Coconut Carrot Soup with Cumin Oil
Coconut Carrot Soup with Cumin Oil

Creamy, lively and robust, this Coconut Carrot Soup is drizzled with a flavorful oil spiked with garlic and cumin seeds.

Senior year of college marked my transition from a literal recipe follower to a casual experimenter. It was my first time having a full kitchen and I was eager to try new recipes.

During the colder months, soups figured prominently in my cooking saga. I remember when my roommates and I spent the morning making pho and the day I learned how to make chicken tortilla soup.

I’ve tried a coconut carrot soup with lime, crushed peanuts and chilli sauce and a version with paprika and brown sugar. Since coconut milk is a crucial ingredient in many Indian recipes, I set out to make an Indian-inspired adaptation.

The result is this comforting soup made with onions, garlic, carrots, coconut milk, and garam masala. A spritz of oil flavored with cumin and garlic provides a flavorful, crunchy finish.

How to make cumin oil

The garlic-like cumin oil uses a technique called blooming, also known as tadka in parts of India. The method itself is simple, but requires some attention.

Start by heating the oil in a small saucepan. Use a neutral oil like canola. Once hot, add the cumin seeds. Once the seeds start to sizzle, add the sliced ​​garlic. The garlic and cumin seeds deepen their color.

When the garlic turns a pale golden hue, immediately remove the oil from the heat. As long as the oil remains in the pan, the residual heat will continue to cook the spices, so transfer the cumin oil to a heatproof bowl.

The most important part here is watching the oil at every step. The oil should be hot but not smoking. If at any point you feel the cumin or garlic is browning too quickly, immediately remove the pan from the heat and pour the oil into a heatproof bowl to stop the cooking process. Burnt spices and garlic are bitter and inedible. In this case, start again.

If you want to learn more about the technique of flowering spices, read this post: How to flower spices.

ingredient substitutions

Here are some thoughtful ingredient substitutions that work:

  • For a lighter version, use light coconut milk instead of full-fat coconut milk. Note that the soup will have a thinner consistency, so start with half the vegetable broth, then add more if needed.
  • If you don’t have garam masala on hand or can’t find it at your local grocery store, you can make it at home.
  • Not a big fan of cumin? You can omit them altogether, or swap in the same amount of brown mustard seeds.

Tasty variations

Consider this recipe a guide for you to mix and match the flavors to your liking. For a fun twist, try these simple yet delicious variations:

  • For a tart taste: Just before serving, stir the juice of 1 lime into the soup.
  • For a deeper ginger flavor: Thinly slice a 1/2-inch piece of ginger and add it with the garlic when making the cumin oil.

Creamy Soup Recipes

  • Creamy sweet potato soup
  • Creamy tomato and white bean soup
  • Creamy asparagus soup
  • Potato-Leek Soup
  • Cream of celeriac soup with Brussels sprouts chips

Coconut carrot soup with cumin oil

preparation time
15 minutes

cooking time
35 minutes

total time
50 minutes

4 servings


For the coconut carrot soup

  • 3 tablespoon rapeseed oil

  • 1 Middle white or yellow onionfinely diced

  • 12 ounces (3 Cups) carrotscut into 1/8 inch rounds

  • 1 teaspoon kosher saltshared plus more to taste

  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepperplus more to taste

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger

  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic

  • 1 (13.5 Ounce) can full fat coconut milk

  • 2 cups vegetable brothand more if needed

  • 2 teaspoon garam masala

  • 1/2 teaspoon easy chili powderlike Kashmiri chili powder

  • 1/4 Cup packed loosly corianderchopped for garnish

For the cumin oil

  • 2 tablespoon neutral oillike rapeseed

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1 clove garlicthinly sliced


  1. Cook the Flavors:

    In a medium saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the 3 tablespoons canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and translucent and you can easily pierce carrots with a fork, 10 to 15 minutes. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and the black pepper.

  2. Add ginger and garlic:

    Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in ginger and garlic. Cook until the ginger and garlic are fragrant and slightly softened, 2 to 3 minutes.

  3. Cook a soup:

    Stir in coconut milk, vegetable stock, garam masala, chili powder, and another 1/2 teaspoon salt. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. Puree soup:

    Remove the soup from the heat and, using a handheld immersion bender right in the saucepan, gently puree until smooth.

    Alternatively, allow the soup to sit for 5 minutes until slightly cooled, then place the soup in a blender. Place the lid on the blender and remove the center cap from the lid. This opening helps with steam release as the soup mixes.

    Cover the lid with a kitchen towel while you puree the mixture so the soup doesn’t splatter on you. Start at a low speed and gradually increase the speed until it is completely even. You may have to work in batches; Do not fill the blender more than a third full.

    Return the mixed soup to the pot and season with salt and black pepper. If the soup is too thick for your liking, you can thin it out with more broth or water. Keep it warm on the stove while you prepare the cumin oil.

  5. Prepare cumin oil:

    In a small tadka skillet or saucepan, heat the 2 tablespoons neutral oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil starts to glisten and ripple, add the cumin seeds. If the oil is smoking, turn the heat down before adding the cumin to prevent it from burning. Once the cumin starts to sizzle, add the sliced ​​garlic.

    Cook the cumin and garlic, tossing the pan occasionally, until the garlic is just beginning to turn golden brown.

    Immediately remove the pan from the heat and pour the cumin oil into a small heatproof bowl. If you leave the oil in the pan, the residual heat will burn the cumin and garlic.

  6. Serve soup:

    Divide the soup among serving bowls and garnish each with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cumin oil. Garnish with fresh coriander and enjoy with naan or crusty bread.

nutritional information (per serving)
411 calories
38g Fat
18g carbohydrates
4g protein
Previous articleHalloumi Saganaki
Next articleTteokbokki (Spicy Korean Rice Cakes)
Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!