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story.lead_photo.caption This simple soup is sweet, creamy and a little bit spicy.

Sometimes the simpler the recipe, the easier it is to overcomplicate it. Case in point: carrot-ginger soup, whose flavors often get elbowed out with the addition of other vegetables, fruits or excessive dairy. But this simple, creamy, pared-down version is velvety-smooth with clean carrot flavor and subtle ginger background notes.

Carrots are a long-lasting pantry staple, and all it takes are three of them to form the base of this soup. We used ginger as the key aromatic, which eliminated the need to add even onion or shallot, cutting down our ingredient list drastically.

A small amount of milk adds subtle richness without dulling the flavors. With the flavors in check, we made a meal out of this warm bowl of comfort by adding some hearty toppings. If you don't have a blender, an immersion blender or a food processor would also work.

For 25 years, confident cooks in the know have relied on America's Test Kitchen for rigorously tested recipes developed by professional test cooks and vetted by 60,000 at-home recipe testers. See more online at www.americastestkitchen.com/TCA.

GINGERY CARROT SOUP

Makes: 1-2 servings

1 tablespoon oil

3 carrots (8 ounces), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/3 cups chicken or vegetable broth, plus extra as needed

1/3 cup milk

1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add carrots, ginger, and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

2. Stir in broth, scraping up any browned bits. Bring to a simmer and cook, over medium-low heat until carrots are very soft, about 15 minutes.

3. Process soup and milk in a blender until smooth, about 2 minutes.

4. Return soup to now-empty saucepan and adjust consistency with extra hot broth as needed.

5. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve. (Soup can be refrigerated up to three days.)

Recipe notes: A handful of store-bought croutons or crispy chickpeas, a sprinkle of cilantro, and/or some sour cream or Greek yogurt add an extra layer of flavor and texture.

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