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Sweet Potato & Jalapeno Soup

Six or seven large sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (more if you want)
32-ounce carton chicken broth
Enough water to cover (see below)

Peel the sweet potatoes and rough chop them into bite-size pieces. In a large stock pot, heat the oil and saute the onion, garlic and jalapeno for 5-10 minutes, or until soft.
Transfer the chopped sweet potatoes to the stock pot. Add the chicken broth and enough water so that the potatoes and fully submerged in liquid. Over high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let soup simmer for 30-45 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are soft and fork-tender.
Mash the potatoes while in the liquid and then switch over to a electric hand mixer and puree. (This can also be done in stages in a blender).
Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with fresh cilantro and chili powder for color.

For a more creamy soup, remove about two cups of the broth after its 30-45 minute simmer and replace this liquid with a pint of Half & Half. Continue as above.

From: (Barbara Gehring)

This was terrific. (I'm a vegetarian so I substituted vegetable broth.) I've been getting compliments on it all over the place. It actually tasted better the second day.
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