This slightly sweet and uniquely spicy bowl of lusciousness will make you re-think overcooked carrots from days of old.
My cousin Julie throws the most perfect tea parties. She learned from the best — her mom, my Aunt Peg. At these family gatherings, the special china comes out, the holiday decor abounds, and the delicious array of food and teas is beyond compare.
Julie does much of it, but then she has the gift of getting everyone involved, with each cook bringing out her best.
Tea Pary Perfection
Recently Julie hosted a Valentine’s Day tea party for all of us. The afternoon was exquisiteness from start to finish.
We were greeted with a beautiful table set with vintage Czechoslovakian Black Knight China inherited from Julie’s dear friend Thelma.
My Aunt Betty got into the act, whipping up a vibrant organic orange and mixed greens salad that included cranberries, almonds, feta, and avocados.
No tea party at Julie’s is complete without scones, and my cousin Jill stepped up to make her tender Currant Scones, which were gussied up with My Aunt Peg’s lemon curd, made with lemons off her tree.
We were delighted with a wonderful selection of Harney and Sons teas, along with exotic drinks such as Kanhobb Russian Pear Soda and Villa Italia Blood Orange Soda.
There were three scrumptious varieties of finger sandwiches begging to be eaten.
For desserts, we enjoyed a light Lemon Mousse and a beautiful assortment of cookies and the mini blackberry pies that we, unfortunately, missed because they were hiding in the oven, safely out of sight…and mind.
These were simply the backdrop, though, for Julie’s Sweet and Spicy Carrot Soup, which was so bright, and so good that the room fell quiet when everyone tasted it. (And that’s saying a lot for my family!)
It is just way too delicious not to share this recipe.
Today’s Recipe: Sweet and Spicy Carrot Soup
This Thai-inspired recipe will cook in just 30 minutes. You can adjust your spice level to how you like it by adding more chili paste or fresh chili peppers. It is perfectly sweet and spicy and oh so delectable.
Sweet and Spicy Carrot Soup
This perfectly sweet and spicy soup will cook in only 30 minutes.
- 2 tbsp. roasted sesame oil or coconut oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 - 2 pieces ginger diced
- 2 tbsp. lemongrass paste
- 1 - 2 tsp. chili sauce
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup white rice not cooked
- 9 medium size carrots sliced
- 3 stalks celery chopped
- 1 tbsp. cumin ground
- 1 1/2 tsp. cardamom ground
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg ground
- 1 15-oz. can coconut milk
- 1 - 3 tbsp. vegetarian fish sauce
- 1 small lime squeezed for juice
- Lime zest for 1 lime
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro
- 1/2 cup scallions chopped
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut optional for garnish
Pour 2 tablespoons oil into the bottom of a large soup pot. Add onion, garlic, ginger, lemongrass paste, and chili sauce. Stir-fry until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the broth and rice. Bring to a boil.
Add the carrots, celery and the spices (cumin, cardamom, nutmeg). Reduce heat to medium, cover, and continue cooking for another 15 minutes, or until carrots and rice are soft.
Add the coconut milk and stir. Remove from the heat and puree the soup in batches in your blender or with an immersion stick. Return soup to the soup pot if using a blender.
Rewarm soup over medium heat. Add the fish sauce, soy sauce, and lime juice. Taste-test for salt, adding more fish sauce instead of salt, as needed. If your soup turns out too salty, add more lime juice. Add more fresh chili or chili sauce if not spicy enough.
Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with fresh cilantro, scallions, shredded coconut and lime zest.
I can’t stop thinking about this flavorous feast. Thank you to my wonderful cousin Julie for a fabulous event.
Hope you enjoy this soup recipe as much as we all do.
…and then, she paused for thought.
Nanette La Salle
Looks so good! What do you think, I love the cauliflower soup but would I like the carrot?
Nan this is seriously my new favorite soup. Forget what you have ever thought about carrots (good and bad) and give it a try.
Nanette La Salle
I certainly trust your tastebuds… Just hesitating on the sweet component. Not a problem? Guess I’ll be buying carrots very soon. Today…
Nanette La Salle
I pretend to have an open mind, now I need an open mouth! 🙂 You got me. Going to sprouts to see if I can get all of those ingredients!
The sweetness comes naturally from the carrots and the spicier you make it the less sweet the soup will be. Season according to your tastebuds. I really think you are going to love this soup. I made a sweet potato soup the other day it was way too sweet for me and it had no added sugar, so I do understand your concern.
I don’t know where to start!!! I’ve never been to a tea party!!! Now I really need to! I love that you have the cousins and aunts and hang out with them. Really lovely. This recipe is outstanding. I’ve never sauteed aromatics using sesame seed oil. Brilliant!
Oh Mimi, where do you live. I would love to take you to your first tea party! I have been to most of them in Los Angeles. It is such a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. My cousin Julie came up with using the sesame seed oil and what a wonderful addition it is.
Everything looked so beautiful and yummy that I wanted to reach into the screen to sample!!! I am so hungry that I literally have to go out to eat right now!!! Seriously!!!
Thanks Cheri, it was a very special event and everything was so delicious.
This soup sounds delicious, Cathy! And the table for the tea party looks so beautiful. Lucky you to have sat at it. 🙂 And what fun it all sounds like.
Thanks Valentina it was a very special day and everything was so delicious!
Nanette La Salle
Got the ingredients for the soup, will be making it soon! 🙂
Let me know what you think. 🙂 Hope you love it as much as I do.
I can’t say I’ve ever been to a tea party, but can I have some soup anyway? GREG
Karen (Back Road Journal)
The place setting, the meal, the dessert…what a wonderful tea party. I’m pinned and will be making this soup soon. Thank you for sharing Julie’s recipe with us.
You are most welcome Karen! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
What a lovely tea you were treated to, Cathy! Pass me the scones and jam! I’m sure this carrot soup must have been wonderful for you to share it, thank you!
wow I wish I could join you ladies for the party! Those scones look wonderful and I love the vintage table set up. It’s about lunch time here and I am HUNGRY for some warming and delicious soup like this. Thanks for sharing, Cathy.
Wish you could have been there too, it was a delightful event. I love my family and they sure do know how to entertain.