This creamy carrot and pumpkin soup has such amazing flavor you will think you're at a 5 star restaurant, but it's actually extra easy to make.
Prepare to be amazed at the few simple ingredients and the quick and easy recipe for this creamy soup that is perfect for pumpkin season. The brown butter really takes the flavor over the top and a few potatoes and half-and-half make this delicious soup extra creamy.
Why you'll love this pumpkin carrot soup recipe
- It's easy to make! There's no sauteeing of ingredients first. Just boil the veggies and then puree' everything in a blender.
- It's beautiful and impressive looking. Look at these photos - the color is gorgeous and you can garnish any number of ways to take the soup to a whole new level.
- It's good for you. Carrots, pumpkins and potatoes, right? True, there's some butter and half-and-half, but the vegetables with all of their healthy benefits like immune system boosting Vitamin C are still there.
- You can make it in advance up to several days and then reheat at time to serve. It's even better the next day!
- Pumpkin - If you have fresh pumpkin you can cook it with the carrots and potatoes. You can also use pumpkin puree. Just make sure it's just pumpkin and not pie filling with other ingredients.
- Potatoes - Red potatoes have the creamiest texture.
- Carrots - Fresh, sweet carrots that you have washed thoroughly. We do not recommend baby carrots.
- Bay Leaves
- Salt - for the water you'll cook the veggies in, and the soup itself.
- Butter - Salted or unsalted works fine. You just may need to adjust your added salt accordingly.
- Half-and-half - This is available in most grocery stores, but if you don't have access you can make your own by mixing whole milk with heavy cream in a 1:1 ratio.
- Water - You'll reserve the water you cook the vegetables in to act as vegetable broth or vegetable stock.
- Vanilla - Use the best quality you can afford.
- Cinnamon - This is an optional ingredient.
See recipe card for full ingredient list and quantities.
How to make it
- Prep the vegetables. Wash, peel if needed and cut into pieces.
- Add the carrots, potatoes and diced pumpkin if you're using fresh to a large pot or a dutch oven and cover with water, adding salt and bay leaves.
- Bring to a boil and cook until the veggies are tender when pierced with a fork, about 12-15 minutes.
- While the vegetables cook you can brown the butter. Tips and details can be found here: How to Make Brown Butter.
- Drain the vegetables, reserving the water. Discard the bay leaves.
- Put all of the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Unless you have a large blender you will probably need to blend in two batches or use an immersion blender directly in the stock pot.
- The final step is to return the soup to saucepan and heat thoroughly before serving.
- Using canned pumpkin makes this recipe extra fast and easy.
- Cut the potatoes into larger pieces than the carrots because the potatoes cook faster. You can also cook the carrots 2-3 minutes before adding the potatoes to allow for the difference in cook time.
- Reserving the water you used for cooking the vegetables adds extra flavor and nutrition to your soup. Start by adding one and one-half cups of water and add more as needed for consistency.
- Brown the butter in a light colored pan. This helps to keep a close eye on the browning process. Pull it off the heat just before it gets to the level of brownness you want.
Substitutions and Variations
- Coconut Milk: For a creamy and slightly sweet twist, substitute half or all of the half-and-half with coconut milk or add coconut cream. This will give the soup a delightful coconut flavor.
- Fresh Ginger: Instead of the bay leaves, add a few slices of fresh ginger or a teaspoon of ginger powder while cooking the vegetables. This will infuse a subtle ginger flavor into the soup.
- Chili Flakes: For a hint of heat, add a pinch of chili flakes while sautéing the vegetables. Adjust the amount to your spice preference.
- Curry Powder: To give your soup an exotic twist, add a teaspoon of curry powder while sautéing the vegetables. This will introduce warm and aromatic flavors.
- Dollop of Sour Cream: Serve each bowl of soup with a dollop of sour cream on top. It adds a tangy contrast to the sweet soup.
Yes. This is a perfect recipe to make ahead. After letting your soup cool to room temperature, it will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up 5 days. Reheat when ready to serve.
Garnish options are roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas), coarsley ground black pepper, any fresh herbs, a drizzle of cream, a dollop or swirl of plain yogurt or really anything you like.
Yes. As long as it's tightly covered it will keep 3-4 months in the freezer. You can either let it thaw overnight in the fridge or warm it gradually at a low simmer until it's thawed and hot.
Cinnamon is an optional addition in this recipe, but you can customize it however you like. Nutmeg and cloves are also delicious.
You do not. As long as you have thoroughly washed (with a brush) carrots they do not have to be peeled. If you choose to peel them do so as lightly as possible.
What to serve with your soup
This soup is definitely a fall and winter favorite, though you certainly could enjoy it at any time of year. We love to serve it with a crusty bread and it is the perfect first course for meals that include any or all of the following:
- Sweet and Spicy Candied Pecans
- Fall Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- Sweet Potato Cornbread
- Marinated and Grilled Pork Tenderloin
- Old Fashioned Cream Cheese Pound Cake
Carrot Pumpkin Soup with Brown Butter
- 15 ounces canned pumpkin or fresh pumpkin, cubed
- 1 pound potatoes peeled and cut into pieces
- 1 pound carrots washed, trimmed and cut into pieces
- 3 Bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons salt divided
- ½ cup butter
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 2½ cups water reserved from cooking vegetables
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon optional
- Brown butter over medium heat until golden brown, stirring constantly. Set aside.
- Bring water and 1 teaspoon of salt to a boil. Add bay leaves and carrots and cook for 2-3 minutes. If using fresh pumpkin add it now.
- Add potatoes to pot with carrots. Cook until fork tender, approximately an additional 12 minutes.
- Drain vegetables, reserving water. Discard the bay leaves.
- Add all remaining ingredients to blender and process until smooth. Use only 1½ cups water to begin with. Add additional water if needed for desired consistency.
- Return soup to saucepan and heat thoroughly before serving.
- Garnish as desired.
- Unless a large blender is used the soup will need to be processed in two batches.
- Salted or unsalted butter may be used, adjusting salt accordingly.
- Canned pumpkin or fresh pumpkin may be used. If fresh is used it should cooked with the other vegetables.
- Vanilla extract, paste or vanilla scraped from a vanilla bean may be used.
- Water may be added to reach desired consistency.