We've been a little over-indulgent this past week.............with with the Carrot Cake Jam (and the bread that went along with it!), the Dulche de leche Sauce (and the ice cream that went along with it!) and to top it off, the Caramel-Pecan Hand Pies yesterday (more ice cream!). I decided that we'd better start behaving a bit more............ (and you might need to as well!) so..........
....when I came across this healthy, low-fat recipe for Smoky Sweet Potato Soup in a recent issue of Martha Stewart Living, I couldn't wait to try it. As usual, I adapted the recipe a bit; adding lots of extra veggies, some wonderful, flavorful herbs and two strips of applewood smoked bacon to give the soup extra smokiness and flavor without adding a lot of extra fat. I finished off the soup with a bit of fresh mozzarella, sprinkled with crumbled bacon, finely sliced chives and some roasted, salted sunflower seeds.
The soup does require a forty minute simmer, but other than that, it comes together easily and quite quickly. Along with a fresh salad and a some warm, crusty bread, this soup made a delicious dinner. Whether you've been a bit naughty lately with your eating habits or not, I think you and your family/friends will love this yummy, nutritious Sweet Potato & Carrot Soup as much as we did!
Smoky Sweet Potato & Carrot Soup
2 strips applewood bacon, diced small
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium bulb shallot
2 medium leeks, wash and sliced
½ medium onion, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon crushed (or ground) coriander seed
1 teaspoon cumin1 medium apple, seeded and chopped, I used a Gala apple but Braeburn, Honey Crisp or Granny Smith would work as well
½ pound carrots, roughly chopped
2 large, about 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
2 quarts low sodium chicken broth
½-1 medium canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, use these judiciously, they are quite hot and spicy, you might want to start with a half, taste and add more if desired - if you don't like things spicy at all, just leave them out
freshly ground black pepper
fresh mozzarella balls, for floating on the top
fresh chives or parsley, for garnish
toasted salted sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds, for garnish
1. Sauté bacon in a large pot until most of the fat has been rendered and bacon is golden and crispy. Remove bacon, drain on a paper towel and set aside.
2. Add garlic, leeks, shallots, onion and ginger, coriander and cumin to the bacon fat and sauté on medium-low until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add apple, sweet potatoes, carrots and broth and simmer, uncovered, until all veggies are very tender, about 35-40 minutes.
3. Add chipotle and puree soup, using a stick blender or regular blender. If using a regular blender, let it cool a bit and then blend in batches. (For safety, remove cap from hole in lid, and cover with a dish towel or several thicknesses of paper towel to prevent splattering.) Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
4. Garnish with fresh mozzarella. I like to use the little balls of fresh mozzarella (one per serving unless you have the teeny tiny ones, then use 2-3 per bowl) - I put them on a dinner plate and partially melt them in the microwave (just 8-10 seconds) before floating them on top of the soup. Sprinkle the chives, sunflower seeds and reserved bacon on top of the melted cheese.
Note: Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce can be found in almost any grocery store in the Hispanic section. Once opened, store in a glass jar in the refrigerator -will keep this way for months!
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living