Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Sweet Potato and Corn Chowder
In an effort to use up some refrigerator oddments and clear shelf space for the Thanksgiving feast, I decided to make a pot of soup the other day. I consulted my cookbooks for the best use of two baked sweet potatoes, some vegetable stock, a few corn tortillas and a bag of frozen corn that kept getting roughly shuffled around by various naughty Jagareskis with a resultant confetti of corn kernels sticking to all parts of the freezer compartment. Perusal of one of my favorite cookbooks, "Vegetarian Planet" by Didi Emmons (Boston: Harvard Common Press, 1997) offered up a delicious-sounding Corn and Sweet-Potato Chowder. I riffed on the recipe, which ingeniously uses bits of corn tortilla to thicken the chowder in a delightfully gluten-free way. Here's my version:
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. paprika
2 Tbsp. white rice flour
6 cups vegetable stock
3 corn tortillas, cut into small pieces
2 cups frozen corn
2 sweet potatoes, baked and cut into chunks
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup half-and-half or heavy cream
1 small can green chiles, diced
Melt butter and olive oil in a heavy stockpot. Add onions, garlic, cumin and paprika and cook, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes or until onions are softened.
Add flour and stir constantly with a whisk for 30 seconds. Gradually add stock, stirring all the while, to keep smooth. Add tortilla bits and frozen corn and bring back to a boil. Add sweet potatoes and chiles and cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Just before serving, stir in half-and-half and warm up chowder, but don't let boil.
Serves 4-6 people.
This is a very rich chowder, so just serve with a green salad for a warming dinner on a cold night.