Smoky-Spicy Sweet Potato Soup
- 4 sweet potatoes (2½ pounds), peeled and sliced 1 inch thick
- 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
- 5 sprigs thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- One container chicken broth (32 ounces)
- 1 teaspoon grated peel and juice of 1 orange
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Honey or maple syrup, for drizzling
- 1 cup sour cream, for passing around the table
In a large saucepan, add the sweet potatoes and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, salt the water and cook until tender, 12-15 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 2 tablespoons bacon fat. Add the onion, carrot, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, thyme sprigs and bay leaf and cook until the onions are softened, 6-7 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. Discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaf.
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). Serve the soup with the sour cream and bacon on top.