In cold and flu season, keeping your vitamin A status up is most important. There’s plenty in liver (paté for instance) but there’s a ton of vitamin A precursor (beta-carotene) in carrots. Each serving of this soup provides over 16,000IU of vitamin A as beta-carotene in an ‘easy to swallow’ form! Delicious!

Serves 4 to 6


  • 1 bag (1 pound/450 g) baby carrots
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) salt
  • 3 tablespoons (42 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) orange zest
  • 1 quart (0.9 liters) vegetable stock
  • Chopped fresh herbs (dill, chives, fennel, thyme) for garnish


  1. Wash the carrots well.
  2. Fill a soup pot with water, add the carrots, and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook carrots until quite tender, about 15 minutes. They should cut easily with the side of a fork.
  3. Drain the carrots and hold aside in the colander.
  4. Melt the butter in the soup pot and sauté the onion until limp. Add the ginger, zest, and seasonings, except fresh garnishing herbs.
  5. Return the carrots to the pan and sauté a minute or two more.
  6. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes.
  7. Puree the soup with a stick (immersion) blender (or cool slightly and puree in batches in a food processor or blender and return to the pot); cover and keep warm.
  8. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to your preference.
  9. Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh herbs.


PS: SousVide Supreme fans, you can find a sous vide cooked version here.


  1. A friendly warning:
    According to the Who, no one in the industrialized world suffers from a lack of vitamin A and an excess can have terrible consequences. I found out the hard way.

    There are reports in the medical files of people dying from too many carrots!
    (“Ashton Kutcher Went To The Hospital After Drinking Too Much Carrot Juice!”…/ashton-kutcher-carrot-juice-steve…/
    “Carrot man: a case of excessive beta-carotene ingestion.”

    I’ve been off vitamin A for 15 months after getting vitamin A poisoning and I still have a ways to go. However, most of my autoimmune problems have already gone away (and so has my gray hair!) Read about my experience starting here: Eureka! What Changed? To Everything There is a Season…

    1. Judy, for sure it’s possible to get too much of any of the fat soluble vitamins, including A. But a bowl of carrot soup isn’t likely going to do it.

  2. No, and your soup looks delicious!

    Having any infection lowers your vitamin A level, which in my case would be a very good thing. Grant Genereux,, makes a convincing case that our epidemics of autoimmune diseases are the result of excess vitamin A. Fat soluble vitamins build up over time and we no longer live in a dirty world full of parasites. We are loaded up with vitamin A from before birth. If you look up “foods highest in vitamin A” some of the first things on the list are pages and pages of children’s cereals and dairy products and baby formula, which are all fortified. And the vitamin A they use for fortification is not the natural one that goes to the liver to be detoxed, but a water soluble form that goes to the kidneys.

    My own struggles with autoimmune conditions started 25 years ago when I used a retin A skin cream. The creams contain the same kind of A used in Accutane, the disastrous acne treatment that comes with a list of dire warnings about the consequences of using it, “in any amount for any length of time,” including horrific birth defects similar to Thalidomide. After 16 months of getting no vitamin A in my diet, most of my autoimmune problems are gone. And contrary to expectations, my skin and eyes are much improved.

  3. Mary Dan,
    I have been using your fabulous recipes from all your books ever since the publication of the original Protein Power. Last night we had the Butterflied Pork Chops with Bourbon Mustard Sauce (page 285), but I used pork tenderloin since I had no chops in the house. it was fabulous as always, but I wondered if you have modified the recipe in any way over the years? For instance, do you still use as much olive oil and butter?
    Tonight we are having the Chicken with Chèvre, Smoked Bacon, and Pepper Salsa (p. 259). My husband and I cannot eat cilantro since it tastes like soap to us. Can I substitute parsley and/or basil?
    Thank you for all the delicious recipes on your website and in all your books. I know it’s not likely, but I wish you’d publish a single volume of your best and favorite recipes going all the way back to PP.

    1. Carole~ Thanks so much for all your nice words. To be fair, most of the recipes in Protein Power (including both the recipes you mentioned) were written not by me but by a professional recipe writer named Barbara Witt. When Bantam bought the book, they insisted that the recipes be written by a professional, so we didn’t have a choice in the matter. The ones on the website and most of the ones in subsequent books (and in Mike’s previous book, Thin So Fast) were mine. I haven’t cut down on the amount of butter in anything I cook, but always such things are to your own taste, so feel free to do what you like there. Just remember that butter is a very healthful fat and in any recipe that might have called for something like a vegetable oil, I would now replace it with butter, coconut oil, ghee, lard, or duck fat rather than use vegetable oil. (Avocado oil and olive oil are fruit oils, technically, and they’re healthful enough — more to come on that topic in the upcoming Protein Power 2.0 if we can ever manage to get it finished!) As to cilantro, you can substitute any fresh herb that you enjoy in it. Either parsley or basil would be fine. All the best!

      1. Mary Dan,
        Thank you so much for your reply. I am stunned about Bantam books forcing you to use a professional recipe writer since all of the recipes of yours that I’ve used over the years have been excellent. Just out of curiosity (if you want to reveal this), did you and do you use any of those recipes from PP that you did not contribute?
        I only asked you about changing the amount of fat because people such as Ted Naimen are now suggesting that we Low Carbers cut the amount. Ever since I first read PP, I’ve embraced all the great fats you mention and wouldn’t give them up unless someone such as you or your husband recommended that we do that.
        I, and I am sure many others, are anxiously awaiting your PP 2.0. Do you have any idea when it might be published?
        Thank you so much for all your wise advice over the years. I have multiple copies of every book you’ve published (so I can share with others).

        1. Barbara Witt’s recipes are really all wonderful. She’s a lovely person, but Bantam (and our editor in particular, who had written books with Barbara before) really wanted ‘professional’ recipes. Hers are really great. And, yes, I have used many of them over the years. As to fat, it’s basically calories that are metabolically pretty neutral, with the exception of PUFAs, such as linoleic acid (much more on which topic should be in our next book). For smaller masses, which category women generally fall into, it’s pretty easy to get too many neutral calories from good fats to lose body fat. Short of getting too many to stall weight loss, good fats are fine and healthful. We still embrace good quality animal fats and mono and saturated vegetable fats. The quantity of them is going to be dictated by how many calories you really need to either lose weight/fat or maintain weight.

      1. They are not an ultra low carb vegetable, but a 7 inch carrot (about an inch around) just has 7 grams of carb, so not hugely high. And 2 of those grams are fiber.

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