Healthful cooking

Sweet potatoes bolster boldly spiced chowder



Wild Rice, Sweet Potato and Apple Chowder

4 teaspoons olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped (a scant 2 cups)

Kosher salt

2 teaspoons ground cumin, or to taste

3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

2 1/2 cups homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth

2 1/2 cups unsweetened apple cider

3/4 cup uncooked wild rice

Freshly ground pepper

1 pound (1 large or 2 medium) sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (3 cups)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch cubes

Chopped fresh chives, for garnish

Heat 3 teaspoons of the oil in a 4-quart soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt; cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes, until the onion starts to soften. Add the cumin and nutmeg; cook for 30 seconds, stirring. Pour in the broth and cider; bring the liquid to a boil, increasing the heat as needed. Stir in the wild rice; season with salt and pepper to taste. Once the liquid returns to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to medium-low (or as needed) so the liquid maintains a low, steady boil. Cook for 20 minutes; add the sweet potato cubes, then cover and cook for 30 to 40 minutes, until the wild rice and sweet potatoes are tender.

While the chowder is cooking, heat the remaining teaspoon of oil with the butter in a large (10-inch) nonstick sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apple cubes and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, tossing them every 30 seconds or so, until the apple cubes are evenly coated, cooked through and lightly browned. Remove from the heat.

Taste the chowder, and adjust the seasoning as needed. Add the sautéed apple. Cook (over medium-low heat) for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped chives. Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 200 calories, 4 g protein, 37 g carbohydrates, 5 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 105 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber, 14 g sugar.

Washington Post Service

Sweet potatoes are a holiday favorite, but lately I’ve been slipping them into my everyday cooking.

Here, I use them just as I would use a regular potato, in a chowder-style soup bolstered by bold spicing. As a finishing touch, I add sautéed apple cubes just before the soup is done so the apple doesn’t dissolve.

Serve with a chicken sandwich or as a meal with a hunk of whole-grain bread and a cucumber salad. The chowder is just as good — or maybe better — the next day.

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