Today is national Chicken Soup for the Soul Day. In case you’ve been living under a rock the Chicken Soup for the Soul series of books consisted of inspirational true stories of ordinary people’s lives, aimed at nourishing the readers minds…like Jewish penicillin (get it?!)

Honoring that very idea we decided it was a good time to pull this nourishing hearty chicken and sweet potato chowder out.

When you picture chowder, what do see? Well, since this is actually a rhetorical question, I’ll tell you: You probably picture a cream based, heavy tasting soup, chock full of fish and/or vegetables. Unless you picture Manhattan chowder, which is tomato based, but then we’re talking about two different things.

Chowder is traditionally quite a high calorie, high fat soup, which, as you’ll see, is the polar opposite of mine.

This “chowdah” is a great idea for a healthy weekend lunch to warm your bones.


(Serves 4)


1/2 cup white onion diced

1 cup leeks, halved lengthwise, sliced, washed (white and light green only)

1/3 cup white flour

3 tablespoons canola oil

5 cups non-fat/skim milk

1 bay leaf

1 large sweet potato (about 2 cups), peeled, diced

2 cups shredded roasted chicken

1 cup chicken broth (if needed)

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped


Preheat a soup pot on medium heat for 2 minutes. Add canola oil. Saute leek and onion for 3-4 minutes until softened but not colored. Add in flour and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring continuously. The purpose here is to get rid of the raw flour taste. Add in milk and increase heat to medium high, whisking until thickened, approximately 3-4 minutes

Tip: Be careful here not to just walk away. The oil/flour mixture will thicken the milk for your chowder texture so you want to stir frequently to get a smooth consistency and prevent lumps

Add in bay leaf and sweet potatoes. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered for approximately 20 minutes, until potatoes are softened, stirring occasionally. The starch in the potatoes, while cooking, will also help the soup thicken

Add in shredded chicken and cook for additional 20 minutes on low heat. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Finish by adding fresh chopped parsley

Note: If the soup becomes too thick just add in chicken broth to achieve desired consistency.

* Originally published in 2009.