This Smoky Plant-Based Carrot Soup Is the Perfect Way To Use Up Leftover Carrots

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You know what they say: the road to a fridge of expired produce is paved with good intentions. You feel ambitious at the beginning of the week, so you buy a bunch of veggies with the intention of cooking every night at home. But by Wednesday night the thought of being in the kitchen for an hour and a half makes you want to crawl into bed and never get out, so you order in. Luckily, Julia Turshen, chef and founder of Equity At The Table, shows us on the lastest episode of Cook With Us how to make a super-easy, won't-dirty-all-your-dishes nourishing smoky carrot soup recipe that uses up your leftovers and packs a ton of flavor.

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Carrots are the star veggie of the show here, and Turshen uses both carrots and carrot juice and to make the dish taste souper carrot-y. These root veggies are high in vitamin A—seriously, just one cup contains enough to get more than the daily recommended amount—which makes them good for your eyesight and your skin.

Pimentón, aka smoked Spanish paprika, is what gives the soup its rich, smoky flavor. This distinction from just paprika is important—smoked paprika is made with peppers that have been smoked and dried over oak fires. It can add a BBQ-y flavor to dishes without the use of meat. (Great if you're plant-based or simply working on cutting back on your meat consumption.) Another key to making the soup super flavorful is tasting the soup and salting it as you go, not just once. "I think of salt as like a volume knob… sometimes you just want to turn up the volume a little bit," Turshen says. Trust your instincts, she adds.

Ready to try the soup for yourself? Watch the video and see below for the full recipe.

Julia Turshen's smoky carrot soup recipe

Serves 4 -6

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon pimentón (smoked Spanish paprika; sweet or hot, whichever you prefer)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
3 cups carrot juice
Sour cream, for serving (optional)

1. Place the olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, pimentón, and a large pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper and cook, stirring now and then, until the vegetables are beginning to get tender, about 10 minutes.

2. Add the stock and carrot juice, turn the heat to high, bring the soup to a boil, and then lower the heat and simmer until the carrots are extremely tender, about 15 minutes.

3. Blend the soup directly in the pot using an immersion blender or carefully transfer it, in batches as necessary, to a regular blender and puree until smooth.

4. Season the soup to taste one final time with salt and pepper. Feel free to top your soup with sour cream. Serve hot.

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