Soup is a meal my husband would eat every day. Me? I'm only an occasional soup fan, and then only certain kinds of soups fit the bill. To make the cut, the soup must be thick, no mostly broth brews that really don't fill you up. I actually love the term "stoup", a thick, chunky soup - almost like a stew. I don't really like strained, smooth as silk soups, tending to prefer bits and pieces of the main ingredients (just how I like my mashed potatoes!) to give a hearty texture. A generous amount of flavor, not just salt, but actual ingredient flavor is also a must.
Rachel Ray's Spicy Sweet Potato Soup met all the above requirements and had the added benefit of being a cinch to put together! High in fiber and vitamins A and C, sweet potatoes provide a healthy base for this flavorful conglomeration. Spicy with chipotle peppers and flavored with orange, the soup obtains even more depth with the addition of a generous dose of bacon. Usually I cut down on bacon in my recipes, but this one really benefits from the smoky, salty addition.
About 30 minutes from start to finish, this soup is perfect for that short on time weeknight, and is even more flavorful reheated the next day. My husband felt that the orange flavor was a bit too pronounced, but with that generous does of bacon, all became balanced. The flavors very much resembled our Chipotle Lime Mashed Sweet Potatoes, and will bring a welcome freshness to your table!
Spicy Sweet Potato Soup
adapted from Rachel Ray
An excellent soup for a chilly afternoon or evening. I usually don't use much bacon, but in this case, the bacon is a necessity... don't skimp!
4 sweet potatoes (2-1/2 pounds), peeled and sliced 1 inch thick
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
4 slices smoky bacon, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped, plus 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 - 1 1/2 cups of water
3 Tbs half and half
3 Tbs half and half
1 teaspoon grated peel and juice of 1 orange
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Honey or maple syrup, for drizzling
sour cream, for garnish
In a large saucepan, add the sweet potatoes and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, salt the water and cook until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain and return to the pot.
While the potatoes are working, in a medium pot, heat the EVOO, 1 turn of the pan. Add the bacon and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Discard all but 1 tablespoons bacon fat. Add the onion, carrot, chipotle pepper, and adobo sauce, and cook until the onions are softened, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth, orange peel, orange juice and cinnamon; drizzle with honey and season with salt and pepper. Simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the broth mixture to the sweet potatoes in the pot and puree with an immersion blender (alternatively, puree in batches in a blender or food processor). Stir in half and half, heat for a few more moments and serve the soup with the sour cream and bacon on top.
Note: The recipe calls for 1 chipotle chile and 2 Tbs of the sauce... we found this to be quite spicy (and my husband really, really, likes spice!) You may want to add a small amount, then taste and increase as necessary. =)
Once again I have been absolute remiss in acknowledging some of my peers. Sara at CaffeIna and Livya from Eat Greek have both honored me with a Lovely Blog Award. I am extraordinarily touched by the kindness of both of you and for your kind words and compliments. Both of you are bloggers who inspire me, and I look forward to "catching up" with you often during the week through your posts. Thank you to both of you!