Smoky Sweet Potato Corn Chowder

Fall is finally in the air here in the Old Pueblo. The past couple of days have been in the low to mid 70s during the day and dropping down into the 50s and 60s during the evening. Now, when it starts the get that chilly, the wife asks for soups/chowders and comfort food for dinner.

One of our favorite chowders is my Smoky Sweet Potato Corn Chowder. I remember the day I wrote this recipe. We went wine tasting at a local winery where they were pairing their wines with different dishes and one was plain old corn chowder. That little bite we got with the pairing got me thinking. On the way home, I was brainstorming on how to turn up the volume on corn chowder but, without getting too crazy. We swung by the store for the essentials and I got to work. About 90 minutes later – Smoky Sweet Potato Corn Chowder was born. It was so good. I think we each had two or three bowls. I even had enough left over to bring into work the following day for my coworkers to try. It was a hit there too!

The following weekend we had my family over to check out a near-by orchard that has pumpkin picking, apple picking, games, petting zoo, lots of food, etc. I knew they would love this chowder so, that morning I made a double batch of it, transferred it to two crock pots and kept it warm while we were gone. Every time I make this recipe, I think about that day. We had a blast, especially my niece and nephews. My parents, sisters and their families, plus my wife and I were all together – all 12 of us. Soon there will be 13 with Baby K. on the way!

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My niece and I at the orchard

As you can see, this chowder brings back a few great memories for me. I hope when you make it that it creates some memorable ones for you, too!

Smoky Sweet Potato Corn Chowder
Prep Time: 15 min | Cook Time: 30-35 min | Servings: 6-8 | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

2 sticks of butter
3 carrots, small dice
3 celery stalks, small dice
1 small onion, small dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup of flour
2 cups of stock (vegetable or chicken)
6 cups of whole milk
6 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped to 1/2in pieces
3 cups of corn (I use half yellow, half white)
4 tbsp liquid smoke
Salt and pepper to taste
Scallions, for garnish
Bacon crumbles, for garnish (optional)

Directions

1. In a large stock pot, over medium heat, melt the butter.
2. Add the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic. Cook until the onion starts to turn clear, stirring occationally. About 5-7 minutes.
3. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes. This will turn the butter into a paste like consistancy.
4. Slowly pour in the stock and milk and turn the temperature to high. Bring to boil and boil for 1-2 minutes. Mixture should start to thicken. Now reduce the heat to a simmer.
5. Add the sweet potatoes, corn, liquid smoke, salt and pepper. Cover and let simmer simmer. Cook until the sweet potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.
6. Garnish and serve.

Notes: Cool to room temperature before storing. Keep refrigerated for up to 3 days or freeze in ziplock bags for up to 3 months. If you are garnishing with bacon, fry the bacon in the stock pot first with a little oil. Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate and continue with melting the butter in step 1. Remember, you can make this in advance and keep it warm in a crock pot.

Written by Brendan

I am the oldest, funniest, and best looking of the three pieces of fruit to come from our parents loins. Hmmm… if I was a piece of fruit, I think I’d be a peach. Fuzzy on the outside, a little soft, a little juicy, and a big ol’ heart in center. I believe I was 17 years old. The year was 2003 (holy crap, that was 15 years ago?) when I decided to make the change and become a vegetarian. Born and raised in Northeast Pennsylvania, being a vegetarian was not all that common. And, because it wasn’t all that common, I had to figure out the vegetarian lifestyle all on my own. I quickly discovered how much more energy I had and how much better I felt. A few years later I met the macaroni to my cheese, the basil to my pesto, someone that really made my dough rise, the love of my life, Sarah. Many of you already know the story of our first date and are still wondering why she said yes to a second. For those that don’t know the story, I don’t know if you’re lucky or if you missed out. While only being together for 6 months, we decided to move in together. Actually, Sarah the Stalker found an apartment in Jim Thorpe, PA – where I lived. She had lived just 20 minutes away in one of the next towns over and couldn’t bare to be that far away from this piece of Porter House steak. Can you blame her? So, she bought me a tooth brush for her place and gave me a key, at which point it became our place. Here is where I rediscovered how much I loved to cook – by making our nightly dinners. Also, I may or may not have had a small obsession with Rachael Ray. Fast forward to 2016, and my now wife Sarah and I are moving to the Carne Asada capital of the world, Tucson, AZ. No more cold and no more snow! Tucson is a charming little city with a small town feel in Southern Arizona, about a stone’s throw away from Mexico. There is a lot of Mexican influence here from the street names, the adobe style homes, and the FOOD. The food is incredible here. There’s an old wives’ tale here about the salsa in Tucson. How hot the salsa is depends on how angry the lady in the kitchen making it is at her husband. We have had some mild salsas and we have had some salsas that made you feel like you sold your backside to el diablo. I’ve always had an interest in food, ever since I was a little kid. I have great memories of being in the kitchen with my grandparents and mom that inspire me to continue to cook for people and write recipes. Last June, with the support of my wife, I quit my career of 13 years in banking to focus on writing a cookbook. My cookbook will incorporate dishes I ate growing up, recipes I created, and a modern twist on some classics. My focus is not going to be strictly vegetarian recipes. I have plenty of recipes that include meat. My days start with a large cup of coffee and a walk on the treadmill or a hike through Saguaro National Park. It continues in the kitchen either testing a recipe, writing one, or working on my new website! The cookbook is taking longer than I anticipated, so I decided to start sharing my recipes online and to start to gather a following. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions and don’t forget to subscribe to never miss a recipe!

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