Gwen Gaillard was the belle of Nantucket’s culinary scene for years. We have a tattered cookbook filled with Gwen’s recipes from her heyday. This carrot soup is one of them, with a little of my own updates and thoughts.
Carrots, turnips, potatoes and onions are really all this soup consists of. Simplicity. But it packs a grounding sweetness – rooting I should say – of tubors. Perfect for this transitional season of surprising coolness and breeziness, when you get hungry for hearty but don’t want to slide into dough-eating.
We got a beautiful bunch of carrots from the Farmer’s Market in Great Barrington this week, along with a turnip, so it was time to get this one rolling. This soup is a great base for adding a variety of other flavors – toss in an apple, or a thumb-sized piece of ginger, or some spicy peppers for variety. Gwen’s recipe calls for butter, but you can easily make this soup vegan and delicious by simply sautéing the onions in olive oil rather than butter. Easy.

Carrot Soup Ingredients

1/4 large yellow onion, sliced
2 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 lbs fresh carrots, scrubbed and sliced
1 large turnip, washed and cubed
2 large potatoes, washed and cubed
2 quarts water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp peppercorns


Saute the onions in the butter over medium-low heat.
Place the carrots, turnip, and potatoes in a soup pot with water, and simmer over low heat. After a half-hour, add the sautéed onions, salt and pepper.
When vegetables are soft, blend with a hand-blender (or a regular blender if need be).