Monday, January 19, 2009

Smoky-Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

I'll admit that I wasn't quite sure whether I'd like the way this soup turned out. I love bacon as a foundation for soups and sauces. I love chipotles in adobo. But while I do like sweet potatoes, I wouldn't go so far as to say I love them. Rachael's recipe, however, is masterful. She takes the sweet starchiness of sweet potatoes and brightens it up with orange and carrot. You end up with a surprisingly refreshing, yet completely satisfying and hearty soup. It's excellent with a baguette sliced up and ready for dunking.

I also have to introduce you to my new friend, a Le Creuset oval French oven (5 qt) in slate. I know it's misguided (at best) to bestow love upon inanimate objects, but I love it. Love love love it. You'll see a photo of it hard at work below. I got it for a steal at Williams-Sonoma this weekend and so far we are very happy together.

This can easily be made vegetarian by leaving out the bacon. Do so at your own risk.

Smoky-Spicy Sweet Potato Soup
Adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray
serves 2-3


2 medium-sized sweet potatoes (garnet or jewel, your preference), peeled and sliced into relatively uniform chunks
1 tablespoon EVOO
2 slices smoky bacon, chopped
1 small onion or shallot, chopped
1 medium-sized carrot, peeled and shredded
1 chipotle pepper in adobo, chopped, plus 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
3 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
2 cups low sodium chicken/veggie broth
grated zest and juice of a small to medium-sized orange
pinch of ground cinnamon
maple syrup, for drizzling


(that's my new Le Creuset in the back)

1. In a medium saucepan, add the sweet potatoes and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, salt the water and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and return to the pot.

2. While sweet potatoes are working, in a medium pot (or a beautiful new French oven) heat the EVOO. Add the bacon pieces and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until crisp (about 5-7 minutes). Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate. Discard all but about 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat / EVOO in the pan.

3. Add onion, carrot, chipotle pepper, adobo, thyme sprigs and bay leaf to the bacon fat / EVOO and cook until the onions are softened, 6-7 minutes. Stir in the chicken/veggie broth, orange zest, orange juice and cinnamon. Drizzle with maple syrup just to taste, and season with salt and pepper. Simmer about 5 minutes. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf.

4. Add the broth mixture to the sweet potatoes in the pot and puree with an immersion blender (or your preferred method). Serve the soup with bacon pieces on top.

This one definitely goes on the keeper list! Enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. I suspect John is jealous of the new beloved French oven - the soup sounds "good" too!!!!!!