Sweet potatoes, of all things, have special meaning for me. I was a latch key kid, growing up with my single mom who worked long hours. Stopping at the variety store after school with my friends was a pretty regular tradition. While my friends were buying Lemonheads, Good Humor ice cream treats and chocolate bars, I was often looking for a way to stretch my dollar. When I ventured to the back of the store, I found a basket of sweet potatoes. I can’t remember if they were 19 cents, 29 cents, or 39 cents a pound. I just remember the “9” at the end, and that they were incredibly cheap for the amount you got! I could bring these home and pop them in the microwave for a hearty snack/meal that would keep me going much longer than any candy bar would. So, it became a tradition of mine to eat sweet potatoes after school, much to the perplexity of some of my friends. I still enjoy them to this day, for much different reasons than I did back then.
The sweet potato is a hearty and nutrient packed vegetable. It was one of the first foods to cross my babies’ lips, and remains a favorite of theirs. The recipe I use for this chowder is one I’ve been making for the better part of a decade. My family enjoys it as a holiday starter or a simple dinner side dish. It always gets rave reviews.
- 1 cup of chopped onion
- 2 tbsp oil (I usually use coconut but really any I’ve tried works)
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tsp red curry paste (I used Korma paste last time and it was great), or you can sub 2-3 tsp curry powder
- Roughly 7 cups of sweet potatoes peeled and cut in to small cubes (about 3/4 inches)
- 3 1/2 cups of chicken broth or veggie broth, preferably homemade
- 1 can of coconut milk
- 2 tsp grated ginger
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 1/8 tsp salt
- Heat the oil then cook the onion for a few minutes before adding garlic and curry paste.
- Cook about 5-ish more minutes, stirring, until the onion is translucent.
- Add remaining ingredients, bring to a gentle boil, then simmer covered for about 15 minutes.
- When the sweet potatoes become tender, take it off the heat.
- You now have a choice to blend anywhere between half of it, to all of it. If you blend it all, it’s more of a bisque, if you blend half and then return it to the pot, you’ll have more of the chowder consistency. Both are great.
When the bacon ends were crispy and the onion was tender, I tossed in some washed cubed potatoes (about 3 cups), 3 cups of chicken broth, and a can of evaporated milk (my Nana’s suggestion, based on her Corn Chowder recipe).
All bubbled at a slow simmer with frequent stirring until the potatoes were tender. After a taste I decided to add in a bit of frozen Springdell corn to give it a bit of sweetness. Once the corn was heated through, Chowdah was in progress! It’s not the most attractive dish, but it was pretty good!
Don’t forget to order your pepper plants and eggplant plants for your home or community gardens, orders are being accepted now via Springdell Farm!