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!
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
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)
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.