I will always love you.

I’m a big soup fan.  Since my student days when cooking whatever I had left in the fridge was a regular event, I’ve really enjoyed pairing ingredients in perhaps the most immediate way possible (except for the mighty sandwich).

Bad soup is common.  Good soup is everything that food should be: comforting, colourful and good for you.  Yes, I write a blog called The Last Piece of Cake, but that doesn’t mean that I prefer to eat unhealthy food all day long.  Eventually, that kind of eating will take its toll on your body and your moods.  Soup, if made with care and some well-chosen ingredients, can lift your spirits and contribute to your well being in ways that a pizza never could.

Don’t worry, Pizza.  I still love you as I always have.  It’s not you, it’s me.  I need some space.  No, there isn’t anyone else.  Me and soup are just friends.  Soup makes me feel good about myself.  What’s wrong with that?  Why should I feel guilty?  I’ve nothing to hide…except my paunch.

You know what vegetable is great for soup?  Sweet potato.  I love it.  My problem is that I often buy a lot of sweet potatoes and then I don’t use them because I’m never sure about what kind of meals to prepare them for.  Regular potatoes are plain enough to be paired with a huge variety of other foods.  Sweet potatoes need more careful deployment.  Therefore, I usually have plenty left in the basket and my solution is often to make soup with them.

Today was no different.  Some bacon in the fridge was calling out for a “Use me up” recipe and I thought, “Why not?  Sweet potato and bacon soup could be fun!”  Add to that a chipotle chilli and I had a heart-warming lunch for me and N to enjoy while we listened to the rain beating down.  I’m not saying it was pizza, but if you appreciate the warm contentment that fills you when you have a good bowl of soup, then you’ll enjoy this recipe.

Smokey sweet potato & bacon soup

3 sweet potatoes

2 slices smokey bacon

1 dried chipotle chilli

1 tblspoon vegetable oil

water/ stock

Peel and thinkly slice the sweet potatoes.  Fry the bacon until crispy in the pot you’ll use to make the soup, drain it and set aside to cool.  Add the potatoes to the vegetable oil and fat from the bacon and cook over a moderate heat.  Pour enough stock (chicken or vegetable) into the pot to cover the potatoes and bring to the boil.  Add the chipotle and simmer until the potatoes are falling apart.  Slice the bacon into strips and put a few strips aside to use as garnish.  Add the rest of the bacon to the soup.

Remove the chipotle and blend the soup with a hand blender.  Season to taste and put the soup back on the heat.  Return the chipotle and simmer gently for a few more minutes.  Just remember not to serve the chipotle!

Serve with crusty bed and garnish the soup with bacon strips.

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