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Less Than 30 Paleo Sweet Potato Chowder


The inspiration for this recipe is getting back in the saddle again.  After an almost 2-year hiatus to the day from adding new recipes to WorkOutChowDown, involving language training, a year abroad, and having a baby… I’d love to celebrate my daughter’s first birthday with finishing a long-overdue post!

After taking a deep breath and logging into my account, I found a handful of unfinished recipe posts that desperately needed my attention.  With a little investigation, the sweet potato chowder became my new conquest.  However, upon reading my progress so far, I knew that it needed a new Mom remix.  Not only had I previously chosen a time-consuming cooking method of boiling the sweet potatoes, but common sense and a quick google search will tell you that boiling a sweet potato zaps away a lot of its nutrients.  The ultimate time saver?  The microwave!

Baking sweet potatoes rubbed with a little bit of coconut oil and sprinkled with salt = magic-making!  So, if you have the 30-40 minutes to spare (great idea for help prepping this soup ahead of time!), a baked sweet potato will add a depth of flavor to this soup that will produce an even more impressive result.

Speaking of time, I generally find the cook times of recipes to be complete fallacies.  I mean, please don’t try and tell me that chicken breasts will be cooked through in 3-4 minutes…  That is why I don’t add an overall prep and cook time to my recipes, and consider accuracy of individual step cook times (especially with the cooking of raw meats) to be of the utmost importance.  I probably should even write a separate blog post about this.  Equipment and stove temperatures will always vary for another cook, but I’m hoping that people don’t start making a recipe of mine and end up yelling at their computer because they wildly underestimated the amount of time involved.

…which is why I should also write shorter posts… 🙂

But, going against EVERYTHING I just said, I can proudly say that even with minor life interruptions this soup took me less than 30 minutes.  Having a daughter that often naps for only 25 minutes, I consider this recipe something to brag about.  Not to mention, it is delicious!

While I have provided a recipe below, this can be a bit of a “choose your own adventure.”  Think about how you like your chowder.  Thick?  On the thinner side?  Spicy?  Rustic?  Vegetarian?  All these things can be easily acquired!

Love a thick soup?  

3 large sweet potatoes with this amount of liquid in broth and coconut milk should create the super creamy result that I achieved.  I used full-fat coconut milk, but light coconut milk can also be used.  More potato or less chicken broth are simple ways to adjust for thickness.

Love a thinner broth?  

Simply use 2 large sweet potatoes for a lighter chowder consistency.

Spice-lover?  

Honestly, I used 2 heaping tablespoons of pickled jalapeños when I first made this recipe.  My Dad and I loved it, but my other family members kindly told me it was too hot.  Therefore, start with just a teaspoon of the jalapeño slices, make the soup to completion, taste, then add more and blend more if necessary.  Also, I didn’t bother chopping up the jalapeños because (TIME SAVER alert!) blending a soup allows you to chop veggies “rustically” and still get a smooth, professional result!
Texture tip:  I used an immersion blender for this soup, and it was easy because it didn’t involve any transfer of soup and potential mess.  These ingredients don’t require fancy tools to achieve a silky texture.  However, I do own a Vitamix and love it.  So feel free to blend it with your favorite kitchen equipment.  …or just stir vigorously if it has been a long day (i.e rustic chowder) ;).

Vegetarian or eating meatless at the moment?  

Sub vegetable broth for chicken broth.

Speaking of vegetarian, I served this as a side with a simple garnish of dried cilantro.  However, make it a hearty meal by adding chopped chicken (recipe to come soon!).

Ingredients

  • 2-3 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • 1 large white onion (or 2 medium onions)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs pickled jalapeños
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried cilantro
  • 1 can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 box (4 cups) low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • 1. With a potato brush, scrub sweet potatoes thoroughly
  • 2. Pierce potatoes with sharp knife, wrap in paper towel, and microwave 5-8 minutes on high (depending on the power of your microwave)
  • 3. Once cooked, set potatoes aside to cool
  • 4. While potatoes are cooking in the microwave:
  • 5. In a large pot or dutch oven, heat coconut oil over medium-high heat
  • 6. Add onions and sautée for 5 minutes, stirring frequently
  • 7. Add minced garlic, pickled jalapeños, cook for 1 minute
  • 8. Add chicken broth, coconut milk, and spices
  • 9. When cool enough to touch sweet potatoes, scoop insides out and add to soup pot
  • 10. Simmer for another minute or two to incorporate flavors
  • 11. Remove from heat, and blend soup until smooth
  • 12. Serve with extra cilantro and jalapeño on top, if desired
  • 13. Enjoy!