The Sweet Potato: Redefining Comfort Food

With fall right around the corner, comfort foods are calling. Sure you can go the traditional route, but what fun is that? It was breakfast at a spa resort this past weekend that got my creative sweet potato juices going and I realized anything the potato can do, so can the sweet potato and then some.

This is definitely food to share with friends, cuddled under blankets and a few rom-coms lined up.

Here’s two recipes to get you started:

Chicken Soup with Herbed Sweet Potato Dumplings


  • 2 skinless, bone-in chicken legs
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 leeks, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 stalks celery, minced


  • 2 cups sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat a large (5 quarts or bigger) heavy bottomed stock pot over medium high heat. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the chicken legs. Brown the chicken, about 3-5 minutes each side. Remove and set aside.

In the same pot, saute the leeks, carrot, onion, garlic and celery until golden, about 8 minutes. Add back the chicken and cover with water. Bring to a boil then simmer until chicken is very tender, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, prepare the dumplings. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Set aside.

Once chicken is ready, remove it from the soup with tongs and set it aside for a few minutes until it is cool enough to handle. Shred the meat from the bones and discard the bones. Return the chicken meat to the soup and bring the soup up to a boil.

Drop large spoonfuls of the sweet potato batter into the soup being careful not to let them crowd each other too much. Cover the pot and let the dumplings cook for about 8 minutes.

Serve immediately and serve with parsley for garnish, if you like.

Sweet Potato Pancakes


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 teaspoons melted butter, plus more for greasing skillet
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 sweet potato, cooked until tender, peeled and pureed
  • Pecan butter, recipe follows
  • Maple syrup, for serving


In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix together and whisk until smooth. Cook batches in buttered skillet on medium high temperature until bubbles form on the surface, then turn over and cook until dark golden brown. Serve with pecan butter and maple syrup.

Pecan Butter:

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans toasted and cooled
  • 1/2 pound butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Mix all ingredients together (use rubber gloves). Roll in parchment paper and freeze. Cut into slices and top sweet potato pancakes.

Yield: 10 servings

Above recipes courtesy of and Joseph’s at; Photo Credits top to bottom via Chew On That   St. Charles Herald Guide  Food Network