This is the perfect fall soup – I love the blend of colors coming with red peppers, sweet potatoes and corn and the smoky aroma from the bacon. I’ve made it twice in the last few weeks, doubling it the second time since there were complaints about the lack of leftovers the first time.
The bacon and cream are both great additions, but not required. If you want to make it a bit lighter or vegetarian it will work fine with just the veggies and herbs.
Making soup from scratch might seem a bit time-intensive for a weeknight recipe, but if you’re able to set up your cutting board next to the stove you’ll find that each step leads into the next very simply and you still have a little time in the middle to mix up a salad or set the table.
Sweet-Potato Corn Chowder
- 3 oz. bacon (or 2 tbsp. vegetable oil)
- 1 medium onion
- 1 sweet red pepper
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 tsp. dried marjoram or 1 tsp. chopped fresh marjoram
- 1/4 tsp. dried thyme or 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
- 1 lb. sweet potatoes (4 small, 3 medium or 2 large)
- 1 cup fresh or frozen whole kernel corn
- 1 quart chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 1/2 cup cream
Chop the bacon and saute until it browns in a heavy-bottomed pan. Use a slotted spoon to pull out the bacon, leaving the grease to brown the onions. You can chop the onions while the bacon cooks if you keep a close eye to keep it from burning.
While the onions are sauteing, chop the red pepper. Add to the pan with the herbs and seasonings, then cook until both the onion and red pepper are softened, lowering the heat if they begin to stick. Depending on how much fat was in the bacon, you may need to add a little oil or butter at this point.
Meanwhile, peel and chop the sweet potatoes. Add to the cooked vegetables with the broth and corn and bring to a boil. Lower the heat slightly and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender (easy to pierce with a fork) but not mushy – 15 to 20 minutes.
If you prefer a thicker creamy soup, strain out some of the broth and mix in the cornstarch with a fork or small whisk to keep it from forming lumps. Stir back into the soup and mix thoroughly and cook until you see it begin to thicken. Mix in the cream just before serving.
Garnish with reserved bacon and sprigs of fresh thyme, if you have them.
Makes 4-6 main dish servings or 8 side dish servings.