Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sweet Potato, Corn & Black Bean Chowder

Whether you've overindulged in food, cocktails, shopping, or all of the above during the holidays -- January is detox time!

I plan to do that with lots of good (and somewhat healthy) home cooking. The timing couldn't be more perfect as the cold weather sets in.

This super fast and easy soup has become a family favorite in my house.  The ingredient list may look a bit long, but don't let that scare you.  This soup involves chopping a few veggies and adding some ingredients that you very likely have in your pantry. 

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 medium red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 pounds sweet potatoes,  peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 cups vegetable stock or broth (you can use chicken broth as well)
1 can (15.5 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups fresh or frozen corn
1 cup coconut milk (you can substitute half and half or light cream)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
lime wedges (optional)
green hot pepper sauce (optional)

Heat the vegetable oil in a large sauce pot over medium-high heat and cook onion and salt about 3 minutes or until almost tender. Add red pepper and cook, 2 minutes. Stir in cumin and cook 1 minute. Stir in sweet potatoes and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer covered 10 to 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir in beans, corn and coconut milk and cook 2 minutes or until heated through. Stir in cilantro. Serve with lime wedges or hot pepper sauce.

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