Test Kitchen: Creamy Thai Carrot Soup with Basil

Test Kitchen: Creamy Thai Carrot Soup with Basil

As I continue to learn more about plant-based cooking, Minimalist Baker has helped me make the transition to simpler, veggie-rich recipes that are also a cinch to make. I especially like their recipe for Creamy Thai Carrot Soup with Basil because there’s no potato filler — it’s all carrots, baby! This colorful soup is sweet, savory and spicy, making it perfect for cold winter days.

For my home cook test, I used locally grown, multicolor carrots — they’re tasty (almost floral), gorgeous and nutrient-rich. In addition to their B-vitamin and potassium-rich properties, carrots get their famous eyesight bolstering powers from their beta-carotene content (which converts to Vitamin A in the body and is more efficiently absorbed when the carrots are cooked!) Soup anyone?

Check out the original recipe @Minimalist Baker

My variations

I try to stick to ingredients I already have in my pantry (which is always evolving), so I made some substitutions out of convenience and some out of personal taste.

  • I only had sweet onion on hand, but it worked well with the recipe. Sweet onion is not as sharp as the yellow onion the recipe calls for, so I used the whole sweet onion and added an extra clove of garlic to boost the flavor.
  • I subbed 4 cups of chicken stock for the 2 cups of water + 2 cups of veggie stock. Since I made this substitution, I did not add additional salt to the soup. Also, please note this substitution took the soup off of the plant-based path, which is okay for my household from time to time.

Test Kitchen: Creamy Thai Carrot Soup with BasilInvestment ingredient: Chili Garlic Sauce

This type of sauce is inexpensive and has a long shelf life, so you can invest in it once and use it in a ton of different recipes. If you can’t get your hands on a chili garlic sauce, you can use Sriracha hot sauce instead. The flavors are similar, but chili garlic sauce has a chunkier consistency.

Lessons learned

The recommended 2 teaspoons of chili garlic sauce made the soup a little too hot for me (plus it gets spicier after a couple days in the fridge!) Next time, I’ll probably use about half the sauce and reserve the spicing up for garnishing with Sriracha:)

multicolor carrots

The takeaway

  • This soup is delicious, versatile and so good for you! Plus, it’s a great way to appreciate the true flavor of seasonal produce like carrots.
  • If you like peanut sauce, the 1/3 cup of peanut butter is just right! If you’re unsure about it, I recommend adding it in one tablespoon at a time until you reach the flavor you want.
  • Soup loves a garnish — I finished my serving with sesame oil and Sriracha, but you may prefer something fresher, like coconut milk, Greek yogurt, cucumber, cilantro or a spritz of lime. Feel like something crunchy? Top your soup with crispy carrot tops (just roast up those carrot greens like a kale chip!)


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