salads in our future (which will mean I will be linking up more)!

  3. Coconut milk based soups really sound wonderful. I had one in Paris last month that was delicious. And I did buy coconut milk — now I just have to get to it! Yours sounds easy and good.

    Best... mae at

  4. Note- this may be a duplicate comment, I had trouble signing in to google so disregard one of the comments :-)

    I agree with Lydia & Mae, the coconut milk base is always a good addition. It’s so ready and smooth.
    Hoping to join you more this year! I brought a colorful taco chili this week.

  5. Happy New Year Deb. I rarely use coconut milk in soups, should give it a try some day as yours sounds wonderful.

  6. Carrot soup is always such a brilliant orange color and I love the Thai flavors.

    Love the idea of a holiday hero. It's perfect for any celebration!


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