Winter is here and you know what that means. It begins with an "s" and I'm not talking about snow! Although snowy days do put me in the mood for what I was thinking about……soup!
Following is one of my favorite ways to use sweet potatoes, especially when the temperature outside drops. The caramelized leeks add a subtle sweetness to the potatoes and bring out the smoky flavor of the bacon.
Enjoy this velvety smooth soup and stay warm!
xo, The Wine Chef
Sweet Potato and Leek Soup with Bacon
8 medium leeks, white parts only
6 strips bacon
2 medium-large sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
6 cups homemade chicken stock (if available, otherwise use low sodium store-bought)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Chopped herbs such as marjoram, sage or thyme
1) Wash the leeks carefully to remove all grit, then thinly slice them.
2) Fry the bacon in a Dutch oven or deep pot over medium heat. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels and reserve the bacon fat. Set aside.
3) Wipe the pan clean and add two tablespoons of the reserved bacon fat along with the butter. Over low heat, sweat the leeks, stirring occasionally, until they are very soft and just starting to caramelize, about 20 minutes.
4) Add the sweet potatoes and stock, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes are very soft, about 35 minutes.
5) Transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth or just keep the soup right in the pot and puree it with an immersion blender. Add the heavy cream while pureeing.
6) Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with chopped herbs and crumbled bacon.