Sweet Potato and Butternut Chowder

I was describing to my husband the way I made this chowder – an attempt to use up some sweet potatoes and butternut that had set up long term encampments in the cupboard.  I said “well, I used my normal potato chowder.  Only I substituted sausage for bacon.  And sweet potatoes and squash for regular potatoes.  And I didn’t have the carrots and celery…and…well, I guess it’s not in any way like my normal chowder.”  Nevertheless, it turned out to be a yummy chowder that is versatile, as evidenced by the substitutions.

4-6 strips bacon, or 2-3 links of sausage

1 medium onion, diced small

1 carrot, diced small

2 stalks celery, sliced thin

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes

1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes

5 c chicken stock

12 oz evaporated milk

1 T cornstarch

In a large dutch oven or stock pot, cook the bacon or sausage until it renders its fat.  Add the onion, celery, and carrot and cook until the vegetables are softened.  Add the potatoes, squash, and chicken stock.  Allow to simmer until the potatoes and squash are tender, approximately 20 minutes.  Add the evaporated milk.  Separately, mix the tablespoon of cornstarch with about 2 T cold water until the cornstarch is dissolved.  Add the cornstarch mixture to the chowder and stir until it begins to thicken slightly, 5 minutes.

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