A rainy damp winter day in Chicago calls for a warm comforting soup. My husband is a big fan of creamier style soups and requested I make clam Chowder. However, I didn’t have the right ingredients on hand for that and I wasn’t about to run out to the store in the rain with a newborn. I knew I had to get creative in that kitchen of mine, which I love to to anyway!
Now Before you say, ” Abby, Sweet potato corn chowder is not even close to clam chowder.” Here me out. I’m all about using the ingredients we have on hand, as most moms are. Plus, it inspires me to get creative and develop new recipes! And, don’t worry about Dave, he still got his seafood because I planned on completing the meal with a lobster roll. The lobster roll was planned because lord knows I don’t keep lobster just lying around my kitchen. (More about that in a later post.)
We almost always have sweet potatoes at my house, they are one of those ingredients that are crazy versatile and pack a nice nutrient punch. While you normally see white potatoes in a traditional chowder or creamy potato soup, I decided to roll with the sweet potatoes. Why? For one, sweet and savory elements together make any taste buds do a little dance. For another, they are a great source of dietary fiber, Vitamin A, C and B6!
Another ingredient we always have on hand this time of year is frozen, organic, non-gmo corn. I love the texture and sweetness corn adds to soups, salads, dips and sweet potato cakes! Yep, another delicious sweet potato and corn combo are sweet potato cakes. Talk about yum! Corn really gets a bad rap and I get it because its not the most nutrient dense vegetable, grain, or fruit out there. A vegetable, grain or a fruit? Yes, technically speaking it is considered all three. Corn is a vegetable because it is harvested for eating. Corn seed is a grain because it is a dry seed of a grass species. Corn is a fruit because that is simply the botanical definition. So, there ya have it, if an ingredient is considered a vegetable, a grain and a fruit it’s a pretty cool ingredient!
Moving on to the other ingredients….I had organic whole milk in the fridge left over from the french toast bake I made for Christmas. Which was a huge score because we normally just have almond or coconut milk lying around. And neither of those milks, in my opinion, would have worked well for this recipe. These days I always have some kind of bacon in the fridge. You just can’t beat the depth of flavor it adds to recipes, however if you were wanting to keep this soup vegetarian you could easily omit it. And since I’ve been pregnant I always have sharp, if not extra sharp, cheddar cheese. It’s ok to roll with your pregnancy cravings three months postpartum right? Lastly, I had just made some homemade chicken bone broth a few days earlier so I was in business! I dove into my spice drawer and snatched some cayenne and garlic powder for a little extra flair. Grabbed my mirepoix from the fridge, otherwise known as celery, carrots and onion, (The essentials for a killer soup.) and I was ready to get after it!
A quick chop here, a sautee and a nice simmer there and we had ourselves a super comforting winter soup. But because my husband doesnt think soup constitutes as a meal I had to add a sandwich of sorts. But this is just not any sandwich, it’s a lobster roll! Oh yea, baby! Here’s a picture to get you excited for the recipe to follow!
Please feel free to comment below and let me know what you think if you try the recipe!
- 1-2 tbsp. all-purpose gluten-free flour
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1 small sweet onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 c. whole milk (preferably organic)
- 4 c. chicken bone broth, or chicken stock (homemade or store bought)
- 3 sweet potatoes, rinsed, peeled (optional) and cubed into ¼”-1/2″ chunks
- 2 c. frozen corn
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
- 3 slices of thick-cut bacon, cooked until crisp and diced
- ½ c. medium-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- Set a Dutch oven over medium- low heat. Add Bacon and let cook until crisp. (roughly 4-5 min) Discard Bacon and set a side for later. Drain at least half of the bacon juice but leave some for added flavor to the soup.
- Add butter and melt. When the butter has melted add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes until tender and transparent. Add garlic and corn and cook for 2-3 more minutes.
- Sprinkle in gluten-free flour and whisk. Slowly add your chicken broth or stock and then milk. Turn heat up to medium-high, then add the sweet potatoes. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne. Simmer for 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
- Once the potatoes are tender and the soup has thickened, remove from the heat. Add in cheddar cheese and stir until incorporated. Spoon into individual bowls and top with crisp bacon pieces.