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.