Sweet Potato Soup with Bacon and Kale

It finally happened. For the past two months, I have been dodging the crud like Superman dodges kryptonite. Then Saturday morning I woke up with that feeling. My throat was sore and I had a headache that could disable even the mightiest ninja. I was sick.

I’m actually surprised I lasted as long as I did with everything I had going on. I camped in the rain twice, traveled on three germ-filled airplanes, made it through the holidays with sick kids putting their snotty fingers all over the appetizers, shared sweat with who-knows-who at the gym, and had many meetings that lasted way too long with sick coworkers. I guess it was bound to happen. I am just grateful that it happened after all the holiday madness and I don’t have much scheduled for the rest of this month.

When you’re already feeling under the weather and then the weather is gross on top of that (nothing but rain and snow in Tahoe for the next week), the only thing that sounds good is a bowl of steamy, comforting soup.

When I was cooking this up, I was inspired by a recipe I had seen for Zuppa Toscana years ago. I think this turned out just as good, if not better, and doesn’t require additional fatty sausage and a boatload of heavy cream. Mashing some of the sweet potatoes and returning them to the pot does just as good of a job giving this soup depth and body.

This recipe definitely hits the spot with the salty bacon, good-for-you kale and sweet potatoes, and herbs that warm even the coldest nights. I’ll be sitting here with a hot bowl of soup in my hands watching the snow dance through the cold air.

Sweet Potato Soup with Bacon and Kale

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 8 pieces thick uncured bacon, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium-large white sweet potatoes (I used one, since mine was questionably large), diced to 1″ cubes
  • 5 cups homemade chicken stock (store-bought works in a pinch)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup chopped dino kale (not the curly stuff, but that would probably work, too)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat a large soup pot over medium heat and toss your bacon in. Cook until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
  2. Add your celery and onion to the bacon grease leftover in the pot. Season with salt and pepper and sauté over medium-high heat until tender and translucent.
  3. Add the sweet potato cubes, stock, rosemary, and thyme.
  4. Bring to a low boil and then reduce heat to low. Continue to low boil for 20-25 minutes until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork.
  5. Remove about a 1/2 cup of the potatoes from the pot with a slotted spoon (it is okay if you get some onion and celery in there, too), and mash with a fork.
  6. Return the mashed potatoes to the pot and stir in the kale and bacon.
  7. Continue simmering for another 5 minutes, or until the kale is wilted.
  8. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.

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