This Instant Pot Carrot Soup is so creamy and delicious you won't believe it's healthy! This recipe is easy to make, with Thai red curry paste, coconut milk, and tahini, and is totally vegan, paleo, and Whole 30 compliant. Topped with garlicky greens, it's a simple recipe your family will love!
I don't know about you guys, but this time of year I'm allllll about the cozy soups.
The thing is, you can cram a lot of vegetables into a bowl of soup, but it can still taste like comfort food. It's like your favourite locally handcrafted sweater that fits juuuuust right and you know you look awesome when you throw it on over leggings and a pair of boots, but you also feel great about where you spent your hard earned dollars.
You can also make a big-ass batch of soup and portion it in the freezer, which means cozy great-looking sweater meals are on the ready any dang time you want. Are you with me?
I bought an Instant Pot a few months back and have been re-testing all of my soup recipes in it. Although for veggie-based soups like this Spicy Carrot Soup it doesn't necessarily save you any time, using the Instant Pot does mean you don't need to babysit your soup while it cooks.
That's a win for me when I've got one kid on the boob and the other one trying to climb my leg while I'm trying to get dinner ready. Don't have an Instant Pot? No problem! I've also included standard stove-top instructions in the recipe card below.
What goes into this Instant Pot Carrot Soup?
- Carrots --> No duh, ammiright?!
- Onions and garlic --> The heavy-hitting aromatics.
- Red curry paste --> To spice up your life.
- Coconut milk --> Full-fat is how I roll.
- Vegetable broth --> I use bouillon cubes and I'm not sorry.
- Tahini paste --> Yes, really. Just trust.
I like to top this Spicy Carrot Soup with cilantro, sesame seeds, and some nice garlicky greens. You can cook down a mighty amount of greens into a tasty soup topping, which bumps up the nutrition like woah and is beautiful and delicious to boot.
How do you make this Instant Pot Carrot Soup?
I like to sauté my onions and garlic right in the Instant Pot, but I've also skipped this step and just chucked everything in, and I can't say I really noticed a difference. You decide how important sautéing is to you. Prolly depends on how many kids are trying to climb your legs when you're making dinner. Pick your battles, right?
After you've sautéd the onions and garlic (unless you're skipping that totally skippable step) you just biff everything into the instant pot except for the coconut milk, cilantro, and sesame seeds.
Seal your Instant Pot, and set it on manual, high pressure, for 5 minutes. It'll take maybe 15 minutes to come to pressure. Once it's done, I let it release naturally for 5 minutes, then flip it to quick release for the rest.
Open the lid, and with an immersion blender get in there and purée the soup right in the instant pot. Add the coconut milk and stir it through.
Personally, I think this Spicy Carrot Soup is pretty much perfect as is, but if you, like me, are driven by the urge to eat something green with every meal, let me introduce you to my favourite quick and easy garlicky greens.
Here's what I do: in a large skillet heat up some toasted sesame oil and sauté some thinly sliced garlic. Take a jumbo bag of baby spinach leaves, and stir it into the garlic sesame oil. Let it sit for a minute or two, stirring now and then, and in no time at all you'll have a nice batch of garlicky greens to go with the soup.
You can also top with cilantro and toasted sesame seeds if you're feeling fancy, and I mean really, when are we not feeling fancy?
Pro tips / recipe notes:
- Help! I don't have an Instant Pot! No problemo, my friend. You'll find conventional stove-top instructions in the recipe card below.
- Can I freeze this Spicy Carrot Soup? You bet you can! I like to portion into containers and freeze for a busy day.
- I don't have an immersion blender! I like to use the immersion blender because I'm a super lazy person, but if you don't have one you can also transfer the soup in batches to a stand-up blender. Be super careful when blending hot liquids, please!
- Is this Instant Pot Carrot Soup vegan? You bet!
- Is this Instant Pot Carrot Soup Whole 30 compliant? Yasss. Just check the ingredients on your curry paste, and you're good to go.
- I want to make more / less of this Spicy Carrot Soup? Go for it! Just change the number of servings in the recipe card below and it'll do the math for ya!
Hey Nutrition Lady, what's tahini doing in my soup?
Glad you asked. First and foremost, the tahini is there because it's insanely delicious when paired with the carrots and coconut and red curry. Beyond that, tahini is loaded with plant-based calcium, healthy fats, and helps transform this soup from just plain ol' vegetable soup to a rich, nourishing, and satisfying meal.
Hey Nutrition Lady, are carrots healthy?
Ummm, yes. Yes they are.
Carrots contain good amounts of antioxidant nutrients, including antioxidants like vitamin C, as well as phytonutrient antioxidants such as beta-carotene. Red and purple carrots are rich in anthocyanin, and in yellow carrots, about half of the total carotenoids come from lutein.
The antioxidant nutrients in carrots are believed to provide cardioprotective benefits - that is, they're good for your heart! But there's more to the health benefits of carrots than that: studies have demonstrated the ability of carrot extracts to inhibit the grown of colon cancer cells.
Carrots are also an excellent source of vitamin A, biotin, vitamin K, dietary fiber, molybdenum, potassium, and vitamin B6, and vitamin C.
Other tasty soup recipes you might enjoy:
Instant Pot Carrot Soup with Garlicky Greens
Spicy Carrot Soup with Tahini
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic finely minced
- 10 large carrots about 2lbs / 900g carrots, chopped
- 2-3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 14 oz can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 Tablespoon red curry paste more to taste if you like it spicier
- ¼ cup smooth tahini paste
- salt and pepper to taste
- cilantro and sesame seeds for serving
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 clove garlic thinly sliced
- 10 ounces baby spinach leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
To Make the Soup in the Instant Pot
- (Optional Step) Turn the Instant Pot on to sauté. Add the olive oil, onions, and garlic, and sauté until the onions are translucent and lightly browned.
- Add the carrots, vegetable broth, curry paste, and tahini to the Instant Pot. Seal the lid, and set to manual on high pressure for 5 minutes. It should take about 15 minutes to come to pressure.
- When the pressure cooking cycle is complete, let it vent naturally for 5 minutes, then flip to quick release. I like to do this under my stove fan if possible, but if not, throw a kitchen towel over top to control the steam.
- Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. Add the coconut milk and stir through. Taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Serve hot, topped with garlicky greens, cilantro, and sesame seeds.
To Make The Soup on the Stove Top
- Heat olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat.
- Add the diced onion, and sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onion is becoming translucent.
- Add the garlic and sauté for an additional 2-3 minutes, until the onions and garlic and beginning to brown - watch that the garlic does not burn.
- Add the diced carrots, and stir to combine well. Let everything sweat it out in the pot for 5 minutes, stirring every minute or so.
- Add the vegetable broth to cover the carrots.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let the veggies simmer for about 20 minutes, until the carrots are tender.
- While the veggies are simmering, prepare the Garlicky Greens (instructions below).
- When the carrots are tender, remove the pot from the heat. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until completely smooth. Alternately (and for a velvety smooth soup) transfer the mixture to a stand up blender in batches.
- Return the pot to the heat, and add the coconut milk, red curry paste, and tahini. Stir until the coconut milk and tahini are melted through.
- Taste the soup and season with salt and pepper, adjust any seasonings if necessary.
- Serve hot, topped with garlicky greens.
To Make The Garlicky Greens
- While the soup is simmering, heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the thinly sliced garlic, and sauté for one minute. Watch very carefully to ensure the garlic doesn't burn.
- Add the baby spinach leaves, and give everything a stir. Let the spinach sit for a minute to wilt the leaves on the bottom, and then stir again.
- Cook until the spinach is completely wilted, approximately 3-4 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper, and add to the soup when ready.
- Nutrition values are an estimate only.
- Don't worry about dicing the onion and chopping the carrot perfectly, since this soup will be blended.
- For a thicker soup, use 2 cups vegetable broth. If you prefer a thinner soup, use 3 cups.
- To freeze the soup portion into individual containers once cooled.
This recipe was originally published January 10, 2018. It was retested, rephotographed, and updated to include Instant Pot instructions on December 29, 2018.
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