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not borscht

This bowl of soup might look like beet borscht, but I guarantee you that it is not. You can search this site from top to bottom and you won’t find a single recipe using beets.

Never! My least favorite food in the world is … beets!  So what is in this soup turning it purple if it’s not beets?

You may remember when I bought purple sweet potatoes at Whole Foods for THIS 4th of July dish.

I had extra purple sweet potatoes, along with a handful of baby potatoes, that were beginning to sprout. In the fridge, there were a few cobs of corn. It was logical that potato and corn chowder would be a good way to use it all up.

What I didn’t count on was just how deep purple those few sweet potatoes would color the chowder. It started out a light lavender color, which was rather unappealing. But as it continue to simmer, it turned a deeper and richer purple until it looked like borscht. Honestly, if it had stayed lavender colored, I wouldn’t be sharing the recipe, no matter how good it tasted.

Feel free to use whatever potatoes, sweet or otherwise, that you prefer for this recipe. Just know that if you do choose to use sweet potatoes, of any color, they need to be cooked first because they take longer to become tender. The regular potatoes are added later since they are not as hard.

You’ll also note that I add the cleaned corn cobs to the soup when the broth was added. Adding the kernel-free cobs, lends an extra rich corn flavor to the soup.

Oh and I wanted to tell you something I discovered. Remember how I was complaining about the electric stove in my last post?

Believe it or not, I found one great advantage to electric over gas! It’s been so hot and muggy with the monsoons in full swing, that I must have an oscillating fan in the kitchen while I’m cooking to make it bearable.

There is no fear of the fan blowing out the flame… since there is no flame! See, I can appreciate the little things. 🙂

Sweet Potato – Corn Chowder

  • 4 cobs of corn, shucked and cleaned
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups cleaned and cubed sweet potatoes
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups cleaned and cubed russet or Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 cup milk, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Minced fresh parsley

Stand a cob of corn on one end on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut the kernels from the cob. Repeat with remaining cobs of corn. Set aside the corn kernels and reserve the cobs.

 In a large pot, melt the butter in the olive oil over medium heat; add the onion and sauté over medium heat until soft and translucent.

Add the sweet potatoes, the reserved corncobs and the broth and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the russet potatoes and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes or until both types of potatoes are tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife. Remove the corncobs and discard.

Stir in the corn kernels, 1/2 cup of the milk and season to taste with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, whisk the flour and remaining milk together until smooth. Stir into soup; return to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with parsley.

Serves 6 to 8

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