2 to 3 slices bacon, roughly chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 large or 2 small carrots, peeled and chopped
cup roughly chopped celery
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and chopped??
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
teaspoon dried basil
teaspoon dried oregano
teaspoon dried thyme
2 quarts chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
Salt, pepper, and hot pepper sauce to taste
Creme fraiche or sour cream
Saute bacon in a large soup pot until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon or spatula and set aside. To bacon drippings, add onion, carrot, celery, shallot, garlic, apples, and sweet potatoes. Saute 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add basil, oregano, thyme, and flour. Stir until flour is well mixed and moistened throughout.
Add chicken stock and stir occasionally until soup comes to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer until all ingredients are soft, about 20 minutes. Puree in a food processor, blender, or food mill. Return to soup pot, stir in heavy cream, and season to taste with salt, pepper, and hot pepper sauce. Keep over very low heat, but do not boil.
To serve, pour soup in bowls and garnish tops with creme fraiche or sour cream, reserved bacon, and thyme sprigs.
North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission