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Carrot Habanero Soup

This is the best soup I’ve ever made, hands down. I ordered carrot habanero soup at one of my favorite little hangouts, the Circle J Cafe, and it was amazing! Sweet, savory, spicy, smooth. I could taste the ginger and citrus and heat, and it was in a creamy coconut milk base. I HAD to try to recreate it. I think I did a great job, if I do say so myself! 🙂 This is delicious served hot or chilled. I adapted (“paleofied”) the recipe found in Cooking Light.

A note about habanero peppers: I was considering cutting them, de-seeding and de-veining etc. to take out the excessive heat (they are hundreds of times hotter than jalapeno peppers!) and then sauteing them with the other vegetables but decided against it after researching it and saw the recommendations about wearing gloves and goggles and handling them outside for safety reasons. I was too chicken for all that so tried another recommended method, which is piercing them several times with a knife to infuse the heat into the soup without overpowering it. The first time I made this soup, I just used one pepper, and it had a nice warmth to it. The last time I made it with three peppers and it had a bit more kick so that was perfect for me!

You can also prepare this in a slow cooker instead of a Dutch oven or soup pot (just scrape/ladle the veggies after deglazing into a slow cooker, then add the remaining ingredients, cover and cook on low 6-8 hours.) If you use that method, add 2 more cups of water as it gets pretty thick. This yields 6 servings.

That lemon should be an orange
That lemon should be an orange


1.5 tablespoon coconut oil, ghee, or pasture butter (or combination. I used 1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1/2 tablespoon butter)
1 cup thinly sliced leek (about 1 large, washed)
1/2 cup chopped onion (about 1/2 medium onion)
1 pound carrots, (about 7-8 medium chopped)
2 cups sweet potato, peeled and chopped (about 1/2 large sweet potato)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-3 whole habanero peppers depending on desired heat
1/4 cup dry white wine*
4 cups water
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon of orange zest (optional)
1 can coconut milk (14 ounces) reserving a few tablespoons for garnish if desired
1 tablespoon coconut aminos (optional)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric (optional)
Fresh dill, chopped, for garnish (optional)


  1. Heat the fat in a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add leek, onion, sweet potatoes, carrots, ginger and garlic, and sauté 7-10 minutes or until tender and browning.
  3. Stir in the wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. (This is called deglazing the pan. See below for alcohol-free options.)

    Deglazing the pan
    Deglazing the pan
  4. Pierce the habaneros several times with a knife and add to the pot.
  5. Add the water, orange juice, (and if juicing the orange, zest some of the peel) coconut milk and coconut aminos, and bring to a boil.
  6. Partially cover, reduce heat and simmer 30-40 minutes.
  7. Add ground coriander, sea salt and turmeric, and stir to combine the ingredients.

  8. Remove and discard habaneros.
  9. Blend the ingredients using an immersion blender until smooth.

  10. Ladle into bowls. Garnish with reserved coconut milk and fresh dill, if desired.

* If you are avoiding all alcohol for any reason, (Whole30, anyone?) you can use almost any liquid to deglaze the pan, such as stock and lemon juice or vinegar diluted in water. There are a lot of good alternatives discussed here.


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