Lentil & Sweet Potato Soup with Bacon & Cilantro

Lentil & Sweet Potato Soup with Bacon & Cilantro

Happy New Year! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? My fingers feel stiff and rusty from lack of blogging. Or maybe it’s the frigid weather. Yes, it’s frigid in Miami! While you Michiganders and Minnesotans are probably scoffing at our Floridian fragility, 40-degree weather is unheard of down here and I’m freezing. It doesn’t help that we don’t even know how to turn the heat on. So, what to do when it’s cold out? Make soup, of course.

In Italy, it’s good luck to eat lentils on New Year’s Day. I think everyone’s looking for a little luck this year because my local grocery store was completely sold out of lentils all week. I had to pilfer some from my mom’s pantry (thanks Mom!). So I’m kicking off 2010 on Bitchin’ Camero with lucky lentils and a resolution to blog more often and redesign the site. Here’s hoping.

This recipe is actually an adaptation from my favorite Christmas present – Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home cookbook (thanks Tom!). If you’re going to buy one cookbook this year, this should be it. Not only is it spectacularly beautiful, it’s full of all kinds of tips for mastering home cooking, from essential cookware to building the perfect salad dressing. Did I mention the hundreds of amazing recipes? I am in love with this book. It’s all about showcasing good ingredients in interesting ways. Like the Roasted Beet and Potato Salad with Smoked Salmon and Soft-cooked Eggs we had last night. Sounds weird, but tastes like heaven.

This soup caught my attention immediately. Sweet potatoes, lentils, bacon and cilantro are definitely a few of my favorite things. Of course I decided to make this before work, and the recipe ended up being too much for me to handle in the morning, so I simplified it a bit. When I have more time, I’ll be making it Thomas Keller’s way and I’m sure it will blow my mind. As it turns out, the simplified version is pretty darn good, too. A little smoky from the bacon and curry powder, a little sweet from the potatoes, carrots and onions, and brightened up with cilantro and sherry vinegar. For me, it’s the perfect bowl of soup and the perfect way to ring in this rather nippy new year.

12 Comments

  1. Happy New Year Mel.
    I did a lentil post today too.
    David Lebovitz’s Salade Lentille du Puy.
    I am all about lentils in the new year!

  2. It *has* been a while. And no one finds ways to combine my favorite ingredients like you do!

  3. Happy New Year! Alas, I’m allergic to lentils :( But the soup looks beautiful, and I’m sure it’s delicious!

  4. CookiePie – Oh NO! Allergic to lentils? I’d be soooo sad. This would be great with black beans too!

  5. So many soups, so little time! Between this and my favorite go-to lentil soup (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/lentil-and-chorizo-soup-recipe/index.html), I can’t decide, so I think I’ll just make both this week and let the husband and kids choose for themselves!

  6. CookiePie:

    Perhaps Aduki beans rather than lentils? I am making this with slighty less sweet potatoes and stock, and 1/2 French and 1/2 brown lentils (due to the limitations of the pantry). Others had quoted the full Ad Hoc recipe, but I am hoping this one is close enough. I was sold when I saw curry powder and sherry vinegar. Thanks Mel.

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  9. this was delish!! i wanted it to be a bit heartier, so i used an immersion blender to puree some of the potatoes and thicken it up – also i added a little bit of cream at the end for some sweetness

  10. We are having cold and rainy weather where I’m located and this soup sounds like a perfect companion for the day.

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  12. We’ve just discovered the joys of organic farming in our own backyard, I have to say potato soup is our favourite of the month. I found a website dedicated to just potato soup recipes, can you believe it?!. There’s a website for everything nowadays it appears!

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