Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Carrot-Ginger Soup with Lime Crème Fraîche by @LeslieKarst #CarrotGingerSoup


This delicious and vibrant recipe comes from the book Simply Elegant Soup, by George Morrone, who used to be head chef at Aqua and the Fifth Floor in San Francisco. It's a bit of a process, but well worth the effort (and you can do most of the work in advance, which is always nice).


Carrot-Ginger Soup with Lime Crème Fraîche

(serves 4)

(Method with photos follows recipe)


 Ginger oil
¼ cup canola oil
1 ½ t powdered ginger
1 ¼ t ground turmeric

Lime Crème Fraîche
¼ cup crème fraîche
zest and juice of 1 lime
1 T minced fresh cilantro
1 t sugar (optional)
salt to taste

1 ½ T olive oil
2 T ginger oil (above)
1 white onion, thinly sliced
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 t peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 lb. carrots, peeled and sliced
3 cups chicken stock (plus more as needed for thinning)
salt to taste


Ginger oil: Combine canola oil, ginger powder and turmeric in small nonreactive saucepan and whisk well. Bring to simmer over medium-high heat, and then pour into another container. Chill overnight. The next day, pour oil off settled spices, discarding solids. (Oil will keep in the fridge indefinitely.)

Lime crème fraîche: Mince lime zest, and whisk all ingredients together well in a bowl. Keep refrigerated until use. If necessary, thin with a little water before drizzling over soup.

Soup: Pour olive oil and ginger oil into saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, jalapeño, and ginger, and sweat for about 5 minutes, until translucent; do not let brown.

Add the carrots and cook for 5 more minutes. Add 3 cups stock, and simmer until the carrots are quite tender—about 30 minutes. (Blanch for 5 minutes carrot tips for garnish at this point, if using them.)

Let soup cool a bit, and then blend/purée well (see note above). Reheat soup right before service, thinning with more stock if necessary. Adjust seasoning with salt.

Ladle into bowls; garnish with crème fraîche mixture, ginger oil, blanched carrot tip and cilantro.



You’re supposed to make the ginger oil—which will be used both for frying the vegetables and as a garnish—the day before you serve the soup, but I made do with preparing it the morning of my dinner, which worked fine. (Sorry I don't have a photo of this.) It’s a simple process: all you do is combine canola oil, powdered ginger and turmeric in a small sauce pan, whisk well, and bring to a simmer. Turn it off and let it cool, and then refrigerate it overnight (or for the day). Pour the oil into an air-tight container, discarding the spices which have settled to the bottom.

The other garnish is the lime crème fraîche, which is made by whisking together crème fraîche, lime juice, lime zest, cilantro, and a pinch of salt. The recipe doesn’t call for it, but I also added a little sugar.

This is best made in advance too, so the flavors can meld.

For the soup, you start—not surprisingly—with carrots. I hand picked mine, choosing the smallest I could find, as the babies are sweeter and more tender than their older counterparts. After peeling them and then cutting off four of the ends to use as garnishes, I chopped the rest into rounds.

The only other vegetables are a white onion, fresh ginger, garlic, and a small jalapeño pepper:

I seeded and then thinly sliced the pepper,

and then grated the ginger and chopped up the onion. Here they are with the ginger oil, which I poured from the saucepan into a Pyrex pitcher to chill:

After the ginger oil had steeped for about six hours, I started cooking the soup. First, you fry the vegetables in a mixture of ginger oil and olive oil.

You start with the onions, garlic, ginger, and jalapeño, and sweat the onions for about five minutes.

Next you add the carrots, and continue cooking for five more minutes.

Then you add chicken stock (I had thawed some that I had in the freezer), and simmer until the carrots are quite tender—about 30 minutes.

For my soup, once the stock came to a simmer, I dropped the four carrot tips into the pot, and let them cook for about five minutes, and then took them out with tongs. I set the blanched carrot tips aside, for later use as a garnish.

Once the carrot discs are tender, turn off the fire under the soup and let it cool. (Stirring every few minutes hastens the cooling process; if you’re in a hurry, put the pot in the fridge or freezer.) After it’s cooled down enough to be safe, it’s time to blend the soup. I have one of those hand-held mixer things that you put in the soup and turn on, but you can also do it in batches in a blender or food processor (don’t fill the blender more than half way, though, or it will squirt out the top!). Purée the soup it until it’s smooth.

The cookbook says to pass it through a fine-mesh sieve at this point, but I skipped this step.

When it’s time for service, reheat the soup, and adjust the seasoning with salt as needed. You can add more stock if it’s too thick (mine was a good consistency without the addition of more liquid).

Ladle the soup into serving bowls, drizzle some of the crème fraîche mixture on top, and then drizzle some ginger oil on top of this. Finish by placing a blanched carrot spear carefully on top, and add a sprig of cilantro to act as a faux carrot top (see photo at top of post).

🍃  🌻 🐄   

The daughter of a law professor and a potter, Leslie Karst learned early, during family dinner conversations, the value of both careful analysis and the arts—ideal ingredients for a mystery story. Putting this early education to good use, she now writes the Lefty Award-nominated Sally Solari Mysteries, a culinary series set in Santa Cruz, California.

An ex-lawyer like her sleuth, Leslie also has degrees in English literature and the culinary arts. She and her wife and their Jack Russell mix split their time between Santa Cruz and Hilo, Hawai‘i.

Leslie’s website
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THE FRAGRANCE OF DEATH, coming Aug. 2, 2022, 

is now available for pre-order!



Praise for Leslie's most recent Sally Solari mystery, the Lefty Award-nominated MURDER FROM SCRATCH:

“Karst seasons her writing with an accurate insider’s view of restaurant operation, as well as a tenderness in the way she treats family, death and Sally’s reactions to Evelyn’s blindness.”

Ellery Queen Magazine (featured pick)

All five Sally Solari Mysteries are available through AmazonBarnes and Noble, and Bookshop.


Dying for a TasteA Measure of Murder, and Murder from Scratch are also available as AUDIOBOOKS from Audible!


  1. What a fun recipe.
    If you have fresh ginger in the soup, why do you need the infused oil, too? Just that much more zing?
    When I lived up north we used the cool outdoors for chilling foods. Snow banks worked well. Down south I sometimes use the top step in my pool. That's not always a winner. Two days ago the pool (unheated, by the way) was several degrees warmer than the air!

  2. The infused oil does indeed add extra zing, and having it float on top adds a lovely layer to the soup!

  3. A friend saw my posting of this and referred to it as "hot cross soup"!