sweet potato corn chowder with sumac oil

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for the chowder:

  • 5 ears corn (can substitute 700g/1.5 lb frozen corn)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (25g)
  • 2 cups chopped green onions (115g)
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons flour (25g)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper (2g)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric (2g)
  • 2 quarts chicken stock (1800g), or 6 cups if you want it to be more of a stew
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed through a press (10g)
  • 2 medium-large sweet potatoes, peeled and 1/2-inch diced (415g)
  • 1 cup half-and-half (240g)

for the sumac oil and toppings:

  • 3 tablespoons sumac (25g)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (35g)
  • Cilantro leaves


  1. Slice the corn off the cobs (see above video), and use the side of your knife to scrape the stripped cobs over the bowl of corn (safely scrape away from yourself). If you’re using frozen, don’t worry about this step.
  2. Heat a large stockpot or dutch oven over medium heat for a few minutes. Add the olive oil, followed immediately by the green onions, and a little salt to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon). Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, just until the whites soften a bit.
  3. Add the flour, black pepper, and turmeric, and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the stock and garlic, and stir together. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then add the sweet potatoes and corn. Give it a couple minutes to come back up to a simmer, and then drop the heat down to about medium low, just to maintain a simmer. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender. Taste as it simmers, and season if necessary (this will vary, depending on how salty your stock is).
  4. Add the half-and-half, give it a stir, taste it, and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the sumac and olive oil, and give them a stir immediately before drizzling.
  6. Top each bowl with some cilantro and sumac oil. If the sumac oil settles, give it a gentle stir to let some of it float back up to the surface (a good trick is to pour it over the back of a spoon close to the surface of the bowl, to keep it from sinking).


Making it ahead: The soup keeps really well in the refrigerator for a few days, and stores beautifully in the freezer for 3 months (the sweet potatoes will soften and dissolve a bit, but they add good body and flavor to the broth). Make the sumac oil just before serving.