In case you were wondering what to dunk your cornbread into, worry no more … this chowder is the perfect thing to pair with it. I have a love affair with sweet potatoes every autumn, and they find their way onto our dinner table at least one time per week, often times more. I love their vibrant orange color, their sweet flavor, and their versatility. I bake ‘em, mash ‘em, cream ‘em, slice ‘em, dice ‘em, and roast ‘em. I make sweet potato bread, sweet potato and black bean burgers, baked sweet potatoes with all of the fixings, coconut-mashed sweet potatoes, sweet potato casserole, sweet potato pie, sweet potato cake, roasted sweet potatoes, sweet potato fries, and sweet potato chowders. For those of you who are having a Forrest Gump moment right now, I will demonstrate restraint … but please know how much I love thee, dear sweet potato.
Here in Hawaii we have purple sweet potatoes. True story. Hawaiian Purple Sweet Potatoes (‘uala) are also called Okinawan potatoes and are native to Japan, but they are believed to have been grown in the Hawaiian islands for centuries. They get their unique purple hue from their abundance of anthocyanin (a type of phytochemical). We also have purple Molokai Sweet Potatoes, which are only grown on the island of Molokai. This chowder does not use purple sweet potatoes but instead calls for the traditional Mainland-style red-skin and orange-fleshed sweet potatoes because I really love their flavor and, quite frankly, am not too keen on serving up purple soup. Purple sweet potatoes are best served with simple preparation so that their purple coloring can be a unique addition to your plate and not look like a side dish at a grotesque Halloween buffet. If you ever have the opportunity to work with them, mashed or baked is the way to go with purple potatoes, and then top them off with the simple garnish of your choice.
This (not purple) chowder is simple to make, which makes it a prime candidate for a weekday meal. Pair it with some bread and a salad and you’ve got a delicious, healthy dinner for your busy work week. Enjoy!
Two Potato and Corn Chowder
1 tbsp Earth Balance butter
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, diced
2 medium sweet potatoes, diced
4 medium red potatoes, diced
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder (add more or less depending upon your heat tolerance)
1/2 tsp coriander
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
8 cups broth ( I used Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base but use whatever flavor strikes your fancy)
1 10 oz frozen corn
1 cup almond milk
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Juice from 1/2 lime
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped scallions and cilantro for garnish
1. Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat, add the onion, and saute for 10-12 minutes, until slightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add the carrots and potatoes and cook for 3 minutes. Add the spices, salt, and pepper and cook for 30 additional seconds. Add the broth, bring to a boil, lower to medium-low heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
2. Stir in the corn and almond milk and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Use an immersion blender or stand-up blender to puree the soup (I like to leave it a little bit chunky, but puree to your desired consistency). Sir in the cilantro, lime juice, and salt and pepper. Gently heat for 2-3 minutes. Garnish with chopped scallions and cilantro and serve.