Vegan Garam Masala Carrot Soup
As you can imagine, one of my favorite parts of wedding planning was organizing and deciding on our menu. Since I rarely cook for a large crowd, it was so much fun to test different dishes and hors d’oeuvres, and decide on a well-rounded menu that everyone would love and enjoy. (*Or, at the very least, that we hoped would.)
One of my absolute favorites was a curried carrot bisque served in shot glasses. It was delicate, warmly spiced, and creamy, yet the carrots shone through. Sadly, I didn’t get to enjoy any of it on said wedding day. I was too terrified I would spill carrot soup onto my dress —> a very likely scenario given my level of clumsiness.
But I have been meaning to recreate some version of it for this space to share with you! This vegan garam masala carrot soup is my only little twist. The addition of full-fat coconut milk (*the soup is dairy-free!) makes this carrot soup insanely creamy and smooth. This soup unintentionally checks all of the boxes: gluten-free, vegan (and thus, vegetarian), paleo, dairy-free. The works. It is the little carrot soup that could.
The absolute best part? Today’s carrot soup recipe can be made with just a sheet pan and blender, so clean up is a breeze! Let me explain…
You might be wondering exactly how this is possible.
Since the soup itself contains very few ingredients (many of which you might have on hand already, making this soup ideal for last-minute dinners), the star ingredients, carrots and yellow onions, are roasted in the oven until tender, caramelized, and concentrated in flavor. The vegetables are tossed with garam masala, a pinch of cayenne pepper, coconut oil, and salt.
It is perfect for those nights when you crave homemade soup, but simply don’t want feel like standing over the stove. The oven does all the work for you.
OH! And it gets even better. You simply place the coconut milk in your blender, add boiling water (I use my electric kettle, but you could easily just heat water in your microwave for a few minutes), a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and add all of those delicious, shrunken roasted vegetables.
Puree until smooth. Serve hot straight from the blender. It’s that simple, really. As someone who loves to make soup on a fairly regular basis, it is one of my favorites.
If you’re not familiar with garam masala, it is an Indian spice blend that usually contains peppercorns, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, cloves, bay leaf, and cumin.
It is one of my favorite ground spices, because it is warm, spiced, yet delicate. It doesn’t overpower ingredients very easily and pairs extremely well with so many vegetables. This acorn squash and sweet potato soup soup also uses garam masala, and is great for fall or winter.
I highly recommend investing in a little bottle of garam masala, because you’ll end up turning to it time and time again in the kitchen – but you can make your own from scratch!
Every brand you buy will vary a bit in ratios of spices, but this basic recipe is a great starting point. Whatever is easier for you and works with what you have on hand!
*If you do not have garam masala and want to make this soup in a pinch, you can substitute with a medium spiced curry powder (again, curry powders vary a lot in spice and heat level, so I would reduce the quantity by a half teaspoon and add more later, if you feel it does not have enough depth of flavor!).
Lastly, if you’re wondering if you can substitute light coconut milk for this recipe – the answer is yes! I’ve made it with both full-fat and light coconut milk, and enjoy both versions. But I absolutely prefer the full-fat version. It makes just a small bowlful much more substantial and filling.
OH! Oh. And I’ve decided microgreens are the new savory sprinkle. They make everything better. #garnishlikeaboss
Vegan Garam Masala Carrot Soup
- 1 and 1/2 lbs medium carrots, trimmed, peeled, sliced lengthwise, and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 medium yellow onions, chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons (liquid state) coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons ground garam masala (*see note)
- small pinch of ground cayenne pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 can (13 or 14 ounces) full-fat coconut milk (or light coconut milk)
- juice of half a lime
- freshly ground black pepper
- microgreens, for garnishing (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 C) with a rack in the center position. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. Place the carrots and onions on the sheet pan, drizzle with coconut oil (or extra virgin olive oil, if using), ground garam masala, cayenne pepper, and salt. Toss the vegetables with your hands to evenly coat the vegetables. Spread into an even, thin layer.
- Roast the carrots and onions until lightly caramelized and very fork tender, tossing them halfway through, about 25 to 35 minutes.
- Place the coconut milk (if desired, reserve about 1 - 2 tablespoons for drizzling and garnishing the soup) and 1 and 1/4 cups boiling hot water in a high capacity blender. If using a smaller blender, you may need to do this step in batches. Using the foil, transfer the roasted carrots and onions to the blender. Add the lime juice. Puree until very smooth and creamy. If the soup is too thick, add a few tablespoons of hot water at a time until desired consistency is reached. Season the soup to taste with salt, pepper, and additional lime juice (if desired).
- Serve the soup hot from the blender, garnishing with a drizzle of coconut milk, olive oil, and fresh micrograms as desired.
Tips For Success:
- If you want to make your own garam masala, this basic recipe is a great starting point.
- If you do not have garam masala and want to make this soup in a pinch, you can substitute with a medium spiced curry powder (I would reduce the quantity by a half teaspoon and adjust later, as curry powders vary greatly in intensity.
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