11.09.2010

Bacon and Sweet Potato Soup with Sage

Bacon and Sweet Potato Soup with Sage
I wish I could get in on the squash lovefest that's happening right now but for whatever reason, squash is one of things that's just "meh" to me.  I mean if it's on the plate I'll eat it but I won't jump out of my seat about it.  This is a rather frustrating concept to me because I really want to like it.  Honestly, I do.  I hear everyone gushing about their latest squashy creations and it seems to be all over restaurant menus.  Take for example butternut squash soup.   It sounds great when I think about it and it even still sounds great as I order it and it's being placed in front of me.  But it never fails.  No matter how talented the chef or how fantastic the recipe, I just don't really like squash.

Sweet, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes
Fresh, earthy sage
Fresh Rosemary Floating in Sweet Potato Soup
So I made the anti-squash soup and called upon squash's cousin, the sweet potato to help me out.  I started by pureeing three sweet potatoes with an apple and then added a whole mess of classic fall flavors; cinnamon, nutmeg, maple syrup, sage and rosemary.  You know, the usual suspects.  Oh, and then I threw in BACON.  That's right, sweet, sweet bacon to balance all the sweetness with some smoky salt flavor.  (I don't know why bacon to me sort of deserves a fanfare whenever I mention it.  I sometimes feel the need to put it all caps.) And then to finish it all up, I added (of course) cheese.  That's right, glorious, melty cheese that sort of swam on top of the soup.  I had planned to top this off even further by some toasted hazelnuts but I guess I didn't have any hanging around my Small Boston Kitchen like I thought.  Don't you just hate when that happens?
The perfect Thanksgiving Day soup starter!

Sweet Potato Soup with Bacon 
*Serves about 6
- 3 large sweet potatoes
- 1 medium-sized apple, peeled and cored
- 1 1/2 boxes of chicken stock
- 6 slices of bacon
- 2 tbs maple syrup
- 1 tbs of cinnamon
- A couple generous pinches of nutmeg
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
- A couple leaves of fresh sage, chopped
- A sprinkling of gruyere cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste

I started by baking the sweet potatoes in the oven at 400 until they just cooked through.  Then I let them cool.  While the potatoes were cooling, I fried up some bacon into the soup pot and once it got crispy, I took it out and placed it on top of paper towels.  Next I blotted out about half of the bacon grease with a paper towel and left the rest in the pot to use for the soup.  Once the potatoes were cooled, they were peeled and cut into large chunks and thrown into the pot with the bacon fat.  The apple pieces were added as well as one box of chicken stock.  Using an immersion blender, I pureed the sweet potatoes and the apple until velvety smooth and consistent in texture.  I gradually blended in the remaining half carton of stock and then added the maple syrup, rosemary (I just through the whole sprig in and then fished it out later) cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Stir with a spoon, cover and let everything sit.  Let this simmer for as long as you'd like (remember the flavor intensifies as it sits.  I'd at least let this go for 30 minutes).  Give it a quick stir and then adjust the seasonings to your liking.

To serve, start by ladling the soup into a bowl.  Add the cheese and top with one piece of bacon that's crumbled up.  Finish with some fresh sage and toasted hazelnuts (unless you're like me and didn't have them on hand!)

20 comments:

Shannon said...

Ooooh I want to make this. I've been trying to come up with things to make with the 5 pound bag of sweet potatoes I bought. Great timing!

Shannon said...

hmm, well i do LOVE butternut squash, but i love sweet potatoes just as much :) This sounds absolutely fabulous!!

Daisy said...

well at least you continue to try and like squash!! looks so yummy! even without the hazelnuts ;)

Mom said...

Wow! I sure hope this delicious treat is found on our dining room table this Thanksgiving!! Cannot wait!!

Eliana said...

You had me at the bacon and then again at the sweet potato and then again at the sage. This looks incredible.

Alicia said...

this looks delicious.....I love the combo of sage, bacon and gruyere as your garnishes - yum!

Fun and Fearless in Beantown said...

This looks fantastic! I'm loving the ingredients you used...and I am an equal opportunist - I love butternut squash and sweet potatoes equally! :-)

Meesh said...

this looks SO GOOD!!!!!

and im starving.

Justin said...

Yes! This will absolutely be made. This looks so good.

michellepc said...

This looks like the perfect fall soup! I especially like the addition of the bacon. ;)

Boston Food Diary said...

I agree- BACON deserves all caps. This looks delicious SBK- perfect combination of flavors!

Melissa said...

This looks so good! I feel your pain in trying to like squash - I've tried my whole life to like peanut butter and I just don't like it! Sweet potato is perfect fall substitute for the butternut squash soup.

Jen said...

I'm sad you don't like butternut squash. It's one of my favs. Your soup looks amazing, what a great combination of flavors!

Kerstin said...

I love squash and sweet potatoes :) The bacon sounds so perfect in this!

Terrianne, Call me Ree said...

Squash is my absolute favorite vegetable. Butternut squash in particular. Thhough, I made that soup everyone raves about recently and... *blech*. LOL. I don't like it roasted either.

Have you tried acorn squash? It's wonderful roasted with maple syrup, brown sugar, butter, nutmeg and cinnamon. I also find it more neutral for a non-squash eaters palette.

I really admire that you keep trying to like it. That's the mark of a really good cook.

Your sweet potato soup looks delicious, warm and comforting. The perfect accompaniment to fall and the cooler weather. It's gorgeous to look at, too. Way to go! =)

Megan said...

So next time... if you need a taste tester -- I'm right here. :) Looks incredible! And that's coming from a squash lover.

Lisa said...

This looks really good! I would have never thought of the bacon, but I can see how it would work. I may try it with some turkey bacon. Thanks! ;)

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