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Low-Fat Carrot and Orange Soup

This bright, dairy-free spring soup is ready in 30 minutes to enjoy warmed or chilled.

Soup made with carrots, onions, orange juice and chicken stock on white tables cape
Low-Fat Carrot and Orange Soup

If you live in the St. Louis metro area, you probably remember The Elsah Landing Restaurant. Nestled against the Mississippi River bluffs in the hamlet of Elsah, Illinois, the restaurant was known for its homemade soup, bread, salads, and desserts. Even in the 1980s, it was a destination restaurant that had become popular enough to support a second location in the fashionable suburb of Frontenac, Missouri, close to the “ladies who lunch.” Sadly, both locations are closed.

Mom and I visited the Illinois location a few times, and I hold warm memories of the little day trips we sometimes took on Saturdays. It was our time, and it was special. On one of those outings to Elsah, Mom picked up a copy of the restaurant’s cookbook, and we often enjoyed a recipe from it. One of my favorites is Orange Carrot Soup.

Forty years ago, this was something exotic to me! But this low-fat soup is such a comforting bowl that’s made even more delicious by starting with a homemade chicken stock. The chicken schmaltz is the only fat in the soup, and if you skim it (as I did), there’s less fat. In fact. there's less than 3 grams of fat per serving!

This dish has the consistency of homemade tomato soup but without the acid. There’s no dairy, but each spoonful is so comforting. So, let’s get cooking!

To make Low-Fat Carrot with Orange Soup recipe, which yields four servings, you’ll need these ingredients:

  • 3 cups fresh chicken stock (organic box stock also could be used)

  • 1 tablespoon chicken stock base (I like the Better than Bullion brand)

  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped

  • ½ cup yellow onion, chopped

  • 1 ½ cups orange juice

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Fresh parsley for optional garnish

The original Elsah Landing Restaurant recipe added 1 teaspoon sugar (I don’t think that’s necessary) and leeks instead of onion. I rarely have leeks on hand (hate cleaning them). Mint was originally used as garnish, but mine wasn’t quite ready for harvest, so parsley filled in just fine.

Making this soup couldn’t be easier.

cup of orange-carrot soup with a cheese quesadilla on a board
Low-Fat Carrot with Orange Soup can be served chilled as shown here with a grilled cheese quesadilla.

Directions for Making Low-Fat Carrot with Orange Soup

In a medium saucepan, add chopped carrots and onions to chicken stock. Cover and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Allow the contents to cool.

Ladle small amounts into a blender and purée. Pour each puréed batch back into saucepan. Add orange juice, salt and pepper to taste. Stir until blended, garnish and serve.

I found this soup tastes best when just warmed (not piping hot) or even at room temperature or chilled.

Can Carrot with Orange Soup be frozen?

Absolutely! There’s no dairy in the soup, so you can freeze leftovers if you have any. You also could double a recipe and save some to share with a friend. It’s a healthy yet comforting meal. Pair it with a grilled cheese sandwich or simply with garlic bread and a green salad. So many good leafy greens (like butter lettuce) are coming into season now.

Other serving suggestions would be little soup “shooters” alongside a plate of chicken salad, lettuce, and fruit. What a fun lunch for friends to share.

Give Carrot with Orange Soup a try and let me know what you paired it with on your table!


Carrot casserole topped with cheesy snack crackers
Carrot Caper Casserole

Here's another tasty carrot recipe!

Carrot Caper was a favorite springtime side dish in my family. A creamy cheese sauce and crunchy butter or cheese snack crackers give one of Mom's go-to casseroles its zing.

About the blog

Three Women in the Kitchen is an award-winning food blog offering today’s home cooks comforting, hearty recipes with a personal touch. The website also pays tribute to Deborah’s mother, Katie Reinhardt, and paternal grandmother, Dorothy Reinhardt (the “three women” in the kitchen). Whether you’re an experienced or a novice cook, you’ll find inspiration here to feed your families and warm your heart. Subscribe today so you won’t miss a single delicious detail.

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