Cooking for Losers Who Like to Feel Full – New Zealand Sweet Potato Chowder

February 17, 2009

sweet-potatoThat’s right – potato chowder. I know what you’re thinking, I can’t eat something called chowder – it’s loaded with calories! If you’re thinking that now then wait until you see the ingredient list – 1/2 cup of heavy cream! What?!?! That’s not allowed! Well, guess what, it is.

Although this is a potato chowder it’s much better for you than your typical loaded baked potato soup. This chowder has sweet potatoes – these bright orange veggies are rich in vitamin A and C which are both vital nutrients and powerful antioxidants. Oh, and you get a good dose of B6 too.

As for the heavy cream, I reduced it by half from the original recipe and it only adds about 35 calories per serving. Although it’s fatty you’re not getting a lot of fat with this recipe so it fits into the moderation category.

The best thing about this recipe is that it is totally filling! You’ll get about 315 calories for two cups worth – that’s a lot of soup when it’s something rich like this. I toss a little spinach in some balsamic vinegar and olive oil and call it a meal.

This recipe is taken (with a few changes) from The Daily Soup Cookbook by Carla Ruben, Bob Spiegel, and Peter Siegel (1999).


2 tablespoons olive oil (they call for butter – I’m fresh out)

1 large Spanish onion, chopped

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons dried thyme

2 bay leaves

2 teaspoons salt (they call for the kosher stuff – once again, I’m all out)

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock

7 sweet potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1-inch cubes (they call for 4 sweet potatoes and 3 yams – well I’m sorry, WalMart doesn’t make those kind of distinctions)

1 cup frozen corn (they call for the fresh stuff off of two ears of corn)

1/2 cup heavy cream (they call for a whole cup)

1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic

they call for 1/2 cup chopped fresh curly parsley – I think parsley is gross.

How to do it:

1. Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sugar and caramelize for 10 minutes, until tender and golden.

2. Add the thyme, bay leaves, salt, and pepper and stir to coat the onion.

3. Add the stock, sweet potatoes, yams, and corn (only if you’re using the fresh stuff – wait if you’re using frozen corn) and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat, partially cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.

4. Stir in the heavy cream (and the frozen corn if you’re using that) until heated through.

5. Remove the bay leaves and puree about one quarter of the chowder in a blender or a food processor until smooth. If you’ve got an immersion blender that might work so long as you don’t blend the entire thing.

6. Return the puree to the pot and stir in the garlic.

Ladle that mess up and top it with some nasty parsley if you like.



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