Carrot Soup + Collard Greens in Coconut Butter + Dukkah


Deborah Madison has published a new cookbook, and the food-universe is rejoicing. With good reason, it is a beautiful book. The food-trend pendulum has swung back to vegetables, and so a resurgence in Madison’s popularity makes perfect sense. Vegetable Literacy is one of a slew of new books focusing on vegetables. The recipes are organized by plant families and you get good information about the growing and care of each vegetable. In some ways, it is the American version of Tender. It is fresh and bright and perfect for spring.


I took it for a test drive with this carrot soup. The soup itself is pretty mundane, and honestly not worth making without the accompaniments. But the accompaniments elevate this to delicious. Madison cleverly includes some collard greens that have been tossed with coconut butter, and a sprinkling of dukkah, the delicious Egyptian spice and nut blend. The greens and dukkah make this a  lovely bowl of soup that is a great way of celebrating spring. I am looking forward to trying more recipes from the book as our market gets up and and running, and local vegetables return to my kitchen.


If anyone is interested in a day in my life, check it out over at So, How Was Your Day?, a blog that I love reading. It is fun getting glimpses into strangers’ lives.


So, seriously—you have to make all three parts of this recipe. Together they are magic. I happened to have coconut butter, you might not. You could try just sauteing the blanched greens in coconut oil, though they will be less flavorful. Maybe get some coconut butter? It is delicious. Also, I ended up adding a little acid to the soup because I thought it needed some brightness. The lime juice will work, otherwise a few drops of vinegar. Salt is your friend in this recipe.

Carrot Soup with Tangled Collard Greens in Coconut Butter and Dukkah (adapted slightly from Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison)

The Soup

  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/4 pounds carrots, scrubbed and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons peeled and slivered fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Sea salt

The Collards

  • Several smallish collard leaves
  • sea salt
  • coconut butter
  • squeeze of lime juice
  • Dukkah for serving (I basically used this recipe but with hazelnuts)

Warm the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, ginger, cumin, and 1 teaspoon salt, give it a stir and cook until wilted, about 6 minutes. Add 4 cups water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are soft, about 25 minutes.

While the soup is cooking, prepare the collards. Trim the stems, stack the leaves, roll them up, and then slice thinly crosswise. You’ll have a pile of long, thin, slices of collards. Bring a skillet of water to a boil, add a little salt and the greens and simmer until tender, a few minutes. Drain well and toss while hot with the coconut butter to taste. Add salt and lime juice to taste.

When the soup is ready, puree until smooth. Taste for salt, adding more if necessary. You can thin the soup with water at this point.

Ladle the soup into bowls and set a tangle of collards atop each serving and top with a generous amount of dukkah.

24 comments to “Carrot Soup + Collard Greens in Coconut Butter + Dukkah”

  1. Whiskey in oatmeal!? If I get addicted to this combination, am I allowed to hold you responsible? It sounds sublime.

    Dukkah seems to be able to bring more life to so many soups and an extra addition of greens is brilliant. I thought the recipe of braised fennel with tomato sauce was reason enough to buy this book, but this recipe just sealed the deal for me. Book shopping I go this weekend.

  2. This sounds delicious.
    The front cover of the cookbook is super beautiful. I might just head to the store this weekend to pick up. Especially because spring has arrived I’m getting more and more into veggie based dishes.
    xo Quinn

    Quinn Cooper Style

  3. Sasha- I am willing to be held responsible, because it is so delicious.

    Quinn- The cover is beautiful! The inside spreads never quite live up to that cover, but the recipes more than make up for it.

  4. Such a beautiful soup. I have been wanting to get my hands on this book for sometime!

  5. If I add whiskey and candied bacon to oatmeal, would you object? It may happen this weekend. Anyway, I just ordered this cookbook and it should arrive tomorrow. Looking forward to it! Happy Friday, Tim!

  6. That sounds good, Ileana! Do it!

  7. I am dying to get my hands on this book! The soup looks heavenly, though I’m slightly tempted to swirl a little whole-fat yogurt in there. I’m a slave to all things creamy.

  8. Thank you for writing this. The soup photo is beautiful. I bought Deborah Madison’s new book last month and I can’t stop cooking from it! Great stuff.

  9. Yum, Yum, YUM… How can you go wrong with his recipe? Can’t wait to give it a go.

  10. Mmm this soup looks so crazy good!!

  11. Thanks for turning me on to So, How Was Your Day? There is nothing I don’t love about it. I already have a carrot soup recipe that I’m kind of obsessed with, but good golly Miss Molly! Whiskey oatmeal? Intriguing.

  12. Just found your blog and love it! Fresh, amazing food, and gorgeous photography. Look forward to following. :)

  13. That soup is so dark I thought it was tomato at first! I really need to get my hands on this cookbook ASAP.

  14. oh, see, now this is why i read blogs. because i read this book, BOUGHT this book, saw and salivated over this recipe. and then, promptly forgot about it. no more. on my table this week, without further ado.

    thanks for calling it out.


  15. Dukkah is such a great sprinkle add on for any number of things. Salads, noodles, rice but I’ve never had it on soup. I must try it.

  16. Excluding your feature, So, How was your Day? had me thinking two things: 1) Who are these people subsisting on avocados, fancy tea, and water? 2) AREN’T THEY STARVING??

  17. Vegetable Literacy was the perfect Mother’s day idea for my cookbook addicted mom. Thanks!

  18. The book looks amazing and the soup delicious !
    It’s a beautiful recipe.

  19. Tim, you are *totally* ahead of the curve :) And I need to get that book! Gorgeous photos, as always. Best, Batya

  20. Making this tonight for dinner after being informed that they sell DUKKAH at Trader Joe’s. Got some yummy carrots from Tomato Mountain!

  21. Viktoria says:

    May 13th, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Hi, just wondering, do you not have to add any liquid–water or broth–to the vegetables in the pot? I’m hoping to make this soup tonight. Sounds delicious!

  22. Viktoria! Thanks for catching that. I saved the wrong draft of recipe. It is corrected above to include the water you add. Sorry!

  23. this is wonderful! I absolutely love dukkah.

  24. I just made this and it was delicious! I bought dukkah at Trader Joes a while back because it looked cool, and let’s just face it, TJs gets me every time, so I was super psyched to finally have something to use it in!!

What do you think?