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.
Carrot Soup Ingredients Are So Simple
Carrots, turnips, potatoes and onions are really all this carrot soup consists of. Simplicity. But it packs a grounding sweetness – rooting I should say – of tubers. 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 carrot 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.
Looking for another delicious soup recipe. I highly recommend my Wild Mustard Asparagus Soup!
Gwen's French Carrot Soup
Carrots, turnips, potatoes and onions are really all this soup consists of. Simplicity.
- 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).
A chef from Kripalu taught me the egg over veggies trick. It’s quick, easy and satisfying. You can substitute any vegetable for the mushrooms and sweet potatoes in this easy breakfast recipe- try spinach, onions, tomatoes or your favorite blend of vegetables.
Let’s talk about wild mushrooms!
This year, our local farmer’s market has had a bumper crop of really beautiful mushrooms for a really reasonable price. Look at these beauties – oyster mushrooms.
Do you know that mushrooms have characteristics of both plants and animals? They are strange and wonderful little beings, and nutritionally rich in vitamins and minerals (not, however, protein as is often suggested). You can substitute any mushroom for those I use in this recipe.
This dish, while simple, is wonderfully balanced from a protein-carbohydrate-fat perspective, as there are healthful versions of each. Egg protein will keep you satisfied, as will the bit of anti-inflammatory monounsaturated olive oil. Sweet potatoes are a complex fiber-filled carbohydrate and they and the mushrooms are nutrient-dense, filled with vitamins and nutrients.
Here’s a quick weekday breakfast.
Egg "Poached" on Wild Mushrooms and Sweet Potatoes
This recipe is quick, easy and satisfying. You can substitute any vegetable for the mushrooms and sweet potatoes in this easy breakfast recipe- try spinach, onions, tomatoes or your favorite blend of vegetables.
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2/3 cup wild mushrooms chopped
- 1/3 cup sweet potato cooked (leftover from the weekend!) and cubed
- 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme or the fresh or dried herb of your choice
Warm olive oil in a small pan and sauté mushrooms and sweet potatoes for 3 or 4 minutes over medium-high heat.
Crack an egg into the pan, sprinkle with herbs, cover and turn down heat to low-medium. Let the egg “poach” in the steam of the vegetables for 3 or 4 minutes.
Check out my collection of easy healthy tasty recipes.
So easy. So tasty. So healthy. Make this lovely spring breakfast or not-too-sweet dessert right now.
If you have violets in your yard, here’s a whole new way to enjoy them. Violets are filled with antioxidants, so are health promoting in all the ways so many herbs and botanicals are. The lemon and violets both lend a light fragrance to this no-cook pudding.
I think of the ratio for chia a lot like the ratio for grains – that is, one part seeds to two parts liquid (for a pudding like this). I don’t count the yogurt in liquid – to me, that’s to make a creamy texture.
Make this the night before your breakfast, or a few hours before dinner for dessert. I used yogurt for a big of creaminess – for a vegan version, use a coconut yogurt or just skip the yogurt, perhaps boosting the chia for thickness.
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
juice and zest of 1/2 fresh lemon
2 tsp honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup chia seed
1/4 cup plain yogurt (good quality any level of fat)
1/2 cup violets – use heads (if you are up for chewing) or just the petals
In a medium bowl, mix almond milk, lemon juice, zest, honey, and vanilla. Stir in yogurt and chia. Add most of violets, saving a couple to decorate your creation.
Place in refrigerator overnight, or at least for 4 hours before serving.
Makes two – 2/3 cup servings.
For breakfast, if you top with 1/2 cup of blueberries, you’ll have a fiber, protein and nutrient rich start to your day.
Spicy shots! I love ’em. A couple of years ago Free Fire Cider, based on a folk recipe, popularized by herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, and trademarked, with great controversy in the herbal world, but a group in WMA, had its moment in the sun. Here’s my fire cider recipe.
Since then, I’ve been enamored with making spicy shots – delicious concoctions designed to warm and give a nutritional zing-ha to your morning. It’s a practice I especially get into in these (still!) cooler months.
Here’s one I whipped up this weekend, with tart cherry juice and apple cider vinegar. Cherry, ginger, and turmeric are all anti-inflammatories and packed with antioxidants. Apple cider vinegar is a natural probiotic. If you, like me are in the second half of life, this drink is vata-pacifying – grounding and warming.
Quick, easy, and makes you say “haaaaaa”. I aimed for warmth rather than heat in the spice. Raw garlic makes me burp, though my husband is focused on eating more, so I suggest he use this to wash down a nice raw clove for himself. Pow.
Cherry Turmeric Spicy Shot
A delicious concoction designed to warm and give a nutritional zing-ha to your morning
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cherry juice
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 Thumb-sized piece of ginger sliced
- 3 Tsp turmeric dried spice
- 1/2 tsp cayenne or to tast
Place everything in a blender and blend away. Pour into a small mason jar with a lid. The ginger and spice tend to separate, so give it a shake before your morning shot. I take about an ounce after my morning coffee and morning practices, a few minutes before breakfast.
I have a spicy-shot-for-every-season vision!
Have a favorite spicy shot you make?
Please share in the comments!
Everyone should have a vegetable-based recipe or two that takes (snap!) that long, that serves as a quick meal or snack. This raw Asian slaw recipe has been a mainstay of my 3pm-give-me-carbs attack for years. It works.
The heart of the recipe is savoy cabbage and rice wine vinegar. You can enjoy (and I often do) just these two ingredients. But why not toss in some carrot, cilantro or Thai basil, and sesame oil? Add a handful of cashews, organic tofu or garbanzo beans to make it a meal.
This is a great springtime detox recipe, because it is nutritionally dense, and contains the antioxidants that support your liver in its biotransformation of cellular gunk into removable trash, which can then be flushed out of your body via the usual exit routes. This recipe also has lots of fiber, secret weapon of the weight-conscious.
Asian Slaw Recipe
- ½ cup savoy cabbage sliced thin
- ½ cup red cabbage sliced thin
- a few fresh snow peas, sliced
- ¼ cup diced red pepper
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 1 Tbsp fresh cilantro if available
- 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp Asian salad dressing
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 slice fresh ginger, diced with skin trimmed
- a handful of cashews, or 1/2 cup tofu
Toss everything together and eat.
Just getting started with healthy eating? This article will help.
Please resist the temptation to spray weed-killer on your lawn as it is filled with nutrition free for the taking. Eat your “weeds” instead! Wild garlic mustard, for example, is considered an invasive weed but is also a nutrient-dense green with a spicy garlic flavor. This green is filled with antioxidant vitamins and minerals, and eating a little something wild every day connects us more deeply to nature.
I love the fact that just when we need to brush out the sludge from that long cold winter, the very tonics we need to help that happen literally spring up under our feet. Dandelion, ramps, wild strawberry and garlic mustard to name a few are everywhere now, and all we need to do is accept the invitation and support to detoxify deliciously.
Here is a nice light green spring soup recipe that I whipped up with the crew of people coming for Detox at Kripalu in mind. And of course, all my friends who are Kripalu Detox alums. Between the garlic mustard and asparagus (which is bursting with glutathione, the mother of all antioxidants and a detox power food) this recipe is made for spring nutrition. Enjoy!
Wild Mustard Asparagus Soup Recipe
Heavy Soup Pot
- 15-20 stalks asparagus snapped into 2-inch pieces
- 5 stalks celery chopped
- 2 Tbsp good quality olive oil
- 1 scallion chopped
- 15 oz chicken or vegetable stock I used Pacific Natural Organic Chicken
- 2 cups fresh wild garlic mustard leaves
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp grass-fed butter
- 4 Tbsp toasted sunflower seeds
- Salt and pepper to taste
Saute celery in olive oil in a heavy soup pot until soft.
Add scallion and asparagus, and continue to saute until vegetables are soft.
Add stock, garlic mustard, and Dijon, and simmer medium-low for 15 minutes.
Go to it with your immersion blender.
Stir in butter until melted and incorporated into the soup. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve warm, topping each bowl with a Tbsp of toasted sunflower seeds.