carrot soup, with a warning

I made my favorite carrot soup today and I’m dying to share this recipe. But first, I feel compelled to issue a warning backed up by a real-life anecdote.


It’s an actual condition called Carotenemia, usually affects your hands (mostly your palms), and is almost 100 percent harmless. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, provided you like the color…orange.

In case you doubt whether this is a real phenomenon, I will say that, several years ago, I witnessed this happening to a very healthy eater in my family. In order to protect his identity, I’ll call him…Vlad. Lets just say that carrots were a primary part of his diet. I noticed, over time, that he was changing color, until eventually, he began to resemble a construction cone. He denies it to this day, but, trust me, the guy was neon:


Though I probably should have staged an intervention, my instinct was quite the opposite: to see if he could get any more orange. So, for this birthday, I of course made him a carrot-centric dinner. Hummus and carrots for an appetizer, homemade carrot cake (Mom’s recipe) for dessert, and Carrot Sweet Potato Soup for the main event. What can I say? If he did get any brighter, it was difficult to discern (through my sunglasses), but he loved it.

Though “Vlad’s” skin has returned to its original tone, and I know that carrots have a lot going for them, I still feel a little wary of their effects. But I do love this Carrot Sweet Potato Soup. And after all, if my hands do get carrot-y, at least its mitten season.

Like the Broccoli Leek Soup I made a while back, it’s insanely easy. Even kitchen-phobes can whip this together in under an hour. Just chop up about 4 sweet potatoes, 2 onions, and 6 carrots. Saute them in olive oil for a while then add enough chicken broth to cover them.

carrot soup

Once they are soft, apply the soup smoosher, a.k.a. magic wand.

soup wand

Add about a cup of sour cream (I use low fat), a few T’s of fresh dill, and salt and pepper to taste. FYI, dill would probably be my “deserted island” herb. In other words, if I were stranded on a deserted island and could only have one fresh herb (hey, it could happen), I would choose this. Sure, parsley’s probably more versatile, but dill has such a fresh, bright taste. Besides this soup, it’s good with eggs, potato salad, and lox, etc, and I’m sure I’d have an abundance of those items on the island.


The funny thing is that you usually have to buy so much of it. I ended up using about 1/1000 of this bunch. Much as I like it, I’ll probably only use about one other thousandth before it goes bad.

Anyway, a little sprig makes a nice garnish for this soup, along with a dollop of sour cream. To balance all this healthiness out, I served it with a pile of potato chips.

carrot sweet potato soup

I have about six servings left to freeze for easy-to-thaw dinners over the next few weeks. That probably won’t be enough to change my skin tone, eek, but please let me know if I begin to take on an orange-ish hue…And if you don’t I’m sure Vlad will.

14 replies

  1. That soup looks fab – I am adding it to the rotation ๐Ÿ™‚ O’s 2nd fav. col is orange, and I think he will enjoy eating that more than the Spinach soup made from his 1st favorite color. ๐Ÿ™‚ Vlad – hee hee hee. Love the pseudonym!

    • Thanks publikworks – I did get permission from Vlad to compare him to a construction cone and neon – nothing was put in writing but when I asked him, he nodded exactly once while walking away. I took that as a YES.

  2. Well, we have all been pink(at birth), green when sick, red when burnt(beach anyone:-) white when in shock so why not orange. Annabel glowed from an orange hue when she was little and we all thought it was pretty funny. Goooooooo Orange! How about pumpkin soup next?

  3. BTW, our reading choices are weirdly in sync. Just finished State of Wonder and started Bossypants. Guess I’ll have to put Inzanesville on my list!

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