Have you ever had one of those friends? You know the kind. The Wonder Woman kind. (Yes, I had the Underoos as a kid.) Dripping with beauty, strong, talented, great fashion sense, hysterically funny, really great hair and able to do virtually anything she puts her mind to and do it well. Yeah. That kind of friend. Well, I have a few of those.
The particular friend I’m thinking of right now is an amazing person. Maybe you can relate. She’s one of those friends you are so thankful for because you love her dearly and enjoy her company, but she’s so talented and gorgeous that you kind of want to ditch her…but you can’t…because you’ve known her since your single days…and, quite frankly, she knows too much…
This particular friend is an artist, singer, interior designer, but these things don’t define her, at least not fully. She’s a devoted wife and mother. She’s a faithful Christian. She’s passionate as well as compassionate, caring, tender-hearted, encouraging, a servant, and makes me laugh out loud…a lot. And if that’s not enough, she’s one of the most amazing cooks I know. She texts me pictures of dinner and every time, I wish I was eating at her house.
One of the reasons this friend is so amazing (besides God just making her that way) is that she works her little tushie off cooking and caring for her son with Crohn’s disease. In fact, this is how an old friendship got rekindled. I ran into my friend whilst shopping (on Black Friday last year) and noticed she had a look of desperation about her. A look I knew all too well. Her son had been in the hospital and the diagnosis was Crohn’s. Heavy-hitting drugs were all they could do for him – even going so far as to admit the drug they wanted to switch him to “has been known to cause cancer in boys”.
“I can’t sign my son up for that. What’s the name of that nutritionist you recommend?” My friend knew we had been through the wringer with our daughter who has inflammatory bowel disease and that we had great results working with our certified nutritionist, Julia McRae.
Well, long story short, they started him on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), then switched him to Autoimmune Protocol (AIP a/k/a Autoimmune Paleo). And my friend went to work. She totally threw herself into his new dietary changes, which can be quite difficult I might add, especially when you’re new to it all. My friend has utterly amazed me. Her creativity has taken AIP to a whole new level. In fact, I frequently tell her that she’s the one who deserves to have a blog.
So, all that to say, this recipe is really the result of my friend’s creativity and talent in the kitchen. I gave it a little tweak, but she deserves the credit, as the brainchild is hers. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have!
- 12 oz. package nitrate free bacon, diced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 leek (see note on preparation below)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cups white sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 6 cups parsnips, peeled and cubed (or rutabaga or combination of both)
- 8 cups chicken bone broth
- 5-7 cups cooked chicken, shredded
- juice of one large lemon (maybe more)
- salt and pepper to taste
- sliced green onions, optional
- NOTE: to prepare leek, slice in half lengthwise then thinly slice. Take sliced leeks and wash in a large bowl of cold water. Using both hands, lift leeks out of water and drain. If very dirty, repeat with fresh water.
- Heat large dutch oven to medium. Add diced bacon and stir until cooked through and crispy. Scoop out bacon and drain on paper towels, set aside.
- Add onion, carrot, celery and leek to bacon grease in pot. Stir and cook until softened. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds.
- Next, add white sweet potatoes, parsnips and/or rutabagas, bone broth and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cook until root vegetables are tender.
- Remove bay leaves. Using great care, ladle about one-third to one-half of soup into Vitamix or high powered blender, making sure to get both root veggies and broth. Puree until smooth. Alternatively, you may use an immersion blender right in the pot.
- Add pureed soup back to pot and stir. It should thicken the soup and become creamy.
- Next, add salt and pepper to taste and lemon juice. Stir well and taste. This soup really needs the tang of the lemon juice to balance the sweetness of the root veggies. Add more to taste if needed.
- Lastly, add the shredded chicken and give a stir. Just allow it to heat the chicken through.
- Serve topped with bacon and green onions.