Inspiration of this soup
My love for sweet potato inspired me to make this creamy sweet potato corn chowder. In the Philippines, we used sweet potato in so many ways, depending on the variety. A simple way of enjoying it is just to boil it in plain water then have it dipped in sugar or maybe in coconut jam or caramel syrup. We also use it in one of our famous dessert called “Bilo Bilo”. It’s basically a glutinous rice balls, assorted sweet potato, purple yam, jack fruit and tapioca simmered in coconut milk. It’s also one of my comfort food when the weather starts to get called. I still cook sweet potato in those ways, but I also like to use it now for savory stuff like my Sweet Potato and Kale Quinoa Bowl, or as part of my roasted vegetable. I’ve always been on a look out for recipes where I can use it, and using it in a soup is something that really interest me, similar to Creamy Potato Soup but on a slightly sweet and salty side.
What to expect from this soup
First of all, it’s creamy, really creamy! What you see in the photo is what you will get when you make it. If you are into this kind of soup, then you should give this a try. It’s also loaded with vegetables, not only sweet potato. It has carrots, bell pepper and corn and a generous portion of diced ham to make it even more delicious. The soup has a natural sweetness from sweet potato and corn kernel, and so the addition of the ham gave a balance of sweet and salty taste. This soup is also very tasty and flavorful and most of all, it’s very filling. With Garlic Bread on the side, I could totally have this as a complete meal on its own.
How I made this soup
You might think because there’s quite a lot of ingredients that this is difficult to make, but that is not true. This is a very simple soup to make, and it’s not strict when it comes to measurements. Most of my soup are very flexible and customizable, you can easily adjust the measurement to your preference. One edge of cooking over baking is in cooking you can still fix the finish product to adjust it to your liking even after making it. In baking, once it gets inside the oven, that’s it. You just have to accept the outcome, good or bad. For this recipe, you can swap some ingredients to something that you like better. For instance, you can make it vegetarian by removing the ham and using vegetable broth. You can also add other vegetables like brocoli or maybe add some grated cheese to make it extra cheesy. It’s flexible that way, so don’t get to hang-up with being exact with measurements. There are two main steps in making this soup:
First Part- Make the Soup Base: You just have to saute most of the ingredients in this step and simmer it until the vegetables are tender. That’s it! Easy, right?
Second Part – Make the Roux: A roux is just a mixture of melted butter, flour and milk. This is what will make the soup thick and creamy. The only thing you have to watch out for this is to make sure you stir continuously once the flour and the milk is added. This is to avoid having lumps. You want to have a smooth thick consistency for this. If you get lumps in your mixture, just pass it through a strainer to make it silky smooth. You see how easy it is?
Two easy parts are all you need to do, and I tell you it’s really simple. Let me walk you through the detailed steps. Let’s get started!
Yes, you can make it a vegetarian soup by removing ham and using vegetable stock. Adjust the salt seasoning as needed.
For Soup Base Mixture Ingredients:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small white onion – chopped
- 2 cloves garlic – minced
- 1/4 cup diced carrots
- 1/4 cup green bell pepper – diced
- 1 tbsp celery – chopped
- 2 3/4 cup chicken Broth
- 1/2 tsp salt (adjust as needed, depending on how salty the ham you are using)
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp chili flakes
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp dried basil
- 1 medium size sweet potato – diced (Use the orange variety)
- 1/4 cup corn kernel
- 1/3 cup ham – diced
For Roux Mixture Ingredients:
- 2 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp all- purpose flour
- 1/2 cup full fat milk
Note: This is a very flexible recipe, you can double or triple the batch and adjust ingredients as needed. Use the instructions as a guide, and customize to your preference.
- In a heated pan, add oil, onion, garlic, celery, carrots & green bell pepper. Cook for about 2-3 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
- Add chicken broth, sweet potato, salt, pepper,chili flakes, basil and thyme. Cook for 30-35 minutes or until the sweet potato is tender.
- In a separate heated pan, add butter and melt. Turn the heat to low, then add flour and stir as fast as you can to avoid lumps. Gradually add milk while continuously stirring. Consistency will starts to thicken. If you have lumps in your mixture, pass it through a strainer to get a smooth silky texture.
- Gradually put the vegetable broth mixture to the butter and milk mixture while stirring. Do not dump in one go. Add corn and diced ham and cook for another 5-10 minutes to extract the flavor of the ham.
- Gradually season and adjust as needed. Be careful with adding salt especially if your ham is already salty.
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