2013 – Gluten Free Living
I admit cheerfully that I’m a sweet potato lover. I like anything to do with sweet potatoes and I like them served just about any way you can possibly make them. I will sit down for lunch sometimes and just eat a baked sweet potato with nothing else on it. Sometimes I sprinkle cinnamon on them, but usually I just eat them plain. I like sweet potatoes creamed, candied, in casseroles, in soups, in pies, in muffins, in breads, muffins, biscuits or scones, in cakes–like I said, I love sweet potatoes!
This wonderful soup is filled with creamed sweet potatoes, corn, black beans, and lovely spices like cilantro, chili powder and cumin. Only the sweet potatoes are blended to a smooth texture, the rest of the ingredients add texture and depth to this delicious chowder. About a month ago I tried this delicious recipe, and posted my version of it here. Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potatoes were so good I decided to see if I could come up with a version to incorporate the ingredients in a healthy soup version. I am so glad I did. This amazing chowder is smooth with the black beans and corn giving a little crunch and bite to the soup. The main difference was adding a half gallon of coconut milk to the recipe to give it this rich, thick soup-like texture.
If you’re really into Tex-Mex-style cooking consider adding a can of diced chilies, salsa, or pinto beans to the recipe as well. While I didn’t melt cheese over top of the bowl, adding croutons and cheese and then baking the soup dish a few minutes to melt the cheese would give this soup a wonderful texture and hearty flavor as well. I simply garnished the top of the soup with dollops of Chobani vanilla Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese. I thought the soup was extraordinarily tasty.
Spicy soups are growing on me. For a long time I really didn’t care much for chili (any version), tortilla or taco soups, or hot and sour soups because I just didn’t care to eat spicy soups. As I have been cooking more with cumin, chili powder, turmeric, curry powder, cayenne pepper and other spices I’m finding my palate has expanded and I’m really starting to enjoy having a little heat in soups, stews, or chowders.
This recipe is really healthy. Not only is it gluten free, it is not overly high in calories. I used kefir cheese (a yogurt cheese) to cream the sweet potatoes and coconut milk (mine was only 45 calories per 8-oz. glass) to make the chowder type texture conversion from stuffed sweet potatoes. If you are dairy intolerant or vegan there are plenty of substitutes these days at the grocery store to eliminate the yogurt and cheese. This recipe makes a lot! Probably close to 15 or 16 servings so if you want less, cut the recipe in half or to a third of what’s given. It’s not the kind of recipe that you have to be extremely exact on measurements anyway. Add side veggies and spices to your taste.
Are you looking for a way to use up sweet potatoes in your garden, or trying to find a way to get your kids to eat more sweet potatoes? Consider offering your family this healthy choice. It’s so tasty and you can spice it up or remove some of the heat to your family’s preferences. You can also freeze half of it for later. I loved this delicious Southwest Sweet Potato Chowder and I hope you and your family will enjoy it too.
This recipe makes a lot. You can easily freeze half for later or eat it for lunches for a week like I did!
You can see the speckles of chili powder in this picture. I loved this tasty Southwest-style Sweet Potato Chowder.
If you aren’t gluten intolerant, I recommend covering your individual soup bowl with either croutons or French bread and then with about 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese (or the cheese of your choice). Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes until the cheese melts. Yum, yum!
Here’s what I did.
These sweet potatoes were really huge (bigger than the picture makes them look like). If you want to cut the recipe in half start out with two extra large sweet potatoes instead.
Bake in the oven at 400 for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Since these were so large, I had to bake them a little longer.
Peel the potatoes and place in large mixing bowl.
I mixed the sweet potatoes with Kefir cheese – a yogurt cheese.
You can also use vanilla Greek yogurt if you can’t find kefir cheese.
Beat with ab electric mixer until smooth.
Meanwhile, in a skillet place frozen or fresh corn. Adding oil is completely up to you. A tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil will prevent sticking.
Add chili powder. If you’re not used to cooking with hot spices you may want to decrease the amounts. If you like your food hot and spicy you may want to increase it. This recipe does have quite a bit of heat to it (mostly from the serrano pepper).
I added about a scant teaspoon of cumin.
Add kosher or sea salt and pepper.
You can add the black beans to the sweet potatoes or stir them in with the corn – whatever you prefer.
Roast the corn for about 5-10 minutes over medium heat.
I added 1 serrano pepper, sliced and seeds removed. This is going to add a lot of heat to the soup. Substitute jalapeno, diced chilies, or other peppers as desired.
Here I’ve added diced green onions. I should have added diced red peppers and must have forgotten them!
I added a heaping tablespoon of minced garlic from a jar.
I chopped up some fresh cilantro and added it to the soup.
Here’s the fresh cilantro.
I added about a quart of coconut milk to the soup mixture.
Stir to combine.
Now I’m combining the black beans and sweet potatoes with the corn mixture.
Whisk the sweet potato-black bean mixture into the corn mixture.
Stir to combine. I whisked the mixture together and it was VERY thick.
I added the remaining quart of coconut milk. If you’re not allergic to dairy, half-and-half will work here also (but also add a lot of calories).
Stir to combine and heat through about 10-15 minutes.
To serve: dollop a few tablespoons of vanilla Greek yogurt over top of soup. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and cheddar cheese.
Here’s a close up of a serving of Southwest Sweet Potato Chowder.
I thought this soup was awesome. If you want it a little chunkier you can add diced red pepper (which I meant to add and must have forgotten), sliced leeks and even salsa to the corn. Fried bacon pieces are another garnish you can add if desired.
Here’s a close up so you can see the texture of Southwest Sweet Potato Chowder. I wanted the soup thick and chowder-like–not thin like gruel!
Here’s the recipe.
SOUTHWEST SWEET POTATO CHOWDER
4 extra large sweet potatoes
1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
12-oz. frozen corn
1 medium onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
4-5 slices from a serrano pepper, seeds removed
1 tbsp. minced garlic from a jar
2 teaspoon chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
8-oz. Kefir (yogurt cheese)
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper or more to taste
handful of chopped fresh cilantro
½ to 1 cup of cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese as garnish
Fresh cilantro as garnish
½ gallon coconut milk
Bake sweet potatoes in 400° oven until done. Mine took about 2 hours because they were large. Set aside potatoes to cool a little, then peel. In a large Dutch oven place frozen corn and roast with chili powder and cumin for about 5 minutes. Stir constantly so corn doesn’t stick. (You can add a little coconut oil to avoid sticking if you prefer). Add onion, red pepper, serrano pepper, salt, pepper, garlic, and cilantro. Continue sautéing until veggies are done. Add kefir cheese to sweet potatoes. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Stir sweet potatoes in corn mixture and add black beans. Slowly stir coconut milk into Dutch oven and heat over medium heat until cooked through. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with cheddar cheese and fresh cilantro as desired. Yields 8-10 servings.
NOTE: You can also garnish individual servings of this soup with croutons or French bread, sprinkle with cheese and melt in oven about 10 minutes.
OTHER OPTIONS: Add sliced leeks or salsa when sautéing the corn.
This hearty chowder was so satisfying and filling.
Each bite of soup had a smooth texture from the sweet potatoes and a crunchy texture from the black beans and corn. It was heavenly.
Garnish as desired. I used yogurt, cilantro and cheese, but croutons with cilantro and cheese sprinkled over top and heated in the oven would have been lovely too. Other options: fried bacon pieces or fresh snipped chives.
This healthy chowder is gluten free and delicious. Come over and join me for a bite!