Chicken and Sweet Potato Soup

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*Note: Increase the red pepper flakes if you like more heat. The 1/4 teaspoon in the recipe will give gentle and flavor but is not overly spicy (as in, my kids ate it with no problem).

*Serves 6-8

1 tablespoon butter

1 red onion, finely diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

3 ribs celery, diced

6 cloves garlic, minced

7-8 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 1/2 pounds chicken, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (or use about 3-4 cups of shredded, cooked chicken)

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/- inch pieces

1 can (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon dried marjoram

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

3 bay leaves

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon pepper

In a large pot (4 or 5 quarts), melt butter over medium heat and add onions. Cook, stirring often, about 5-6 minutes, until softened. Add bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Cook 5-6 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender. Add remaining ingredients (don't add the cooked chicken, if using, you'll add it near the end), stir well, and bring to a low boil, reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for about 40-45 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked through. If using cooked chicken, stir it in at this point and let it heat through. Discard bay leaves and serve.