Nutty wild rice and sweet potatoes in a smoky-spiced broth with applewood smoked bacon. A simple but delicious and comforting soup I made for lunches last week.
The broth is spiced with smoked paprika, thyme, parsley and a little cayenne for a kick of heat.
The bacon gives it the salty bite it needs to make the flavors of the wild rice and sweet potatoes pop.
The starchy potatoes help make it thick and creamy and the natural sweetness plays nicely with the smoked paprika.
It’s a filling and satisfying soup to get you through these last few days of winter.
It’s perfectly delicious as is but to make it heartier you can add beans, cooked sausage or chicken. Even a couple handfuls of greens like spinach or kale.
- ½ pound applewood smoked bacon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup diced yellow onion
- 2 fat cloves minced garlic (about a tablespoon)
- 1 diced stalk celery
- 1 bay leaf
- ¾ cup wild rice or wild rice blend (like this)
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 3 - 4 cups cubed sweet potatoes
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
- a couple pinches ground cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
- sea or kosher salt and fresh black pepper
- In a large, heavy-duty saucepan or Dutch oven cook the bacon until crispy. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
- Drain off the grease except for a tablespoon and add the olive oil over medium-low heat.
- Add the onion, garlic, celery, bay leaf and a couple dashes salt and pepper. Cook 5 - 6 minutes stirring often.
- Add the wild rice and toast it for a few minutes in the pan, stirring often.
- Stir in the vegetable broth, sweet potatoes, dried thyme, smoked paprika, parsley and cayenne with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
- Crumble the bacon and add half of it to the soup - save the rest for the top.
- Turn the heat up and bring to a simmer. Simmer about 25 minutes until the potatoes and wild rice are tender.
- Taste and season with more salt and pepper or herbs/spices if desired.
- Remove the bay leaf and discard.
- Ladle into bowls with a sprinkle of bacon on top to serve.