Sweet Potatoes vs. Yams
So I have been very confused all these years. I was always under the impression that those nice big tasty orange-fleshed potato-like thingies at the grocery stores were yams, while the smaller long white-fleshed sweet tasting potato-like thingies were sweet potatoes. I always looked forward to enjoying some candied yams at Thanksgiving, but why oh why are the orange coloured French fries at restaurants always listed on the menu as sweet potato fries? So confusing!
So I finally decided to get to the bottom of this conundrum. I opened up my computer and googled “What is the difference between sweet potatoes and yams?” After about 3 minutes of very non-intense research, I discovered that yams and sweet potatoes are not much alike. Yams are big and starchy, and there is a good chance you have never eaten one in your life, and sweet potatoes come in many different colours of flesh, from white to yellow to orange – these are likely what you see in your grocery store.
This research seemed sufficient to me, and I got bored and decided to go eat some chocolate. If you are looking for a better description of the differences between yams and sweet potatoes, then this is not the post for you.
Now that I have nearly bored you to death, it’s time for an exciting sweet potato recipe! I got this recipe from my brother a while back, and added a few twists of my own. Today we will be making a chorizo sausage and sweet potato soup.
My favourite part of this soup is the simple yet flavourful seasoning – all the soup calls for is 1 tbsp of curry powder. Between the spicy sausage, the sweet potatoes and hearty chickpeas, this soup will fill your stomach and warm your soul. Great on its own as a full meal.
- Use orange-fleshed sweet potatoes (formerly yams) as opposed to the white-fleshed ones
- Once you have added the vegetable mixture to the broth in your pot, be sure to blend at least half, depending on how smooth or chunky you would like your soup. I like to blend about half myself.
- If you have a hand blender, use this device to blend your vegetables directly in the pot. If not, use a food processor or blender.
- Try cutting out the sausages and going vegetarian, add a little more of the red pepper/chili flakes to make up for the absence of the spicy sausage
- This soup freezes wonderfully
Ingredient I can’t live without:
SWEET POTATOES (not YAMS)
Now that I have finally figured out that I have been eating sweet potatoes rather than yams all these years, I can safely say I wouldn’t be able to live without them. We all know the classic candied sweet potatoes or sweet potato fries, but I find myself using these tasty tubers to bolster many curries – Indian or Thai – with a dose of heartiness (and fiber!)
This soup is pretty simple, but I think you will be surprised how delicious and satisfying it is. Give it a try – you won’t have any regrets!
Special thanks to Steven for sharing the original recipe with me! I added my own twists and turns to make it just a little better.
Click here to view printable Word version of recipe:
Chorizo Sausage and Sweet Potato Soup
Chorizo and Sweet Potato Soup
2 chorizo sausages, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 medium orange-fleshed sweet potatoes
1 heaping tbsp curry powder
1 can chickpeas, drained
1L chicken broth + more if needed
Salt and pepper to taste
½ tsp chili or red pepper flakes (optional)
- Slowly heat about 2 cups of broth in your soup pot.
- In a large frying pan, sauté onion and garlic. Add celery and carrots and sauté for a few more minutes.
- Add sweet potatoes to pan and sauté until they start to soften a little. Add curry powder and mix throughout vegetables while heating.
- Add vegetable mixture to soup pot.
- In frying pan, add chorizo sausage, and cook for a few minutes.
- While chorizo is cooking, add at least ½ of vegetable mixture with liquid into a food processor or blender, and blend until smooth. Alternatively, you can use a hand blender right in the soup pot. You can choose to blend some or all of the vegetables, depending on how chunky you want your soup.
- Return blended vegetables to pot, and add chorizo sausage. Add chickpeas.
- Add remained of chicken broth, and more if needed, until desired consistency is reached. I used an additional 2 cups on top of the 1L.
- Add red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste.
- Simmer for about 20 minutes.