Carrot-Jalapeno Soup With Orange Juice and Sunchokes

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I just got back from a long weekend in the fog. It's been cold, drippy, drizzly, dismal. Visibility has been ... poor. Most of our plans that didn't involve soup were canceled. I couldn't even leave on schedule last night, because we couldn't see approaching headlights an eighth of a mile away. Bummer.

While inching through the mists, playing inadvertent chicken with oncoming traffic, I had plenty of time to devise a soup that would cut through the fog. It's got the bright color of carrots, the high-beam heat of jalapeno and the sunshininess (and creamy nuttiness) of sunchokes.

It can easily be veggie or vegan, and it's gluten-free. And next summer when the fog is but a memory (er ... except here in San Francisco), you can eat this soup chilled, too.

Beacon in the Fog Carrot-Sunchoke-Jalapeno Soup

carrot soup

3 tablespoons unsalted butter or oil
4 cups chopped carrots
2 cups peeled and chopped sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes)
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
6 cups chicken or veggie stock
½ cup dry white wine
1/3 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
½ teaspoon cumin
Pinch of cayenne
Salt & ground pepper
Chopped herbs (marjoram, oregano, parsley or mint is nice), crème fraiche, pepitas, and/or walnut oil for garnish

1. Melt butter (or oil) in large soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat. After foam subsides, add onion, salt and pepper and sauté until softened, about 7 minutes. Add jalapeno, spices, and garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.

2. Deglaze with wine, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom. Add carrots, sunchokes, orange juice and stock; increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer about 45 minutes or until veggies are very soft.

3. Puree the soup in batches in a blender, or in a pot with an immersion blender. Season with lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Garnish as you will.

Serve, if you're inclined, with some savory scones.

Carrot Soup Variations


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