Sweet Potato Soup

Sweet Potato Soup with Maple and Bacon

3 strips bacon
2 tbsp butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 Granny Smith apple, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 large leek, sliced (white & pale green parts only)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 pounds red-skinned potatoes (yams), peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces 5 cups chicken broth
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups half and half, plus more for garnish
2 tbsp maple syrup

In a large saucepan set over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel to drain. When cool, crumble the bacon and set aside. Add butter to the bacon drippings in the saucepan and turn the heat up to medium-high. Add onion and apple, and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add celery and leek and 1 large leek. Sauté for an additional 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add sweet potatoes and add to the onion mixture, along with chicken broth, cinnamon stick, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until potatoes are tender, 20-25 minutes. Remove and discard cinnamon stick. Working in batches, purée the sweet potato mixture in a blender until smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan. Add 1 1/2 cups half and half and maple syrup and heat, stirring frequently. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowl and garnish each serving with 1 tablespoon of half and half, and crumbled bacon.
Serves 4 to 6.

Source: www.cookincanuck.com