Carrot Soup with Leftover Chicken

This carrot soup with leftover chicken and thyme is as delicious to eat as it is stunning to behold. It’s also incredibly simple to make. Adding leftover chicken (or turkey) at the very last moment turns a simple bowl of soup into a satiating supper.

A blue-rimmed porcelain bowl filled with carrot soup topped with chicken and thyme and a lemon wheel.

For this carrot soup recipe, pick up a bunch of fresh-dug lovelies at your farmer’s market, whenever possible, to achieve the most vibrant carrot taste. The carrots are slowly stewed, which coaxes out their sweetness. A little potato gives this soup its velvety-smooth texture.–Mindy Fox

LC Pantry Pyrotechnics Note

The most remarkable thing about this stunning soup, besides it’s vibrant hue and sweet taste, is that it comes together from nothing but pantry staples at a cost of, oh, about $3.45 for the whole shebang. Although this Technicolor soup doesn’t really need any embellishment, it’s far more fetching when you include a little flourish, especially when it’s as simple as some roast chicken. Since when did leftover hen ever seem so chic?

Carrot Soup with Leftover Turkey

  • Quick Glance
  • (2)
  • 15 M
  • 1 H, 15 M
  • Serves 4
5/5 - 2 reviews
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Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until the butter melts. Add the onion and reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook until softened, about 15 minutes. (This is commonly known as “sweating” the onion, as the pieces will throw off some perspiration, er, moisture and will soften and sweeten but not brown.)

Stir in the carrots, potatoes, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and cook, covered, for 10 minutes more.

Add the stock or broth, increase the heat to medium, and gently simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Purée the soup with an immersion blender or let the soup cool for about 10 minutes and then purée it in a blender, working in batches if necessary. Return the soup to the pan and gently reheat. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding a pinch or two of sugar to sweeten the soup, if desired.

Divide the soup among serving bowls. Top each portion with some chicken or turkey, a pinch each of thyme leaves and coarsely or finely ground white pepper, and, if you’d like a little something sour to offset the sweet, a scant drop or two of juice from half the lemon. Cut the other half of the lemon into 4 thin slices and garnish each bowl with a slice, just to make it look a little extra lovely.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

I love sweet, silky carrot soup, and this recipe was no exception. It was a little sweet, so I didn’t add the sugar. To tell you the truth, I didn’t add the chicken, either, as I thought the soup stood on its own. This recipe was so simple to make and yielded great results!

This soup is just perfect for this transition from winter to spring, and it’s delicious with or without chicken. It’s warming, but its flavors hint of the lightness of spring foods. The hands-on time was minimal—mostly just chopping at the beginning. TIPS: It’s a thick soup, so keep a little extra chicken broth on hand to thin it. Also, don’t neglect to add the lemon and pepper at the end because they cut through the creaminess of the soup.

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  1. Yum! Could this also be served cold (without chicken of course)? I love the vichyssoise family of soups and I often make them in the summer – potato-leek and also zucchini-potato-leek – and this looks like a nice addition to the bunch.

    1. Lovely idea, Marcella. Sure, this can be served cold. Although bear in mind that extremes in temperature tend to mute flavor, so you may want to chill it and then allow it to set at room temp for just a few minutes to take the edge off and let the flavors bloom. I’d wait to add any lemon or thyme until just before serving, tasting it and adjusting the seasonings accordingly, as you may find it slightly wanting because of that flavors-lurking-behind-the-cold thing.

      1. that makes a lot of sense, Renee, thanks. We’re having a surprisingly warm springtime here so it looks like I won’t have to wait too much for the right time to try this 🙂

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