Saturday, May 19, 2012

Loaded Sweet Potato Soup with Candied Bacon

Mark did not like this soup but he can't stand sweet potatoes.  Although not as good as normal baked potato soup, it was still tasty.  The bacon seals the deal.

1 large onion, diced
olive oil, for sauteing
sea salt and fresh black pepper
5 cloves, garlic, minced
2-3 tablespoons chives, snipped (I didn't use)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
7-8 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 can (14 ounce) vegetable or chicken broth
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
pepper jack or extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
sour cream

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 slices thick-cut bacon

Cover the bottom of a large saucepan or soup pot with olive oil, heat over medium-low heat; add onion, saute until tender and translucent, seasoning well with salt and pepper. Add garlic, saute until fragrant; stir in chives, thyme, chili powder and cinnamon, cook for a minute or two.
Add sweet potatoes; toss with onion mixture; add broth, vinegar and enough water to come to top of sweet potatoes. Season with 1 teaspoon sea salt and lots of fresh black pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile make candied bacon and shred cheese. Use an immersion blender to puree soup or carefully add to a stand blender, pureeing in batches and placing a dish towel over the lid so the steam doesn’t blow hot soup everywhere.
Serve garnished with cheese, sour cream and crumbled bacon candy.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set a cooling rack inside the prepared pan and set aside.
Combine brown sugar, chili powder and cinnamon in a shallow dish. Dredge the bacon slices in the brown sugar mixture and place, not touching, on rack. Bake until crisp, 15 – 20 minutes. Blot excess grease with paper towels if needed.

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