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Annie Lucey's Carrot, Sweet Potato and Ginger Soup
There are certain special recipes that are about more than eating. This soup by Annie Lucey is one of them. To me, this soup is about nurturing, care and comfort. As my daughter said when she tried it, "mmm, so soothing." It feels like you’re giving yourself something medicinal while simultaneously being cozy, comforting and delicious. If you want to grab the recipe and go, scroll to the end of the story. But, it’s well worth sticking around to meet Annie Lucey - our first interview on Substack! Enjoy getting to know Annie, her approachable food philosophy and why you don’t need fancy equipment to get started in the kitchen.
Tell us about you.
I’m Annie, a professionally trained cook and recipe developer. I'm obsessed with tomatoes, seasonal produce, and getting you to step into your kitchen! I work in food media and also develop recipes for my personal brand and website. My cooking style is casual, feel-good, and seasonally driven. You’ll find that the flavors I lean on are often inspired by my home state of California, as well as my Sicilian and Mexican roots. You can read more about my background here. Long term I want to author my own cookbooks and continue teaching people how to cook at home. I love my work and I’m motivated to do it all on a much larger scale.
I live with my husband and our dog Frances in a coastal town about 30 minutes outside of SF. Also, I’m currently 9 months pregnant anticipating the arrival of our first baby. We are so excited to become parents. I hope she likes my cooking!
What do you most want us to know about food and cooking?
A delicious meal doesn’t require complicated cooking techniques. Practice making a few simple recipes and slowly riff on them over time to build up some confidence. If you don’t know where to start, try recipes that check different boxes to build a kind of repertoire. A chicken recipe, a veg-forward recipe, a pasta, a fabulous dressing and a salad, a braise, and a soup. Keep cooking and keep tasting as you go and don’t put pressure on yourself - I promise it will become more intuitive and fun.
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For someone starting from 0, what are the most important things to have in your kitchen?
You don’t need a big kitchen or a ton of fancy equipment! Start with the basics and add more later if you feel like you are missing something. I rely on a few kitchen workhorses: an 8 - 8.5 inch chef’s knife, a large cutting board and a small cutting board, a wooden spoon, a fish spatula (which can be used as your main spatula), a high-powered blender, graduated mixing bowls (glass and/or stainless steel), as well as a couple of pots, pans, and skillets. My most-used cookware includes: a cast iron skillet, a 3-3.5 quart stainless steel saute pan, a 5-5.5 quart enameled dutch oven, and a stainless steel saucepan that’s big enough to cook pasta, rice, and other grains. I am not a big nonstick skillet gal but so many people swear by it - if it makes it easier for you to get cooking, get one!
Share a recipe of yours that we should all be making this week.
Carrot, Sweet Potato, + Ginger Soup. Packed with carrots, sweet potatoes, ginger, turmeric, lime, and cilantro - this wildly flavorful soup comes together in 45 minutes. Serves 4.
For the Soup:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 lb carrots, cubed (about 3 and 1/2 cups when cubed)
1 lb sweet potato, peeled and cubed (about 3 cups when cubed)
3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons diced or grated fresh ginger, divided
1 teaspoon ground turmeric, I love Diaspora Co. turmeric
Juice of 1 lime, plus wedges for serving
1/4 cup cilantro leaves and stems, plus more for serving
For the Toppings:
Fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
Crushed red chili flakes such as gochugaru flakes a kind of Korean chili flake, or even Marash or Aleppo if you have them on hand.
Sweat the onions + garlic:
1. Add olive oil to a heavy bottomed stockpot or dutch oven over medium heat.
2. Add diced onion, stir to coat in olive oil, and season generously with kosher salt.
3. Saute diced onion over medium heat for several minutes until soft, stirring occasionally. You're not going for browning here - just gently sweating the onion until soft and translucent to keep the flavor more delicate..
4. Add diced garlic, stir, cook until garlic is fragrant, about a minute or so.
Simmer the veg until fork-tender:
1. Add the sweet potatoes, carrots, broth, and half of the ginger to pot. The veggies should be submerged - if they aren't, add a little more broth to cover.
2. Season generously with several big pinches of kosher salt, bring to a boil, and then simmer, covered with lid, for about 25 minutes, or just until the veggies are fork-tender.
Add remaining aromatics + blend:
1. When sweet potatoes and carrots are cooked through, add the remaining ginger, turmeric, lime juice, and cilantro to the pot, and give everything a big stir to combine. If you are worried about turmeric staining your blender, add it to the pot after blending if preferred.
2. Blend everything in a blender or with an immersion blender until smooth. Transfer back into dutch oven to keep warm until serving. Taste and adjust to add more salt and lime if needed.
Finish + serve:
1. Serve while warm. Top individual bowls with more chopped cilantro, freshly squeezed lime juice and crushed red chili flakes.
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