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Sweet Potato & Spicy Corn Chowder with Shrimp

Here’s a creamy, comforting chowder that’s hearty and satisfying, with a gentle kick of interest from spice-glazed shrimp. It’s great on a game day menu and tastes even better the next day—that is, if there’s any left over! 

This chowder packs some serious nutrition, too: Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are one of the best sources of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that our bodies convert to vitamin A, an essential vitamin vital to healthy skin, vision, and immune system. Corn is a whole grain rich in antioxidant phytonutrients and packed with fiber. Shrimp delivers a big protein boost, along with selenium and other minerals, essential omega-3s, and iodine.

When you shop, choose shrimp that are sustainably caught or raised; check the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch for recommendations on your best choices for shrimp that’s fished or farmed in ways that have less impact on the environment.

Serves 6

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup celery, diced
1-1/2 cups finely chopped red bell pepper
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups fresh or frozen corn, thawed
1 chipotle pepper en adobo, seeded and minced (see note)
1/2 jalapeño, seeded and minced (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 cups peeled and cubed sweet potato

18 medium-large shrimp, thawed if frozen, peeled and deveined
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1-1/2 cups half & half, divided

In a Dutch oven or large stockpot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-low heat. Add celery, bell pepper, onion, garlic, corn, chipotle, and jalapeño, if using; sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring often.

Add salt, pepper, and stock, stirring well. Increase heat to medium and bring to a low boil; then reduce heat and add sweet potatoes. Keep simmering over low heat for 8-10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss shrimp with paprika, sugar, pepper, and olive oil. In a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, cook shrimp 2-3 minutes per side or until opaque. Set aside and cover with foil to keep warm.

Carefully pour half of the soup in a blender or food processor and purée (or plunge a stick blender into the pot a few times, leaving about half of the soup chunky or to your taste). Return the puréed liquid to the pot with the rest of the soup and stir well.

In a small bowl, make a slurry with the cornstarch and 1/4 cup of the half & half. Stir into the soup until thoroughly combined.

Add the remaining half & half. Stir frequently over low-to-medium heat until the soup is heated through and thickened slightly.

To serve, divide the soup into 6 bowls or mugs, and top each with 3 of the cooked shrimp.

Note:  Chipotle peppers are dried, smoked jalapenos; chipotles en adobo are canned in a tangy red sauce. These peppers deliver an intense smoky-spicy flavor, so you don’t need much to add delicious flavor to a variety of dishes. You’ll find small cans of chipotles en adobo in the Latin section of most well-stocked supermarkets.
PER SERVING (1 cup):  278 calories, 10g fat (4g monounsaturated, 1g polyunsaturated, 5g saturated), 48mg cholesterol, 234mg sodium, 38g carbohydrates (5g fiber, 7g sugars), 12g protein.

Photo, recipe, and nutritional information courtesy of our friends at; you’ll find their original recipe—and lots more—here.

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