50/50 Sweet Potato Bisque

Ingredients

4 bacon strips, finely chopped

3 med carrots, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1 ½ garlic cloves, minced

1 ½ c water

2 med sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 bay leaf

1 ¼ t curry powder

¼ t salt

1/8 t ground cinnamon

¼ t paprika

¼ t pepper

¾ c half-and-half

½ c sour cream

Minted Chili Oil:

9 mint leaves chopped

1 ½ T olive oil

1/8 t sugar

1/8 t salt

1/8 t crushed red pepper flakes

1/8 t pepper

Directions

1 In a large saucepan, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Reserve 2 T bacon fat in pan (use rest another day).

2 Add carrots and onion to fat; cook and stir over medium-high heat until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.

3 Stir in water, sweet potatoes, bay leaves, curry, salt, cinnamon, paprika and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer covered until vegetables are tender, 15 minutes.

4 Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine mint, oil, sugar, salt, pepper flakes and pepper. Let stand 10 minutes.

5 Discard bay leaf from soup. Stir in cream and sour cream just until blended. Puree. To serve, ladle bisque into bowls; top with bacon and sour cream if desired and drizzle with minted chili oil.

Soup #50, the finale! I made it through the series, 50 soups in 25 weeks! And my nemesis, the sweet potato, has the final say. And it said, “It’s no longer Fall or Winter. It’s Spring, and I’m here to stay. Love me.” And to that I reply: In this soup recipe, Yes! Yes, I love you, sweet potato! This soup may have been the best of the series. It had balance and flavor, not too sweet, and oh so savory. I ate two bowls of it, and after eating soup nearly every day since October that speaks volumes. This would make an excellent Easter dinner side dish. The flavor was great, and the color was bright; not a muddled dark orange, but a vivid bright orange with a bright green minted chili oil drizzled on top. So Springy! And, please, don’t skip the minted chili oil; it really is so good. I’m so happy to end this soup series on a high. Here’s to the sweet potato finally finding it’s balance! Cheers!

If you’d like to see the original recipes my posts are based on or read Taste of Home’s article that inspired my 50 Soups in 25 Weeks blogging, go to: https://www.tasteofhome.com/collection/soups-to-keep-you-warm-this-fall/.

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