Looking into the Soup Bowl

It has been awhile since I posted a recipe. With the colder weather I’ve been in the mood for soup. Growing up my mother would make soup and I really didn’t care for it. (I’m being kind since she reads this blog.) It seemed that her favorite and my least favorite was homemade beef vegetable soup. With that in mind I rarely make beef vegetable soup. In fact for many years the only soups I made were lentil and (when I had a ham bone) ham and bean soup. If I dared make any other kind son #2 would moan and groan that we were having “poup” for dinner. I suppose it was karmic payback. Anyway, after the boys left for college I rediscovered soups much to my husband’s delight. I have been trying out recipes from various sources. All have been good but a few are outstanding.

This is Sweet Potato – Chicken Corn Chowder. The recipe serves 8 if you have small bowls. If you want big bowls it only serves 6.

4 medium to large sweet potatoes – peeled and cubed
32 oz Chicken broth – low sodium works best
2 c. water
2 Telma Chicken Consomme cubes or 1 cube chicken bouillon (the Telma is much better)
1 t. onion powder (NOT onion salt!!)
1/8 t. black pepper
2 pinches ground sage
2 cans cream style corn
1 large or 2 small cans chunk chicken – dump the whole can in (DON’T drain it)
1 cup milk (or milk substitute)
2 T. cornstarch

In a large pot add broth, spices, water, chicken consomme cubes, and cubed sweet potatoes. Cook until potatoes are tender. Use an immersion blender and pulse blend until there are only small chunks of potato. Return to the heat and add the corn and the chicken. Bring to a simmer stirring to avoid sticking. Stir corn starch into the milk until dissolved. Pour into the soup stirring constantly until soup thickens. Remove from heat and serve.
This is a favorite and I made a pot of it for Sparky while I was in Baltimore. Needless to say there wasn’t any left when I returned. I’m just glad I got a bowl!

35 thoughts on “Looking into the Soup Bowl

  1. Growing up, I was wary of beef stew, because I have always been a lean meat fanatic. I would take the beef chunks out of the bowl and trim the fat off them. My parents had their turn at rolling their eyes, well before I returned the favour, as a teen. As an adult, I am fond of many kinds of soup, stew and chowder.


  2. Looks yummy. Two soups my mom makes that Wrangler and I eat a small helping of to be polite than we find something else later is ham and beans and stew. Our go to soup is potato soup.


            1. We had only a dab of green bean casserole left and it was so good. I’d rather have pie and green bean casserole than stuffing and cranberry sauce leftover!


            2. I had a recipe that was called Hippie Stuffing that had apples and sunflower seeds and carrots and all sorts of “healthy” things in it. I liked it but my family was not happy – they wanted the traditional dressing.


  3. Perfect timing, Muri. Snow is falling outside my window this very minute. The chowder sounds divine! I love soup now, but I didn’t as a kid. We had soup every Saturday for lunch. Split pea, white bean, chili, potato, chicken noodle, and of course, the despised beef vegetable (stringy meat with an assortment of mummified leftover vegetables from the whole week). We would fill up on saltines slathered with butter. My favorites these days are cream of broccoli and red lentil dahl (with onion, ginger, and Indian spices). Hubby likes soup, but as a side, with a sandwich. Me? I could fill up a big bowl and call it a meal. 🙂


      1. Making this Indian dahl inspired a poem, a triolet:


        Lentils, onions, ginger, spice
        make a hearty soup in winter
        Raid the pantry, peel and dice
        Lentils, onions, ginger, spice
        Let it simmer, steam the rice
        Grab a bowl and call it dinner
        Lentils, onions, ginger, spice
        make a hearty soup in winter

        Here’s the recipe:

        Red Lentil Dahl

        1 cup dry red lentils
        4 cups water
        1 tsp salt
        1 tsp vegetable oil
        1 med onion, coarsely chopped
        2 Tbsp finely grated ginger root (I use the kind in a tube)
        ½ tsp turmeric
        ¼ tsp ground cardamom
        ½ tsp cayenne
        ½ tsp ground cumin

        Chopped cilantro, crushed red pepper, and lemon wedges for garnish.

        Rinse the lentils and place them in a medium saucepan with the water and salt. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

        While the lentils simmer, heat the oil in a skillet and sauté the onion until it’s brown and soft, then add it to the soup pot along with the ginger and spices. Cook until the lentils are mushy. Puree the soup in batches in a blender (or buzz it smooth with an immersion blender).

        Serve topped with cilantro and pepper flakes, lemon wedge on the side. Steamed basmati rice and/or grilled flatbread are lovely accompaniments.

        Frugal version: use whatever lentils you have lying around (green or brown ones take longer to cook and will probably require more water), don’t sauté the onion (the caramelized flavor is nice but not necessary, one less pan to wash), skip the turmeric (just for color) and cardamom (added Indian flavor note) if you don’t already have them, leave out the cayenne if it’s too spicy, or substitute a bit of whatever hot sauce you have in the cupboard. The garnishes are all optional. The rice and flatbread are also optional, if you consider a big bowl of soup a meal. It freezes well; you can double the recipe and enjoy it another day.


    1. You don’t know what you are missing (with the sweet potatoes)! There are lots of good soups – I’m going to be making a turkey noodle soup this week to use up some leftovers!


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