Spicy Carrot Soup with Ginger and Paneer Cubes

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
carrot soup with paneer cubes

Carrots are one vegetable that I pretty much always have on hand. They keep for a good while in the fridge and can easily be tossed into salads, stews or soups, or just eaten raw with or without dip. I got to thinking about my fresh bag of carrots and decided that carrots ought to shine as a centerpiece of the meal from time to time and so the idea of this elegant nourishing soup with plump, lightly fried paneer cheese cubes was born and subsequently devoured. My husband declared it was probably the best carrot soup he has ever eaten and, humble cook that I am, I tend to agree.

If you want a vegan version, use oil and coconut milk instead of butter and cream and omit the paneer cubes and use croutons instead, such as these ever-popular polenta croutons (without the Parmesan), fried tofu cubes or any other addition that suits your fancy.

As is usual with most soups, this one tastes even better the next day as letting it sit allows the flavors to meld together for an even more satisfying curried taste experience. Simply reheat before serving.

Spicy Carrot Soup with Ginger and Paneer CubesSpicy Carrot Soup with Ginger and Paneer Cubes
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on January 25, 2013

Simple, creamy and delicious curried carrot soup seasoned with Indian spices and served with tender pieces of fried paneer cheese

Preparation: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 45 to 50 minutes

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  • 3 tablespoons butter or oil
  • 1/2 lb (225 g or 1 1/2 cups) paneer cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 2 medium leeks, white and light green parts, sliced
  • 1 lb carrots (450 g or 3 large carrots), sliced
  • 1 potato, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 jalapeños or green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, grated or minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2/3 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon amchoor (dried mango) powder (optional)
  • pinch of cayenne
  • handful of dried curry leaves
  • 4 to 5 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 to 1 cup coconut milk or heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • small handful of fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
  • Begin by frying the paneer. Heat the butter or oil in a large non-stick pan over medium heat. When hot, add the paneer cubes and cook, flipping often, until the paneer is lightly browned on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside.

  • To make the soup, melt the butter or oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. When hot, add the leeks to the pan and stir for 5 to 8 minutes or until the leeks begin to soften Add the carrots, potato, red pepper, jalapeños or chilies, and ginger. Cook, stirring often, for 6 to 8 minutes. Add the ground spices and curry leaves and stir to coat the vegetables. Continue to stir for 1 minute.

  • Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Remove from heat and purée the soup until smooth with an immersion blender or in batches in a countertop blender. Return to the stove and whisk in the coconut milk or cream. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

  • Serve hot, garnished with fresh parsley or cilantro and some cubes of the fried paneer.

Makes 6 servings

curried carrot soup

More vegetable soups you are sure to enjoy from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Creamy Beet Borscht
Curried Carrot and Lentil Soup with Cashews
Indian Tamarind, Carrot and Coconut Soup
Wild Mushroom Soup


My World My Home said...

Looks delicious & yummy :-)


hotpotcooking said...

Different with planner cubes

Maya said...

Mmmmmm...looks very comforting and cozy :)

soozler said...

Just finished making this, without the paneer or cream. I followed your recipe exactly and it is amazing! I'm currently suffering an intense head cold, and this has brought me some extreme comfort. I feel better already.
Thanks Lisa