Sweet potato and bacon soup
We love sweet potatoes in our house.
First they are orange and not green like most kids (regardless of whether they are on the spectrum or not), MJ has an aversion to green foods – much of which has to do with bad gut reactions from her reflux and an epic memory that associates every bad reaction or vomit to textures, colours and tastes of the last food item she ate before feeling yucky.
Secondly – they are full of yummy nutrients and dietary fibre (important to us since MJ also has IBS). A 7-ounce (1 cup) serving of sweet potatoes contains 65% of the minimum necessary daily amount of Vitamin C. Sweet potatoes are also high in calcium, folate, potassium and beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant which converts to Vitamin A in the body: one serving of sweet potatoes can provide you with as much as 700% of the US RDA for Vitamin A*
Add bacon and well, what doesn’t taste better with bacon – especially fresh bacon from our local farmer’s market. MJ had (and still has) many texture issues, so for the longest time everything had to be pureed, so I got really good at sneaking stuff into soups.
- 5 pieces cooked bacon,crumbled
- 2-4 sweet potatoes (cooked, cooled and peeled)
- 4-6 cups of stock (veg or chicken, depends how thick you like your soup and how big your sweet potatoes are)
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp ground sage
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- pepper to taste
- 2 tsp ground flax (optional)
- 1-2 tsp brown rice infant cereal (optional)
Cook about 5 pieces of bacon in the oven – 380 degrees on parchment paper for 20 minutes. I never cook bacon on the stove anymore (thanks to a tip from a chef friend) – doing it in the oven cooks it all evenly and leaves less splatter. Using the parchment helps with clean up, because once the grease gets solid, you can roll it up and throw it out, without a lot of mess. (Note in this picture, I was also making a second recipe using bacon so there’s more than 5 pieces).
Cook 2-4 sweet potatoes (I used 1 large, 1 med and 1 small for this), in the oven for about 45 min to 1 hr (poke holes with a fork and I also place them in the oven with a drip tray underneath). You can also put them in the microwave if you’re pressed for time and not opposed to microwave cooking (about 10-12 minutes depending on size).
Once cooked, let them cool and then peel them. While the sweet potatoes are cooling, chop 3 cloves of garlic and one onion. Sautee in 2 generous tablespoons of olive oil.
Add 1/2 tbspn of sage (you can add a little more if you like sage) and 1/2 tspn of thyme to softened onions and garlic (oil helps release flavour) and stir for about 30 seconds. Add sweet potatoes and stir again. Add 4-6 cups of broth (depending how thick you like your soup and how many sweet potatoes you used). If I have broth on hand I prefer to use homemade stock (either veggie or chicken), but when I’m in a pinch I like to use the PC Organics Chicken Broth – it’s one of the few I’ve found without soy and no tomatoes (reflux)
Add 1/2 tspn of cinnamon, and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Here is where I sneak in all kinds of stuff. I generally add 2 tspns of flax and 1 tspn of infant rice cereal for that extra little iron boost and other fortified nutrients. You can add or omit as you see fit. I then add a healthy glug (I am pretty sure that’s a measurement 🙂 of maple syrup for a little extra flavour and some sweetness to the savoury.
Now here is where you have an option. Do you want chunky bacon in the soup, or just the taste? If you want the taste without much of the texture add the bacon after the soup boils and let it simmer.
If you want some additional texture in the soup, add the bacon after the puree step and then simmer again to release some of the flavour.
I love my Braun hand blender, it’s one of the only few hand blenders I’ve found that allows you to puree a hot soup right in the pot (and not melt) which saves time and mess. If you don’t have a really good hand blender, you can use a food processor or really good blender – but you may wish to let the soup cool first a bit.
if you find it too thick, add a little extra stock. Depending on your taste’s you may wish to add a little extra cinnamon or sage at this point also. After the soup has been processed it is ready to serve, unless you wanted chunky bacon, then I’d add it in on the stove and and simmer for another 15 minutes to make sure the bacon flavour gets throughout the soup.
We (my husband and I don’t always eat dairy free, so we’ve also been known to add a little Parmesan, or soft goat’s cheese from time to time as well, but it’s definitely not
*Nutrition Source – Naturalnews.com