Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Smoky Sweet Potato Chowder

*whew* After all the excitement of the tomato giveaway, I almost wasn't sure what to post next. Fortunately, we've been cooking up a storm in the past week or two.

Sweet potatoes... simple food with a pretty impressive nutritional profile. These humble tubers contain almost twice the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A, 42 percent of the recommendation for vitamin C, four times the RDA for beta carotene, and (when eaten with the skin intact) sweet potatoes have more fiber than oatmeal.

Now, if you're anything like me, the profile alone isn't all that matters. Sure, I can choke down a whole bunch of veg just to get my daily intake. But, it's really my preference to sit down with something that seriously tastes good. So, that's normally how we approach cooking on the healthier side. It's all about getting maximum nutrition AND maximum flavor.

One of our favorite ways to prep sweet potatoes is to make fries out of them -- either by roasting them in the oven or (*gasp*) frying them up in the deep fryer. They make a seriously tasty substitute for starchy old French fries, especially when tossed with a bit of chili powder and accompanied by a bit of smoky barbeque sauce.

However, our second favorite way to prepare sweet potatoes is to make them into soup. I always figure that soup gives pretty good mileage when it comes to cold weather eating. It's hearty, filling, and leftovers work well to take to work in the days following. We're also big fans of the soup/sammich combo, especially when we can pair a great soup with a panini (like our chicken panini with sundried tomato pesto). For more great panini recipes, check out PaniniKathy's blog over at Panini Happy.

We always start with a nice pile of diced sweet potato (skin on, of course).
Combine those potato chunks with a bit of sauteed onion, garlic, some Mexican oregano, a couple of chipotle peppers, and a nice healthy dose of vegetable stock. Simmer for 20-40 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
Add a bit of honey and a swirl of heavy cream. Then, give the soup a whorl with your immersion blender... add some black beans and a dash of salt & pepper... and enjoy. This soup is also phenomenal with a few roasted red peppers added to the mix for flavor.
Creamy, smoky, sweet... and good for you. Dare I say this soup is the perfect treat on a cold winter's night?

We especially love it served with a side of sour apple and saurkraut quesadillas.

Smoky Sweet Potato Chowder

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©BURP! Where Food Happens

19 comments:

  1. Congrats on being a finalist for Noble Pig's Superbowl Contest. Good luck!

    Your soup looks wonderful. I just bought a pasta machine in a thrift store and can't wait to try it, so your homemade pasta inspired me. Maybe this weekend...

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  2. I need to try more recipes like this, the only time my family eats sweet potatoes is for the holidays and they're not really thrilled with them. i 'd like to make this to see if this would be better to they're liking.

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  3. I just love sweet potatoes, this soup looks perfect!

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  4. As a self-processed Potato Ho...this one's for me.

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  5. There is something just marvelous about sweet potato soup - it's always just so flavorful and velvety! Yours looks divine, with the perfect smoky-sweet flavor.

    Also, congrats on being a finalist for Cathy's contest! I'm DYING to see that recipe, the title alone made me drool.....

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  6. oh see, now this is perfection
    but i'm leaving out the cream
    because you know how i am...

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  7. It has never occured to me to use sweet potatoes in a chowder, when I use them in just about everything else. Very lovely soup.

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  8. Wow, I love the combination of flavors here! Sounds wonderful! I agree there are so many awesome ways to get your veggies in!

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  9. Ya'll come up with the coolest creations!

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  10. Great recipe as always. I needed to see a recipe like this because the other day I bought a sweet potato soup at a gourmet food shop and was really anticipating something interesting, and it ended up being horribly, sickly sweet. I always like spiciness/saltiness with my sweet potatoes.

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  11. Way to go...good luck!

    The soup looks awesome...nice stick to yer stomach kinda soup.

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  12. This sweet potato chowder sounds really good!

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  13. game food! and a fellow MKE-an! well, technically i'm in Minneapolis right now, but i'll be back home in a few short months. launched my own blog last week and would love for you to pop in some time!

    cheers,

    *heather*
    http://squirrelbread.wordpress.com

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  14. Congrats on winning the Noble Pig contest! Definitely a winner in my book.

    When I start to feel better, I plan on making it!

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  15. Sweet potatoes rule! (Yams too.) We especially like them in curries. Will have try this chowder. Looks like a keeper.

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  16. No kidding on the healthy aspect of this dish. Haven't done a sweet potato soup, but I'm tempted with this. Sauerkraut quesadilla, huh? Nice.

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  17. Ues you can say "this soup is the perfect treat on a cold winter's night." I always love it when healthy tastes delicious too!!

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  18. oooo yummy...

    i just found some black beans today in our supermarket, never eaten them before, now i have something to do with them - THANKS! :-)

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