Deborah Madison's Ivory Carrot Soup with a Fine Dice of Orange Carrots

[Photograph: Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton]

I am a big fan of rainbow carrots, so I'm no stranger to surprisingly stark white carrots. Yet Deborah Madison's Ivory Carrot Soup from her new cookbook Vegetable Literacy was still a bit of a mind game for me. The finished soup tasted purely of carrot, but my eyes were convinced that I was slurping down potato-leek or some kind of parsnip concoction. Served with a warm slice of buttered bread, this soup is the perfect winter-spring transition meal.

Why I picked this recipe: Carrots are sweet enough to seem like a spring vegetable, but easy to find even before the first asparagus breaks the ground.

What worked: Elegant and striking, this carrot soup would have been the perfect tricky dish to serve on April Fool's.

What didn't: I'm not sure what the benefit was to heating 3 cups of broth while simmering the carrots with 1 cup. Next time, I'll just add it all at once. I'd also probably drop the sugar next time; carrots are sweet enough on their own.

Suggested tweaks: The recipe will, of course, work with any color carrots you've got. I used vegetable stock instead of water or chicken broth--all three would work fine.

Reprinted with permission from Vegetable Literacy: Cooking and Gardening with Twelve Familes from the Edible Plant Kingdom, with over 300 Deliciously Simple Recipes by Deborah Madison. Copyright 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.

Deborah Madison's Ivory Carrot Soup with a Fine Dice of Orange Carrots

About This Recipe

Yield:serves 4 to 6
Active time:20 minutes
Total time:40 minutes
This recipe appears in: Deborah Madison's Ivory Carrot Soup with a Fine Dice of Orange Carrots


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound white carrots, scrubbed and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon raw white rice
  • Sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 4 cups water or light chicken stock
  • Few tablespoons finely diced orange carrots and/or other colored carrots
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • About 1 tablespoon minced fine green carrot tops


  1. 1

    Warm the butter and oil in a soup pot and add the onion, white carrots, rice, 1 teaspoon salt, and the sugar and thyme. Cook over medium heat for several minutes, turning everything occasionally. Add 1 cup of the water, cover, turn down the heat, and cook while you heat the remaining 3 cups water. When the water is hot, add it to the pot, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

  2. 2

    While the soup is cooking, cook the diced carrots in salted boiling water for about 3 minutes and then drain.

  3. 3

    When ready, let cool slightly, then remove and discard the thyme sprig. Puree the soup until smooth in a blender. Taste for salt and season with the pepper. Reheat if it has cooled.

  4. 4

    Ladle the soup into bowls, scatter the diced carrots and carrot tops over each serving, and serve.


Add a rating with your comment:

Comments can take up to a minute to appear - please be patient!

Previewing your comment: