It has been snowing and snowing in Seattle this past week, which is unusual for the city itself. As a collective, we’re not equipped to handle road clean up, and there are a lot of additional intricacies that compound the problem. The snow is the only topic of conversation and has become an equalizer for everyone.
Grocery stores last week experienced long lines (think 2-hour waits at checkout), and the shelves were empty. It’s as if people were planning for a true shut-in experience, and even I got sucked into the madness. During all of this, all I want to do is eat comfort foods. Winter often brings that out in me.
During these chilly winter months, there’s nothing more comforting than a bowl or two of warm soup or stew. This healthy take on a Pacific Northwest clam chowder gets a creamy consistency from mashing sweet potatoes and adding a cup of coconut milk. This hearty chowder is great fresh or reheated for lunches and make-ahead meals.
- 6 cups white sweet potatoes, diced (about 3 medium potatoes)
- 1½ cups carrots, cut into coins
- 1½ cups celery, sliced
- 1½ cups diced onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 to 5 cups vegetable broth
- 1½ pounds shrimp, diced into 1-inch pieces
- 1 6.5-ounce can clams, drained
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 can coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
Prepare ingredients: Peel and rough dice sweet potatoes into 1-inch pieces. Peel carrots and cut into ½-inch coins. Slice celery into ½-inch pieces. Dice onion and mince garlic. Peel shrimp and cut into 1-inch pieces.
Add olive oil to a large pot over medium-high heat. Add prepared carrot, celery and onion. Cook for 7-10 minutes, until vegetables are soft and onion is translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add diced potatoes and cover with 4 to 5 cups of vegetable broth, just covering potatoes. Bring to a boil.
Once potatoes are boiling, add dried thyme, salt and pepper. Reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes are soft, about 18 to 20 minutes. Use a potato masher to break up potato chunks, which will thicken the chowder. Stir in coconut milk and return to a simmer.
Add diced shrimp and drained, canned clams. Cook for another 5 minutes, until shrimp is cooked through but not overdone. Taste and adjust seasoning, as needed. Serve.