I know we just talked about soup recently. And I know that last winter I shared my all-time favorite recipe for carrot soup. So forgive me for bringing it up again. It’s just that last week was unseasonably cold in New York, and pouring rain, and all I wanted to do was curl up with a bowl of pureed root vegetables blended with gooey, melted cheese.
I’m not exactly sure what got me thinking about the carrot-cheddar combo. Maybe it’s that they are a similar color? At any rate, the sweetness of the carrots and the sharpness of the cheese are a perfect match. My original plan was to add both brown rice and kale, but after adding the kale I decided the soup really didn’t need anything else. The greens add a heartiness and a bit of chew that are incredibly satisfying.
Carrot cheddar soup is definitely a kid-friendly soup! I even got Owen, who at this moment subsists on hard boiled eggs, frozen french fries, and pears, to try a few bites. A one pot, healthy, vegetarian meal that my entire family will eat? That’s a huge triumph in my mind these days, as I often feel like a line cook who specializes in hot dogs and chicken nuggets.
You should feel free to substitute spinach, Swiss chard, or any other hearty greens for the kale in this soup. You can also make it ahead and freeze it for up to three months. Whip up a batch now and thank me in December.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 2 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 5 cups vegetable stock (or 4 cups stock + 1 cup water)
- 1 cup grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese, plus more for serving
- 2 cups stemmed and chopped kale
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using) and cook until the onion is softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the carrots are tender when pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and puree the soup with an immersion blender (or in batches in a regular blender).
- Return the soup to medium-low heat. Add the cheddar and kale and cook until the cheese is melted and the kale is wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Taste the soup and add more salt and pepper if needed.
- Sprinkle the soup with more cheddar soup before serving.