Roasted Sweet Potato Tasso Bisque

I had promised myself to not post anything with meat today, because I often post a list of vegetarian recipes and then load up some meat recipes besides; this is a typical post day for me. Today, I wanted to be different for the odd day on the calendar and not say anything. And let anyone notice. Then I realized it’s probably not worth anyone’s while that I do that. And continued to resolve that way. But when I saw this recipe and thought that it was also vegan, then noticed the Tasso (Ham) in it, replaceable with bacon, I remember a repetitive conversation I’ve had with vegans over the years about bacon and that bacon is a staple of vegan philosophy. I have had those problems and I always remember, that even in an off-record kind of way, I can’t believe we’d ever have that conversation. And what I mean by “those problems” is THE problem where, you’d like everything to be about bacon and to find that bacon is affordable and healthy and usable and never in contention, but contrarily to the evidence, for instance of love being everywhere, and there is a wall of conceit to the contrary, bacon is scarce and a problem on to many levels for some ordinary and independent people. So bacon being a standard of success and looking at pigs on a farm all the same and believing in them as God’s creatures (which I do, I do); and nevertheless, I claim to be okay with eating God’s creatures, some of them — plants are also God’s creation), the topic gets too big for me to follow.

I left veganism on the bacon accountability I think I remember. I have been a vegetarian in my life before. And I took no vows about it afterward and did not return to it, because I thought that it did not properly address either spiritual or temporal laws and limitations of mankind’s struggles with existence adequately. I also don’t believe in the community of mind that exists in vegetarianism; I think that is a misinterpretation of the central mind being reflected in individuals. We still need to work things out as individuals according to a full path of knowledge, not only what is edible and what is creation. But I understand that it is a fulfilling path for too many people. It wasn’t that for me. It simply added to the struggles, conflicts and drudgeries of life’s issues.

So I’m including this for all the bacon vegans I’ve known.

Chez Starz

IMG_7835 (2)

I love Cajun and Creole food. I went to New Orleans for the second time and this time I had the opportunity to take my first cooking class. I took a hands-on class at the New Orleans School of Cooking and it was amazing. I really enjoyed learning about the cuisine of NOLA and meeting my 9 new friends. Chef Matt was an amazing teacher with a great personality. My favorite dish that we made was the bisque; so spicy, creamy and delicious. We used an immersion blender to puree. If you don’t have one of those you could use a food processor or blender in its place.


  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 TBS unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup onions, diced
  • 1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 TBS garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup tasso (if your grocer doesn’t…

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