Last weekend, we headed to the garden to grab the rest of the rainbow carrots. The kids and I had so much fun pulling them up, “oohing” and “ahhing” over the colors and shapes. Each pull was like a new surprise. Would it be yellow? Purple? Pink? Orange?
We ended up with so many carrots that I decided to make what has become a favorite in our house: Creamy Carrot Soup with pesto. We’ve made this soup multiple times with all kinds of pesto, depending on what we have around. That’s the great thing about pesto, you can use any greens and nuts you want (even the carrot tops)! I happened to have some pine nuts in the pantry, and a fresh bag of baby spinach from our Agritopia CSA share. Since I’m dairy-free, I substituted nutritional yeast for parmesan cheese. All of the parmesan flavor, none of the lactose!
This soup is packed with vitamins and flavor, and the pesto really puts it over the top. It also comes together in about 30 minutes, and the kids (who are not usually soup fans) eat it all up. Don’t have rainbow carrots? Not to worry, just use a big bag of orange carrots. Enjoy!
- For the soup:
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 1 cup green onion, chopped
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1.5 pounds carrots
- 4 cups reduced sodium free range chicken broth (check label for gluten-free if you need it) (substitute vegetable broth to make this recipe vegetarian or vegan)
- For the pesto:
- 4 cups spinach
- 1/2 cup pine nuts (pine nuts are expensive, so feel free to subsitute with pecans or walnuts)
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. pepper
- 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
- Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and 1/2 tsp. salt and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.
- Roughly chop carrots and add to pot. Stir in broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover (leave lid slightly ajar), and cook until carrots are very tender, about 20 minutes.
- Using an immersion blender, blend soup until pureed. Alternate method: ladle soup into a blender and puree.
- Add spinach, garlic, pine nuts, and nutritional yeast to food processor. Pulse until blended. Scrape down sides of bowl with a spatula. With food processor on, stream 2-3 Tbsp. olive oil into bowl until pesto mixture is to desired consistency.
- Serve carrot soup with a dollop of fresh pesto.