Chicken and Sweet Potato Soup

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from The Foster’s Market Cookbook

2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, diced
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
3 ribs celery, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups chicken broth
4 cups shredded cooked chicken (see recipe for Poached Whole Chicken)
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into ½-inch chunks
One 14 ½-oz can chopped tomatoes
½ tsp red pepper flakes *more to taste*
1 tsp dried marjoram
3 bay leaves
2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp chopped fresh marjoram, to garnish (optional)
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme, to garnish (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat in a large saucepan and add the onion and shallots.  Cook and stir about 15 minutes, or until softened.  Add the bell pepper and celery and continue to cook and stir about 5 minutes longer.  Add the garlic and cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes longer.

Add the broth, chicken, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, red pepper flakes, dried marjoram, bay leaves, salt, and pepper and stir until combined.  Bring to a low boil, reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, about 1 hour, until the potatoes are tender and flavors have developed.  Skim the top of the soup as it cooks if necessary to remove fat.

Discard the bay leaves.  Add the fresh marjoram, thyme, and additional salt and pepper if desired.  Serve immediately.

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