Carrot Cream Soup – cream-less and dairy-free

Creamy Cream-Less Carrot Soup (Parve) GF

In Italy, creamy soups – or “vellutate” – are not usually made with cream (an ingredient that we like to leave to the French): the texture is given by the addition of a simple potato or a handful of rice.

The starches in the rice are slowly released during the cooking, and act as a thickener and an emulsifier at the same time. Slowly-released starches are what gives creaminess to authentic risottos, and also the reason why we add the pasta cooking water to our sauce (the starches released by the pasta turn the cooking water into an emulsifier, and a thickener). Better than fairy dust! This method obviously helps limit saturated fats, but it’s also a great resource for the dairy-intolerant, or the kosher cooks who need dairy-free dishes to serve with meat.

If you love smooth textures, you can turn any vegetable soup into a vellutata simply by throwing in a boiled potato and some water and processing everything in the blender. An easy way to recycle your second-day minestrone!

Ingredients (serves 4 to 6):

  • 2 pounds carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 1 celery stick
  • 1 ½ quarts vegetable stock or to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 or more tablepoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup Italian rice (short grain – Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley (or basil/parsley mix)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Peel the carrots and slice them thinly.
Chop the celery, onion and garlic very finely.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy pot and cook the mix of celery, onion and garlic ( “il soffritto“) on medium/low heat for about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and the bay leaf and cook for 5 more minutes. Add 2/3 of the hot stock and bring to a boil, then add the rice, lower the heat, cover almost completely, and allow to simmer for about an hour.
Discard the bay leaf, process with a hand mixer, add the rest of the hot stock and the herbs, and allow to simmer uncovered for 5 more minutes, stirring continuosly. Drizzle with 2 more tablespoons of olive oil, sprinkle with black pepper and serve.

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Comments

  1. Another beautiful dish. Carrot soup is one of my very favorites. I make several versions, so here’s another one for me to try.

  2. what a great recipe. I’ve never thought of rice ins oup as a thickener, and thanks to you I now understand why some recipes call for the pasta water.

  3. Such interesting facts! Such a fantastic way to keep things pareve without searching out a multitude of substitutions! Thanks!

  4. I use carrots all the time to flavor other things, but it is too easy to forget how good they are on their own. This looks wonderful!

  5. Great tips about the rice adding thick and creaminess. I love carrot soup, I want to try this.

  6. Great soup! I am glad to have found you from your guest post at EatingDeliciously because I am such a helathy foodie too. This soup uses such simple ingredients that I really think anyone can try making this at home. I still use the stove top or a thermal pot for making soup, but I do know people who use a rice cooker because it is easy!

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