It didn't take me long to figure out which recipe I was going to try first from this month's holiday themed Cooking Light Magazine, because this one was right on the cover! I'm sure its not the first cover recipe I've cooked, but I must say I don't seem to do it very often for some reason. I guess I tend to be drawn to the little worker bee recipes buried deep in the mag, not the flamboyant queen on the cover.
Whatever my method for recipe selection, I'm sure glad I gave this one a try. Don't be fooled by the name, there is no cream in this recipe, in fact, save for the cheese sprinkled on top, it is entirely dairy free, and therefore really low in fat (bacon and cheese have negative fat, you know). Often times low fat leads to low flavor, but not in this case. The high ratio of sweet potato to stock renders a velvety smooth consistency and great mouth feel. Just a few aromatics, onion, cumin and red pepper round out the flavors, and our friends bacon and cheese add interesting little flavor bombs in every bite. This soup is REALLY good.
Even with just 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes this bowl of velvet is mildly spicy so if there are any folks at your table who are sensitive to spice you may want to cut or eliminate the red pepper entirely. This is especially important where kids are concerned, we are not looking to give them ANY legit excuse not to eat their veggies! Serve some parmesan toasts along side this soup for an extra special treat.
Cheers – Steve
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes, halved lengthwise
- 1/4 cup of water
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 4 cups unsalted chicken stock
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
- 1 ounce fresh parmesan, shaved (about 1/4 cup)
- 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves
- Place the potatoes, cut side down in an 11 x 7" microwave safe baking dish. Add the 1/4 cup water, cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 15 minutes on high, or until potatoes are tender. Cool slightly; discard potato skins.
- Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the oil, swirl to coat. Add the onion, saute until translucent. Stir in cumin and red pepper flakes. Add the stock to the pan; bring to a boil. Place half the sweet potato flesh and have of the stock in a blender. remove center piece of the blender lid (this allows steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a kitchen towel over the opening in the blender to avoid splatters, blend until smooth.
- Pour purèed soup into a clean saucepan. Repeat blending with remaining potatoes and stock. Check soup for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed. Divide soup evenly among warmed bowls, sprinkle with cooked bacon, parmesan cheese, and fresh parsley if desired.