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Paleo Sweet Potato Soup With Bacon

I like my music to be either upbeat or angry (or, in rare cases, heart-wrenchingly sad), but never middle-of-the-road mellow.

I like most of my clothing to be black or, alternately, vibrant colors like orange, neon green, hot pink, or red, but never pastels.

And I like my soups to be either big, chunky bits of meat and vegetables — cooked separately then arranged in a bowl and covered with broth — or smooth, veggie-infused purées, but never “throw a bunch of stuff into a pot and simmer” soups.

Which is why I like this Gingery Pork & Bok Choy Soup and why I’ve been experimenting with soups like Golden Cauliflower and Silky Gingered Zucchini.

This morning, a tweet from Cook’s Illustrated sent me to the kitchen to adapt their Sweet Potato Soup with Bacon and Chives. Less than an hour later, I had a big pot of warm hug ready to be eaten. Until now, Dave hasn’t shared my enthusiasm for soup at breakfast, but he slurped up a bowl of this comforting concoction without complaint. Must be the bacon! (It’s worth noting that when he named the photo he took this morning, he called it “bacon_soup” not “sweet_potato_soup.”)

This recipe appears in my cookbook Well Fed 2: More Paleo Recipes For People Who Love To Eat.

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bacon_soup

Paleo Sweet Potato Soup With Bacon

Prep 5 min. | Cook 25 min. | Makes 8 cups, about 10 3/4 cup servings

NOTE: This is adapted from Cook’s Country to use my favorite spices and to be Whole30 compliant. I cut back a little on the fat because I don’t think it needs quite as much as Cook’s recommends, and I added Ras el Hanout and more garlic. If you eat sweet potatoes as a post-workout recovery food, this is a lovely alternative to your usual. I usually eat about 1/2 cup sweet potatoes at once, and 3/4 cup of this soup is roughly the equivalent amount of dense carbs. Also, let’s talk about bacon. I’m not a bacon fanatic, but I do like the depth of flavor added by our porky friend. Each serving of this soup gets about a 1/2 slice of bacon, so it’s more a seasoning condiment than a primary ingredient.

Ingredients:
6 slices sugar-free, nitrate-free bacon (like this from US Wellness Meats)
1 onion, finely diced
1 teaspoons Ras el Hanout
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
dash cayenne pepper
5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 pounds sweet potatoes (2-3 large), peeled, quartered lengthwise, and sliced thin
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
garnish: fresh or dried chives

Directions:

1. Cut bacon into 1/4-inch slices and place in a cold soup pot. Heat the pot over medium-high heat and cook the bacon until it’s crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate covered with paper towels and set aside to drain and crisp.

2. Keep 1 tablespoon of the fat in the pan and discard the rest. Re-heat the fat over medium-high heat, then add the onions, Ras el Hanout, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, about 5-7 minutes. Toss in the garlic and stir, cooking until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

3. Add the sweet potatoes, broth, and water to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes.

4. Working in batches and being careful (please be careful, friends!), purée the soup in a food processor or blender until it’s smooth. Return to the pot, taste, and adjust seasonings. Ladle into bowls, then sprinkle with a little bacon and chives. Both the bacon and soup hold up well in the fridge for a few days.

Serving Ideas
I ate mine at breakfast, just like described above, but you might want to try a few of these:
— serve in a shallow bowl and top with fried eggs
— make it dinner by topping with cooked ground beef, shredded chicken, or pulled pork
— drizzle with a little melted ghee and extra Ras el Hanout
— sprinkle the top with some crushed Savory Paleo Granola

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78 Responses to “Paleo Sweet Potato Soup With Bacon”

  1. Brad Rutledge says:

    I am so going to make this. I got some good, healthy, bacon as part of a 25 lb “pork bundle” from a local farmer. Thanks for the recipe.

  2. This looks amazing. Now I just have to bite the bullet and spring for the US Wellness sugar-free and nitrate-free bacon- I haven’t been able to find any in stores or with farmers here. I can’t wait to add another comforting soup recipe to my winter rotation.

  3. Stompy says:

    I am so going to make this & soon!

  4. JAM says:

    Looks delish! Getting my shipment of bacon today and can’t wait to use up the sweet potatoes in my tuber drawer. I use an immersion blender for pureeing soups, they’re inexpensive and soooo worth it when you’re dealing with hot stuff and, also, MAYO. Happy new year!

    • Alyssa says:

      Totally agree about the immersion blender, for mayo AND soups! I also use it all the time to blend up a banana with some eggs to cook up my banana-egg “porridge” concoction. Much easier to clean than a blender, and it works much better for small amounts of food.

    • Jon says:

      Yep, an immersion blender makes creamy soups simple, and a lot easier to clean up afterwards.

    • WendyD says:

      I make smoothies with an imersion blender it works better than some blenders and you can control it. Yes!

  5. nalani says:

    Fantastic recipe! Have some pork belly which I’ll try in it.

  6. Sharon says:

    Making it right now and the house smells amazing! Thank you! Going to eat some for lunch and then serve the rest with dinner. I’m going to bake some cod in avocado oil and lemon juice with the Ras el Hanout and a salad of baby kale, chard and spinach with pears and shallots. Can’t wait!

  7. yogirungirl says:

    Wow. That looks and sounds amazing! I think I might make it tonight.

  8. Rach says:

    Hi, I live in a remote middle of nowhere place in Canada (VERY unhealthy place and only one grocery store). Nothing is hormone-free or organic or anything and i’m finanically strapped so “ordering” and stuff is impossible. Impossible. Thoughts? Not sure about all this stuff. I’ve been eating grain fed turkey but avoiding the pork and beef. WIld salmon or wild cod , canned fish, eggs (I think I’m intolerant, oye), and stuff. (P.s…I’m not paleo…I’m SO imperfect, but curious baout it …I’m low weight and lotsa digestive issues. Would email ya, but seen none. Thanks for any response.

    • Amelia says:

      I know you’re asking Melissa, but I just felt compelled to answer you :) From my experience, it’s way better to eat conventional real food (aka Paleo food) than even Organic grains or other junk, if that makes sense. In other words, I’d rather eat all conventional meat, seafood, veggies, etc. than chuck the whole idea and just eat a standard American diet. I would put my effort there first and then slowly work on getting the quality up. Diane from Balanced Bites outlines her recommendations for priorities in her book, Practical Paleo – I believe she suggests working on getting high quality fat sources first. So if I was eating conventional meat, I’d pick lean cuts and then use coconut oil, ghee, olive oil, avocados, nuts, etc. for my fats as opposed to getting most of it from my meat. In my opinion, the dangers from conventional meat and veggies pale in comparison to the damage I do to myself when I eat gluten, most dairy, and seed oils (“vegetable” oils like canola). In the end, you need to make that kind of judgment call according to your own values, budget, and health concerns. It’s up to you to decide what’s most important. Good luck and you’ve found a great site here, so you’re on the right track!

      • rachel says:

        Thanks for the kind reply. I’ve never eaten “SAD”…very “healthy” and rarely grains…but I have hummus, dairy galore (organic greek yogurt), etc…still tons of digestive issues and a ton of constipation> I think eggs are also troublesome which makes eating paleo even worse :( not sure.
        I still can’t bring myself to buy the store brand bacon and beef and pork. I can succumb to the chicken and turkey , but the other stuff just grosses me out.

        • Risa says:

          Rachel,
          If you’re having digestive issues I would recommend checking out the Whole30 (whole9.com) it’s centered around relieving inflammation and digestive issues. If you’re not interested in that, as far as the bacon several things I’ve read researching this diet suggest pork belly, sliced like bacon. Is there maybe a nearby processor/butcher or maybe the local grocery store will cut it for you? Doesn’t solve the organic problems but doesn’t have all that sugar. Just a thought.

  9. Allison says:

    I made this tonight and it was amazing!!!

  10. Sarah says:

    I’m totally making this, yummy! I do have a problem with paleo soup though…I can’t get over not having bread for dipping and wiping up the bottom of the bowl. Soup makes me miss bread and I sometimes end up feeling deprived :(

    What do you recommend as a side to fill in that blank?

    • Teresa says:

      I find that broccoli florets work very well for “mopping up” duty. Those little flowery ends do a nice job of gathering sauces and I’m sure they’d do well with soup.

      Plus their deep greenness would look fabulous next to the beautiful golden color of this soup.

  11. Carolina says:

    Making this for dinner tonight, I think I have a butternut squash leftover from the holidays. Gonna throw it in there with the sweet potatoes! Getting hungry now…

  12. Kerry says:

    On the stove right now! Hope my kids like it. I know my hubby will.

    • Kerry says:

      One kid wouldn’t entertain the idea of trying it, the other ate her bowl full. We topped with grass fed ground beef. Hubby and I had seconds. :-). Thanks for sharing a great recipe, Melissa!!

  13. Tami says:

    Melissa! This is AMAZING! My favorite soup so far, out of any soup ANYWHERE. And the spice mix…can’t wait to try that on other things. I left the extra cayenne out (just used what was called for in the mix) since I have two kids and it was just the right zing. 3/4 cup?! I could eat the whole pot.

  14. Mel says:

    Hi, everyone! Thanks for your awesome comments… I’m glad you like this! Cook’s Illustrated never steers me wrong, and I love adapting their recipes to be compliant with Whole30 guidelines. YAY!

  15. Alison says:

    I start Whole 30 today… Or maybe tomorrow. Anyway – I’m in prep mode and I made a pot of this this morning. And I’m eating it right now. It is sensational! Thanks! I’m sticking it in mason jars for lunch at work, or, what the heck, breakfast too.

    (For those who care – followed the recipe to the word, except for also not having any saffron in the house for my Ras el Hanout).

  16. Pirate Jeni says:

    Oh… my.. gaaaawwwd…

    This was amazing.. AMAZING. I wanted to eat it all .. made myself put some of it away for after boxing tomorrow.

  17. Stefanie says:

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was AMAZING!!!! So Flavorful!

  18. Leslie says:

    Just made the soup tonight and it was INCREDIBLE! Hubs said it tasted like it came off the menu of our favorite local Middle Eastern restaurant…actually even better! This goes on our favorite soup list for sure and it was sooo easy! I was concerned about the spice I had never heard of but luckily we have a spice shop here and they had it! I am definitely gonna try that spice on other things too! I used an immersion blender and it worked like a charm and added a dollop of plain greek yogurt in addition to the chives and bacon…YUM! Thank you so much for such a great recipe! Happy Belly!!

  19. kelly says:

    Made this yesterday and loved it! The Ras al hanout takes the “sweetness” out of the sweet potatoes, which has always been the part I don’t like. Just started paleo and you have me off to a great start. Thanks, Mel!

  20. April says:

    Made this tonight! It was amazing!! Topped with the crumbled bacon and a very small amount of goat cheese crumbles. Not sure if that’s forbidden fruit or not, but it sure tasted good! Thanks for the recipe!

  21. Frankenbarbie says:

    This was spectacular!! I made it for dinner tonight and served it to my dad, who HATES……CLAIMS TO HATE!! Sweet potatoes
    He loved it, so did the rest of us! Its our new favorite!

  22. Mel says:

    Yowza! I’m really glad you like this soup so much. YAY! I wasn’t sure if I was going to include in my next cookbook, but now it looks like I should. I have lots of idea for variations and ways to change the spicing, so I think we have a keeper for Well Fed 2. Thanks, everybody!

  23. Lauren says:

    I made this tonight and IT. WAS. AMAZING!!! I prepared ground beef to top with but, after trying a bite, was not a fan. I think it would be incredible with shrimp, scallops or sausage. The immersion blender (first time user over here) worked perfectly. I’m sooooo serving this for my next dinner party…..When I start having dinner parties. ;)

  24. Jill says:

    Made this for dinner and it was FABULOUS! Husband had three bowls. And that spice mix smells like heaven! Thank you!

  25. [...] Sweet potato bacon soup with chives. We made this a couple nights ago and have plenty of leftovers. This soup has held up well in the fridge. Last night I added some ground beef and pork to my serving – yummy! [...]

  26. [...] waar ik al zin en heb en die zeker op het volgende weekmenu komen: soep, heel veel soep, gevulde tomaatjes en Crab Cakes (uit Make it [...]

  27. nguyenan says:

    I’m day 10 into Whole30 challenge and this soup was just what I needed to spice things up.

    Topped it up with some fresh avocado slices.. delicious! And I got to try out my Cuisinart Smart Stick for the first time.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  28. Jimmy says:

    Love the recipes you post with the great descriptions – they have been hugely helpful in me improving my health and my daughters! I even now live on paleo and do Ironman events – proof this is the right course for me.

    I was wondering would you do anything different for this recipe in a crock-pot? Would it work?

    Much appreciate and have an awesome New Year!

    • Mel says:

      Right on — glad you’re finding the recipes helpful.

      This should work in the crockpot, but I’m not sure that you gain that much because you still have to cook the bacon, onion, and spices on the stovetop.

      If you want to try it, follow all the instructions as written, but put the sweet potatoes, onions, and liquids in the crockpot. Skip the water — if the soup is too thick when you puree it you can add water then. The potatoes will probably take about 2-3 hours on high to get soft.

  29. Paul says:

    Made it this evening and it was fantastic! My wife enjoyed it too. I added a small handful of mushrooms and a tablespoon of fresh ginger to the recipe. I will make this again without a doubt. Thanks for the recipe.

  30. Kelly says:

    I just made this tonight, it was so good! I was surprised at how thick and creamy it was. I will make this again, my kids loved it too. I love your recipes and your book, always finding a new favorite ;)

  31. [...] week or two ago, I tried this awesome recipe for sweet potato soup from Melissa [...]

  32. [...] made the following recipe from this most excellent paleo site.  While technically we try to avoid sweet potatoes, it is a nice treat .. occasionally   I cut [...]

  33. Michele says:

    Ever since you published this recipe, it has been on my list to cook up. I absoulutely adore sweet potatos- they are my most favorite tubular!

    Tonight came, had all the ingredients and voila, something completely different in taste than I had expected, but absolutely and wonderfully creamy with a depth I had not anticipated. Well done- I have been well fed!

  34. Cecilia says:

    I made this for the first time a couple days after you posted the recipe, and since then, I make a double batch every Sunday because it is my boyfriend’s favorite meal, topped with bacon and occasionally with caramelized coconut chips. I divide it into individual servings for him to take to work every day for lunch, although sometimes he will take two – one for breakfast, one for lunch! He seriously LOVES this soup!!! :)

    • Mel says:

      Caramelized coconut chips as a garnish is a great idea! Someone told me they’ve been making coconut chips with smoked paprika — I bet that would taste totally rad on the sweet potato soup!

  35. [...] Row: Our Blueberry Smoothie, Our Butternut Squash Ice Cream, The Clothes Make the Girl’s Sweet Potato Soup with [...]

  36. [...] guess I like pork , I’m adding this to my rotation and have made it 2x in the last 3 days. http://www.theclothesmakethegirl.com/2013/01/02/paleo-sweet-potato-soup/ - Sweet potato soup with bacon!! [...]

  37. Christine says:

    I love this soup! I made it tonight and it will be added to our favorites! You are amazing!!!

  38. FishGirL says:

    Mel,
    You are in a class all your own….
    You have so much to give,
    And so much to share,
    You are truly a gift to us all.
    ~ Namaste
    P.s. This soup is a little bit of heaven on earth.
    Be Well… “Well fed” that is!

  39. Tammra says:

    I have been telling all my “paleo” foodies about this soup! I LOVE it!! I am making it again for the 3rd time, dbl batch this time. Yummmm….

  40. [...] recipe (pictures are mine) comes from The Clothes Make the Girl’s blog. She has some great stuff on there, so head on over and check her [...]

  41. [...] Sweet Potato Soup with Bacon via Clothes Make the Girl [...]

  42. heather says:

    Thanks for all of your great recipes. I hope you don’t mind, I shared this one with all of my clients :)
    super yummy!

  43. [...] waar ik al zin en heb en die zeker op het volgende weekmenu komen: soep, heel veel soep, gevulde tomaatjes en Crab Cakes (uit Make it [...]

  44. Holly says:

    Made my own version of this tonight – so good! Thanks for the inspiration :)

  45. [...] I’ve been really craving soup. It’s all Melicious’s fault because I made her Sweet Potato Soup with Bacon… twice. And now all I can think about is creamy, thick, pureed veggie [...]

  46. Susan Stivers says:

    This soup ROCKS!!

  47. Pirate Jeni says:

    Ok, I’ve made this a bazillion times now and I had some for lunch today.. but I went for a walk at lunchtime and got alll haaaaaawwwt…. I want you to know it’s just as wonderful and very refreshing served chilled.

  48. Pirate Jeni says:

    actually.. I think I’m gonna shove this in an icecream maker and see what happens.

  49. Cecilia says:

    I posted a while back and wanted to let you know that I still make a double batch of this every week!! However I am now using my electric pressure cooker to get the job done!! I can rough chop the onions and sweet potatoes in thicker pieces for faster prep! I keep leftover bacon grease on hand and use the sauté function for the onions, garlic & spices, then add the broth and potatoes. Secure the lid, set it to high pressure for 8 minutes, and let the cooker do its thang! After I release the pressure, I let it sit to cool, then transfer into the blender. It’s so easy, and I don’t have to watch over it! I can pretty much make this in my sleep now. :)

  50. [...] Sweet Potato Soup with Bacon - I’m embracing the pig! [...]

  51. Na-eema says:

    Oh my word… this soup is *insanely* delicious! I’m a non bacon eater so I made it with spiced beef and the results are tremendous, stupendous and utterly yummy. My husband eats sweet potato after crossfit as recovery and this is a welcome change to our usual sweet potato recipes. Bonus points for being one of the few foods I can stomach at 2 months pregnant!
    Thank you so much for this!

    • Mel says:

      Congratulations on your bundle of joy! So glad this recipe is helping you stay nourished and that it’s good for post-workout. Right on!

      Thanks for letting me know you like it!

  52. Daniela says:

    Dear Mel,

    I made this soup this morning and oh my god it was so delicious and comforting and satiating. A whole new breakfast feeling! I loved the bacon, but should I run out, I’ll try roasted cashews on top, I think…
    I just changed my nutrition to paleo this week, and reading your book Well Fed (and I’m a bookaholic, I’ve got quite a few paleo books read) got me so motivated to try out all kinds of things, prepare beforehand and mix and match for most meals. So far it’s working out great, I love how my food tastes, and how it makes me feel. I’m a picky veggie eater, but you make it a blast! Thanks so much for all you’re sharing! Plus, I dig your style!

    • Mel says:

      Congrats on making the switch to paleo — good for you! Glad you like this soup and Well Fed. It doesn’t feel like “eating healthy,” right?! It just all tastes like good food. Hope you continue to enjoy eating this way!

  53. Lizzy says:

    Trying this today with 1/2 butternut squash and 1/2 sweet potatoes. Smells delicious, can’t wait to dig in!!

  54. Joy says:

    OMG. This was amazing!!! So glad I found your recipe!
    I did have to make a couple changes just based on what I did and didn’t have.
    I didn’t have chicken stock so I used homemade ham stock instead. I also didn’t have enough sweet potatoes so I added a couple carrots and the neck of a yellow squash to make up the difference.
    Even my picky kids are raving!

  55. Janet says:

    This is easy and delicious. The Ras el Hanout is worth getting just the right flavor. Top it with your toasted coconut too. Just wonderful

  56. David says:

    I cannot express how much I love this recipe. I would eat this for every meal if it wasn’t for my self control. Personally I skip the bacon (sacreligious I know America) and use it for my after workout meal in which I cook a portion of seasoned ground turkey mix it in a couple scoops of soup, then top with two eggs fried in coconut oil. The egg/soup/meat combo is simply amazing. Plus having never heard of Ras el hanout, it is now my favorite mix.

    • Mel says:

      That sounds like such a great post-workout meal. Love it! And yes, when I discovered Ras el Hanout, I was, like, “where has this been all my life?!”

  57. JeriO says:

    We had the most amazing summer in Seattle-warm, dry, gorgeous. But as the calendar just barely flipped to fall, it’s pouring! Not just damp, Seattle drizzle but crazy POURRRRING and very chilly and so windy. I served this lovely soup last night for a few friends and it really eased the weather whiplash we are all suffering from. I’m eating the leftovers right now. Comfort in a mug! Thanks so much for this delicious recipe!!

  58. Koob says:

    Oh my god! Sooo easy & sooo amazing!
    Thank you for such a great soup!

  59. Laurie says:

    Just finished making this soup!!! YUMMY! So easy to make with tons of flavour. Can’t wait to try your 10 minute pizza soup and golden cauliflower…MMMM! Winter is so long here in the Great Big North can hardly wait to enjoy this soups this winter!

    • Mel says:

      Glad these soup recipes will make your winter a little cozier. I’m envious! I love cold weather and it’s still in the 80s here in Austin. Maybe we should swap!

  60. Jennifer says:

    Just finished making this. I don’t usually post things but this soup was SOOOOOOOOOO good that I had to!!! I made the spice mixture but didn’t have coriander or cayenne pepper and it still was fantastic. I also added some coconut milk that I had and it really rounded out the flavors. DELICIOUS!

  61. KellyF says:

    Wow. This was amazing! I am having a serious debate with myself about whether it constitutes food-with-no-brakes for me. So far, denial is winning. Great recipe!

  62. haley says:

    This was delicious! Three of my coworkers and I have a paleo lunch club, and today was my day to bring our lunch to share. They all devoured it! Love this. Didn’t have the Ras el Hanout, so I just used allspice. The cayenne pepper added a nice kick, too!

  63. Allyson says:

    I just made this and it is two thumbs up! Very good!

  64. Julie says:

    Has anyone tried to freeze this? Does it freeze well?

    • Mel says:

      I haven’t tried freezing it, but I think it will freeze and defrost just fine. But don’t add the crumbled bacon to the top until you’re ready to eat.

  65. […] Roast (from The Domestic Man) Salty Sweet Broccoli Salad Silky Gingered Zucchini […]

  66. […] for breakfast. I’ll dive into that in another menu monday, but this week I’m having sweet potato soup with bacon for breakfast. Definitely one of my favorite Well Fed 2 recipes and for sure the one repeated the […]

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