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Smoky-Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

From Every Day with Rachael Ray. Serves 4; about 45 minutes to table
This soup is spicy if you use the amount of adobo sauce it calls for; I used Greek style yogurt instead of the sour cream and it tempered the heat and gave it a great texture. Chipotle peppers in adobo are in the Mexican section of most grocery stores. They add a nice smoky heat to foods.

4 sweet potatoes (2.5 pounds), peeled and sliced 1 inch thick
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 slices smoky bacon, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped, plus 2 teaspoons of the adobo sauce
5 sprigs thyme -- or more
1 bay leaf
One 32-ounce container chicken broth (I used veggie broth, and needed more than the 1 container)
1 teaspoon grated peel, and the juice of one orange
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Honey or maple syrup to drizzle
1 cup sour cream (or Greek-style yogurt)

In a medium saucepan, add the sweet potatoes and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, salt the water and cook until tender, 12-15 minutes. When tender, drain the potatoes. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the bacon and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the fat. Add the onion, carrot, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, thyme sprigs and bay leaf and cook until the onions are softened, 6-7 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth, orange peel, orange juice and cinnamon; drizzle with honey or maple syrup and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for a few minutes, then add the potatoes and simmer another 5 minutes so so, until everything is very tender. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Puree soup using an immersion blender, or puree in batches in a blender or food processor. Serve the soup with bacon crumbles and a dollop of sour cream on the top.