JUNE 21, 2018

Weeknight Cooking: Sweet Potato-Corn Chowder with Avocado

The weeknight family soup recipes that have worked best for me tend to be at least one tier up in quality from any pre-packaged version, but yet efficient and without a long cooking time.  This one, out of the great Soup of the Day by Williams-Sonoma, is just that – a family edible soup that really only takes thirty minutes total cooking time.  

This one begins as an onion and chicken broth base that builds mainly by three other components. First is the corn itself. The recipe doesn’t call for it, but I would love to see, next time, the 8 ears of fresh corn cut from cobs grilled, seasoned, and perhaps sprinkled with some good cojita cheese before placed into the soup broth (at the very end, if cheesy).  

Grilled chunks of corn for next time.

 

Second is the potato. Although this simple 30 minute recipe is a corn chowder, the corn actually takes a side seat to the easy-to-success sweet potato, diced and simmered, eventually, until softened.  The third component is avocado, simply diced and placed over the top of the chowder at the very end for a cool texture and color contrast. The rest is the subtleties of added flavor: garlic, cumin, coriander, finely diced red pepper, cilantro (if chosen; I skipped it because we don’t generally like it here), and a dollop of sour cream (also optional).  

What takes a bulk of the heating time is really the sweet potato, at around 20 minutes to soften – I also make sure to only gently stir when the cubes are at risk of turning to meal if prodded too much.  To make the soup a bit more hearty, I also happened to add around 2 cups of dumpling noodles which really did turn this from a veggie soup into a more robust, filling one.  The true test is nothing less than whether the bowls are willingly emptied or whether there needs to be reminders.  Because the three main building blocks of this recipe are all quite neutral, it makes for a perfect family selection, and one, I have been asked, to become a ‘repeater.’