Sweet Potato Chowder with Brisket
This Sweet Potato Chowder is everything you need on a cold autumn evening! Chunky and creamy, the sweetness of the sweet potatoes and corn pair with the smoked, salty brisket is a match made in heaven. Trust me, this soup is the epitome of hearty!
This post is sponsored by the New York Beef Council. All opinions are my own!
I’ve been on a serious soup kick lately!
I’m usually not one to order soup at restaurants, but that’s all I’ve been ordering and craving these days. And this sweet potato chowder has been at the top of my crave list.
I first had the recipe that inspired this chowder back in the summer, while participating in a cooking class hosted by my friends at the New York Beef Council. Chef Patrick taught us how to make the best corn chowder that I’ve ever tasted in my life, and I knew I’d have to recreate it!
To change things up a bit, I decided to make a fun, fall version, made with sweet potatoes. Oh my goodness, you guys! This soup is one of the best things I’ve created lately and definitely hits the spot.
I highly recommend you give it a try! If you’re anything like me, you will fall in love after one spoonful. ♥️ I love it so much that I’m gonna have on rotation until the weather is warm again, and possibly even after that.
To make this Sweet Potato Chowder with Brisket, you will need:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Smoked Brisket – You can smoke your own or buy already smoked brisket. I buy from the BBQ guy at my Farmer’s Market!
- Leeks – For the flavor base.
- Corn – If corn is in season, use fresh corn. Otherwise, use frozen corn as the corn is picked and frozen at the peak of freshness. No need to thaw, as the corn will cook right in the chowder!
- Smoked Paprika – I absolutely love the rich, smoky flavor of smoked paprika in this soup. That being said, feel free to use sweet (or even hot) paprika if you prefer. However, keep in mind that that will change the flavor profile of this soup significantly.
- Beef Broth – If you have the time, make your own. If not, choose a good quality, low-sodium beef broth at the store.
- Cream – Added at the end for extra creaminess. Omit if dairy is an issue. The soup will still be creamy because of the blended sweet potatoes.
- Salt and Pepper
- Oil and Butter – We’ll use olive oil and unsalted butter as the fat source for sautéing the leeks.
How to Make Sweet Potato Chowder with Brisket
This sweet potato chowder with brisket is easy to make and makes a comforting meal on a cold night. It can also be served as an appetizer, and I think it’d be a great start to an epic Thanksgiving dinner!
A chowder should always be thick and chunky, otherwise it’s a bisque. That being said, you can definitely customize the chunkiness/thickness to preference.
Here’s how I make this sweet potato chowder recipe. As always, you will find the printable (and more complete) version of the recipe at the end of this post!
Step 1: Prepare all the ingredients.
- Peel and dice the sweet potatoes, slice the leeks and shred the brisket.
Step 2: Cook the chowder.
- Heat the oil and butter, then sauté the leeks until softened and beginning to caramelize.
- Add the diced sweet potatoes and sauté briefly with the leeks. Then, add the smoked paprika and sauté for a couple seconds. Heating the paprika in oil causes it to release its flavors and aroma!
- Pour in the beef broth and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. The brisket is already quite salty, so be careful with the salt. You can always add more later if needed!
- Bring to a boil, then simmer until the sweet potatoes are tender.
- Add the frozen corn and cook until thawed.
Step 3: Purée half of the soup.
- Transfer about half of the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Return it to the pot.
Step 4: Finish with cream!
- Stir in the heavy cream and cook until the soup is thickened to the desired consistency.
- Add the brisket (reserving some to use as a garnish) and cook until heated through.
- Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
- Ladle into bowls and garnish with the reserved brisket and chives.
- Use salt sparingly. The smoked brisket will likely be quite salty, so you want to be conservative. You can always adjust the seasoning at the end.
- Once you add the cream, you can continue cooking until the cream thickens slightly, if you prefer a thicker chowder. However, do not let it boil vigorously, or the cream might curdle.
- The ideal serving size for an appetizer portion of this soup is 1 cup, while an entrée would be 1 1/3 to 1 1/2 cups.
Serving Sweet Potato Chowder
I like serving chowder with bread or dinner rolls on the side, ya know, to soak up all the goodness that might otherwise be left at the bottom of the bowl! ♥️
A glass of a good red wine – perhaps the Cabernet Franc from Lakewood Vineyards – pairs great with this meal.
In my opinion, this chowder is perfect as-is! But here are a few ideas if you need to change things up a bit:
- Got extra time? Roast the sweet potatoes before adding them to the soup. That will give them a whole new flavor profile and make the chowder extra delicious.
- Not a fan of smoked brisket? You can use pulled brisket, steak or even bacon instead.
- Missing some greens? Add kale or spinach.
- No leeks? You can use shallots or onions + garlic instead.
- Leave out the cream and butter for a dairy-free version. The soup is naturally creamy because of the sweet potato.
- Omit the beef for a vegetarian version. Or omit the beef, butter and cream to make it vegan.
Frequently Asked Questions
While I haven’t tried, I wouldn’t recommend freezing this soup, because it contains sweet potatoes and dairy – which do not freeze well. If you must freeze, skip adding the cream and add it after the soup is thawed and reheated. The potatoes, however, might get a little mealy.
Properly stored, this sweet potato chowder will last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.
Reheat this chowder in a saucepan, over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Do not boil, as that might cause the cream to separate. You might need to add some more cream or broth to bring it back to the original consistency.
Sweet Potato Chowder with Brisket
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 large leeks, halved and thinly sliced (light green and white part only)
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 5 cups low-sodium beef broth
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 3 cups frozen corn
- ⅔ cup heavy cream
- 1 pound smoked beef Brisket, shredded
- Chives, for garnishing
- Heat the oil and butter in a large Dutch Oven, over medium heat, until the butter has melted. Add leeks and cook until softened and beginning to caramelize, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the diced sweet potatoes and sauté for a minute or two. Then, add the smoked paprika and sauté for a few seconds to release its aromas.
- Pour in the beef broth and add a small pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 15 – 20 minutes.
- Add the frozen corn and cook until thawed, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer about half of the soup into a blender and blend until smooth. Return to the pot. If desired, you can mash the remaining potato mixture in the pot for a chunky consistency.
- Pour in the heavy cream and cook until the chowder thickens to the desired consistency, 5 to 10 minutes. Then, add most of the shredded brisket – reserving some to use as a garnish – and cook until heated through, about 3-4 minutes.
- Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the reserved brisket and with some chopped chives.
- Serve immediately!