Vegan Sweet Potato Chowder

December 4, 2018
Vegan Sweet Potato Chowder

The running joke about Minnesota is that we have two seasons: winter and road construction.  Likewise, when it comes to what I'm cooking for dinner, there's CSA season and soup season.  From June through October, our meals are all about eating through our weekly box of produce.  Once November rolls around, I turn to soup.  

Not counting this post, I currently have 26 soup recipes in the recipe index.  Some of them are old friends, simple recipes that I've been turning to for years: black bean soup with cilantro and lime, curry lentil soup, slow cooker vegetarian split pea soup, Thai butternut squash soup.  There are not one, but two potato leek soups—one from Mollie Katzen and one with thyme.  There's the miso ginger sweet potato soup that gives me a boost of confidence and a restaurant-worthy curried cauliflower chowder.

Clearly, I have a thing for soup.

Vegan Sweet Potato Chowder

Part of it is practical: soups are the perfect way to utilize long-storing vegetables like potatoes and squash, as well as canned beans, frozen vegetables, and dried legumes.  They're typically easy to make, nutritious, filling, and most importantly when the temperature dips below freezing, hot.  As stalwart supporter of Team Leftovers, I appreciate that soups taste even better the next day and freeze beautifully.

But my love of soup isn't just about practicality.  Soup is the food that makes me feel comforted and safe.  Winter, and the holiday season in particular, is hard for me.  Soup is what I turn to for reassurance, in the way that some people snuggle up with their dogs or binge watch Friends.            

So of course I'm posting another soup recipe.  It's adapted from a recipe from the Kitchn that's been in my recipe file since last soup season.  I tweaked it by adding more celery, and I also pureed half of the soup instead of only two cups to give it a thicker texture.  Only pureeing half the soup makes it an interesting hybrid between a thin, broth-based soup and a thick, completely pureed one.  It's a technique I'm looking forward to testing in out in other recipes (potato leek soup #3, maybe?)

After all, we have plenty of soup season to go.

Adapted from the Kitchn

Serves 4


Vegan Sweet Potato Chowder Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups peeled and chopped sweet potato (1/4 inch cubes)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable stock

Heat Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add olive oil and tilt to coat evenly.  Add onion and celery and cook until softened, about 6 minutes.  Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until garlic is golden, about 1 minute.  Add sweet potato, salt, coriander, paprika, sage, and pepper.  Cook, stirring constantly, for one minute.

Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until sweet potatoes are softened, about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat.  Transfer half of soup to blender and puree until smooth.  Stir the puree into the remaining soup and serve.

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