Sweet & Spicy Carrot Bisque Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Sweet & Spicy Carrot Bisque

This recipe, created by Aylene Lambert, won Best Soup in VT's 2011 Chef Challenge. Lambert got the idea for this soup while trekking across England with her husband. "We were at this lodge in the middle of nowhere, expecting pretty basic English food," she says. "Instead, they had the most incredible vegetarian banana curry. The next day we had so much energy for hiking." On a cold winter night back in New York, Aylene used the same banana flavor to make a velvety carrot bisque.



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1 Tbs. canola oil
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1 medium yellow onion, diced (1 cup)
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1 tsp. plus 1 pinch salt
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2 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
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1 Tbs. curry powder
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1 pinch cayenne pepper
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4 large carrots, peeled and cut into ¼-inch rounds (4 cups)
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1 ripe banana, peeled and sliced
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1 13.5-oz. can light coconut milk, divided


1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and pinch of salt, and sauté 5 minutes, or until onion is soft. Stir in ginger, and cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add curry powder, cayenne, and 1/4 cup water. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring to coat onion and ginger with curry mixture.

2. Add carrots, banana, 1 tsp. salt, and 4 cups water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, uncovered, 25 minutes, or until carrots are soft enough to be pierced with fork.

3. Purée soup in batches in blender or food processor. Return soup to pot, and stir in 1 cup coconut milk and lime juice.

4. Simmer remaining 3/4 cup coconut milk in small saucepan over medium-high heat 10 minutes, or until reduced by half.

5. Ladle soup in bowls, and swirl 11/2 Tbs. coconut milk reduction into each serving.

Nutrition Information: 

3 g
Total Fat: 
13 g
Saturated Fat: 
6 g
27 g
0 mg
716 mg
6 g
12 g
Serves 4

Comments on this Recipe

This definitely needs less curry powder, maybe it is a misprint 1 Tbs is too much. I also originally doubled the amount of carrots, then I had to triple the amount because I ended up having to make additional carrots and spoon in the already mashed curry, banana, carrot mix, doing that made this good. I would advise not using the amount of curry powder and adding the curry powder following the puree step and tasting following small additions.

I just made this recipe and I thought it was delicious! It is lightly sweet, spicy and very creamy. For those who found the curry flavor overpowering I recommend mixing up your own blend vs buying a commercial spice: 2 TBS cumin 2 TBS coriander 2 tsp turmeric 1/2 tsp each crushed red pepper, mustard seed and ground ginger Mix it all up in a spare coffee grinder or mortar and pestle. Use one TBS in the recipe, enjoy!

The name is a little misleading. It should say that it is a Banana Carrot Curry Soup. I made it, thinking that it would taste more like carrots, but the curry flavor was very strong. My two year old and I really enjoyed it, but my husband did not like the combination of flavors.

This is an excellent bisque, but I would question the fat content. Is there fat in carrots or is it the coconut milk that puts the fat count so high. Perhaps soy milk would be a better alternative?

Great seeing this recipe! Aylene Lambert attended Natural Gourmet Institute the same time as me. I remember when she submitted this recipe and won, so it's nice seeing it make another appearance on the web! Thanks for sharing!

I haven't made this yet, but I think the coconut milk probably gives this soup additional flavor that one would miss. I think you could omit the oil to save calories/fat content. You can cook the onions in just a bit of water or veg broth/stock. And remember to use the light coconut milk.

Just made this bisque earlier today and oh my! It is delicious! Instead of 4 cups of water (when simmering carrots), I used half veggie stock and water. I also oven-roasted half of the carrots. Otherwise, absolutely fabulous and will make this again and again!

Use "Lite Coconut Milk" by A Taste of Thai if you are concered about calorise. Its 60% less fat than the original one

Just made this tonight. I used a little less curry powder and used 1/2 veg stock & 1/2 water. I also added 2 small roasted sweet potatoes I had left over from today's lunch. This was absolutely delicious. I will make it again!

I made this often when it first came out and I can't wait to make it tonight for dinner! Instead of using the canned coconut milk, I use SO Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage. Cuts the fat content way down since one cup only has 5g of fat. I have also recently started sauteeing the onions, garlic, or whatever else a recipe calls for in a little water as opposed to oil.

Coconut milk is very fattening, but it has much more substance than soy or almond milk. There are "Lite" coconut milks out there that can easily substitute for the full-fat version.

I loved this bisque. It was amazingly delicious. I can't wait to make it again. It might me tonight.

I have also made this soup with minor variations (I don't peel the carrots). The recipe suggests the serving size is 1.5 cups, but we found it so rich that we were fine with half that as part of our meal. We will be entertaining soon and this will certainly be on the menu. Nicely done!

I loved it! Good soup for a cold day.

Loved it! I went a little overboard on the ginger, and it made it that much more awesome.

In response to the fat content, coconut milk is a healthy fat, (so long as the coconut milk isn't sweetened.Processed sugars are toxic to the body) that helps feed the brain,(raw cold pressed coconut oil has been scientifically/medically proven to reverse alzeheimers) cells, and joints. Like avocados, it is beneficial to the body, one of the healthy fats. Good fats are actually very needful of and for the body. When you cut back carbs,( Which causes inflammation,most especially processed grains), you need more healthy fats to compensate as well as help the body sustain energy. It also gives longer full feeling.

Another comment regarding the use of soy milk. It would really be more benefical to use almond milk, rice milk or hemp milk, than soy. Soy milk is predominantly made from GMO soybeans. GMO products have proven to cause infertility, cancers and decreased life span of animals. No human testing has been provided, as it is a new product from Monsanto. It is also not a product that our livestock was meant to be fed. Grasses are what they are to be fed. Soy and other grains only increase weight, not health of the animals. Also, when given a choice, animals will choose organic sources over GMO sourced foods. Soy also contains phytoestrogens, that play havoc with our hormone levels...men and women. Please do your own research. The industries will feed themselves, not us.

I wish people would save their politics for other places, and simply review recipes here.

Delicious and so warming! I will make this again.

Ick! This soup is so acidic it could burn a hole through your tongue. I made it for my boyfriend last night and he couldn't eat it. I ate a little bit and regretted it all evening. I'm a longtime vegan, and my bf and I are open to new flavors and foods, but this soup is all wrong. The curry powder, lime, carrots and onion are perhaps in the wrong proportions to the rest of it. It is much too acidic and I will not make it again.

We all have opinions, but this is a recipe review page. Thanks for saying that, Janice.

I appreciate Nannalil RN's information and caution regarding ingredient substitutions for coconut milk. There are healthy and unhealthy substitutions and we need information to make decisions about our health. Thanks, Nannalil!

I just made this recipe and I thought it was delicious! It is lightly sweet, spicy and very creamy. For those who found the curry flavor overpowering I recommend mixing up your own blend vs buying a commercial spice: 2 TBS cumin 2 TBS coriander 2 tsp turmeric 1/2 tsp each crushed red pepper, mustard seed and ground ginger Mix it all up in a spare coffee grinder or mortar and pestle. Use one TBS in the recipe, enjoy!

Beautifully simple, delicious recipe. I upped the spices, adding turmeric and others - check it out! http://spicedcuriosity.com/carrot-bisque-spicy-filling-sweet/ Thanks for posting, VT.

This was absolutely amazing!!! My boyfriend and I enjoyed it thoroughly and I've recommended it to all my friends.

This soup is the absolut best !!!!

Just made this, took about an hour and was well worth it. Delicious! Double it if you plan to have some left over.

Thie might be one the kids would like. I would serve it with brown rice or farro

Very easy to make. 90% of the time I have coconut milk in the house. The day I decided to make this of course I didn't have any. I used almond milk - very good too!

I just finished making this for my lunch this week. This was a great receipe that didnt take much time at all. I was very impressed with the way all of the flavors went so well with each other. My boyfriend who does not eat vegetables at all and he even though it was good. I will be adding this to my favorites list for sure!!

This soup is amazingly good. It is creamy and has a lot of flavor. I add extra broth because I like it a little thinner, but this has to be one of the best soups I have ever tasted.

Just made it, I am no chef so I was pretty impressed with myself that it turned out so good! My husband IS the chef in the family and his comments were as such, "I think it's exactly how it is supposed to be. I might use Garam Masala (less than 1 Tbs) instead of the curry powder for a better spice flavor since curry powder is so heavy on the turmeric. And I might roast the carrots in olive oil in the oven first to give it a more well-rounded flavor." But overall, YUM!!!

can water or (some type of) juice be substituted in place of the coconut milk? ( coconut milk, dairy milk, almond milk, rice milk and soy products ALL make me sick )... otherwise this sounds delicious.

Carroll Bisque

I wish authors of recipes would use weight or measurement for things like vegetables. There are so many variables. What is large? If you are cooking with heirloom organic veg a large carrot might be quite a bit smaller. Also, if you are traveling/living outside of USA -- veggie size varies.

Delicious! Very interesting results, flavors blend beautifully. Great vegetarian variation of regular carrot bisque.

This is a simple and delicious soup! I added extra curry ... yum.

In response to Luna who can't use most other types of milk, I'm sure hemp milk would work, sweetened or unsweetened, it'd just be a slightly different flavor.

Wonderfully refreshing compliment of heat and sweet. Makes me forget about the winter.