This Instant Pot Caramelized Carrot Soup is delectably silky and the carrots are elevated to sweet perfection thanks in the Instant Pot.
There is truly something incredible about this soup. The addition of a little bit of baking soda in the Instant Pot with the carrots really allows them to get an intense caramelization that makes them so tasty.
I learned this technique from Modernist Cuisine where they explain that the baking soda helps intensify the Maillard reaction, which is the browning affect that produces the really intense flavor. The baking soda is added to the carrots and butter in the pressure cooker and in 20 minutes you have these incredible carrots.
Using just 5 ingredients, this soup really elevates the carrot flavor. You won’t believe how amazing it tastes. It’s the best carrot soup I’ve ever tasted, and probably my favorite soup, period.
The only issue with the Modernist Cuisine recipe is that it’s a bit difficult for home cooks. It includes techniques and ingredients that are harder to source. But I love this recipe so much that I had to adapt it to make it easier. So this is my home version of that recipe.
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Ingredients You Need for Carrot Soup
You won’t believe that this soup has just 5 ingredients. It consists of these things:
- Carrots – the best you can find, fresh as possible
- Butter – salted or unsalted; you can add more salt to taste
- Baking soda – just a small amount is needed
- Chicken broth – the original recipe calls for carrot broth so you can use that if you can find it, otherwise chicken or vegetable broth both are great
- Salt – the carrots need a bit of salt to counteract the sweetness
How to Make Caramelized Carrot Soup
You will need an Instant Pot or a pressure cooker for this recipe. I’ve tried it on the stove top and it doesn’t turn out the same. It’s not possible to caramelize the carrots on the stovetop, like you can in the Instant Pot.
Peel and cut the carrots into quarters, then remove the tough inner core. This part of the carrot can be quite bitter, so it will enhance the flavor and texture to cut the core out.
Cut the slices into 2” pieces or sticks.
Press the saute mode of your Instant Pot and melt the butter in the pot. Then add the carrots and stir them to coat with butter. Sprinkle the salt and baking soda over the carrots and pour in the water. Then give it all a good stir.
Secure the lid and set the vent to sealing. Pressure cook on high for 20 minutes. Do a quick release of the pressure when it’s done.
You’re going to love the aromas that come from the pot when you open the lid. You can instantly smell the caramelization. It’s heavenly.
Add the chicken stock to the pot and then puree the soup, in the pot, with an immersion blender until smooth. The immersion blender really is the way to go here. You won’t have to dirty another pot and it’s so quick and easy. Just blend it until all the chunks are gone and the puree starts to form small bubbles. This is when it becomes silky and smooth.
Heat the soup on saute mode until hot, about 3 minutes. My Instant Pot heats up really fast on saute mode and takes a while to cool back down, so I only leave it on saute mode for 3 minutes. Any longer and it might burn on the bottom.
Turn off saute mode and add the final bits of butter. Then puree it again with the immersion blender until the butter has melted and blended into the soup.
Tips for the Best Outcome
- Use the best quality carrots you can find and be sure to remove the inner core, which can add bitterness to the soup.
- Don’t skip the baking soda. It allows the carrots to become extra caramelized, as it enhances the maillard reaction.
- You can use salted or unsalted butter. If you use unsalted, you may need to add additional salt, to taste.
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- 1 lb carrots peeled and cores removed
- 1/2 cup butter 113g
- 1/8 cup water 30ml
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda 2.5g
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 2 tbsp butter
- Cut the carrots into quarters and remove the tough inner core. Cut the slices into 2” pieces.
- Press the saute mode of your Instant Pot and melt the 1/2 cup of butter. Add the carrots and stir to coat with butter. Sprinkle over the salt and baking soda. Pour in the water. Stir.
- Secure the lid and set the vent to sealing. Pressure cook on high for 20 minutes. Do a quick release of the pressure.
- Add the final 2 tbsp of butter and again puree with the immersion blender until the butter has melted and blended in.
Don’t skip the baking soda. It allows the carrots to become extra caramelized, as it enhances the maillard reaction.
You can use salted or unsalted butter. If you use unsalted, you may need to add additional salt, to taste.