Sweet Potato Chowder

Rosemary and Olive Oil Bread Bowls filled with a Sweet Potato, Mushroom, and Smoked Gouda Chowder

Okay, I can’t actually take credit for this.  I found two AWESOME recipes and put them together.  It was INCREDIBLE!  I have included the recipes and sites below, with any alterations I made.

Taken from http://www.ahintofhoney.com/2011/04/rosemary-olive-oil-bread/

Rosemary Olive Oil Bread

INGREDIENTS

1 cup warm water (100-110 F)
1 Tbsp. organic cane sugar
2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped (or 2 tsp. dried)
1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning (or pinch of each ground garlic, dried oregano, and dried basil)
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup bread flour + extra for kneading
1 egg, whisked + 1 Tbsp. water, for egg wash
dried rosemary, for sprinkling

DIRECTIONS

1. In a large bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let sit 10 minutes to proof.

2. Stir in the salt, rosemary, seasonings, olive oil, and whole wheat flour. Add the bread flour and stir until the dough forms a ball. Knead on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes, adding more flour as necessary to prevent sticking, until smooth.

3. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl; cover; and let rise until doubled in size, about1 hour.

4. Punch down the dough and form it into a round loaf. Place it on a cornmeal dusted pizza peel or parchment paper; cover; and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, preheat oven (and pizza stone) to 400 F. Once the dough has risen, gently brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle with dried rosemary.

6. Bake on preheated stone for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.

The only thing I did different to this recipe, is the amount of flour it calls for.  I don’t know who they’re kidding, but 2 cups of flour is not nearly enough for this recipe.  I use at least 3 cups every time I make this.

After step 3, I punch down the dough and form it into 4 small balls and let them rise until doubled in size on a baking stone.  When they’re getting close to the size I want, I preheat the oven, forget about the egg wash, and cook them until they are browned on the top.

After they cool, cut off the top and hollow out the center with a spoon.  Delicious!

Now for the chowder.

taken from http://ourlifeinfood.com/2011/10/24/mushroom-sweet-potato-and-smoked-gouda-chowder/

Mushroom, Sweet Potato, and Smoked Gouda Chowder

6 slices bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
1 lb. mushrooms, sliced (I used portabellas)
3-4 cups sweet potatoes, cubed
2 cloves garlic, minced
Good pinch of dried thyme
1 bay leaf
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup half and half
4 oz smoked gouda, shredded
Kosher salt
Black Pepper

1. In a stockpot or dutch oven, cook the bacon until it has rendered its fat and is crispy. Remove the bacon and set aside.

2. Add the diced onions and the mushrooms to the bacon fat in the pot. Season with a little salt and pepper, and cook until the moisture released from the mushrooms evaporates and the vegetables start to brown, about 10-15 minutes.

3. Add the sweet potatoes and the garlic, stirring to combine. Add the thyme, bay leaf, and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the sweet potatoes are tender. Season again with salt and pepper, and return most of the bacon to the pot, leaving a little extra to garnish the soup.

4. Remove the bay leaf. Puree as much or as little of the mixture as you want in a food processor, and return the pureed soup to the pot (alternatively, use an immersion blender). Add the half and half and the gouda. Simmer until the soup has heated through and the cheese has melted. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.

5. Serve, garnished with the extra bacon.

As for changes to this recipe, I only changed things I didn’t happen to have on hand – like I substituted turkey stock for chicken stock.  Instead of half and half, I used half milk and half sour cream.

Also, I didn’t bother taking anything out of the pot and then putting it back in later (like the bacon).  I just kept adding the ingredients in order and used my immersion blender to blend everything up.
Truly heavenly!  I ate way too much of it!

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