Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sweet Potatoes Vs. Yams

Honestly, I don't really know what a yam is. I've read (thank you, Wikipedia) that the sweet potato is not even related to the yam, even though Americans tend to use the names interchangably. I've never even seen a yam in the grocery store. When a recipe calls for yams, I use sweet potatoes — like in this dish, Farmhouse Chedda and Yam Soup from The Uncheese Cookbook:

I'm not sure how it would have tasted with actual yams, but it was delectable made with sweet potatoes. Remember that Campbell's condensed cheese soup in a can? I used to be obsessed with that stuff when I was a kid. This is kind of like that, only with far more complex flavors and none of that funky processed canned soup crap.

It's made with yams (or sweet potatoes), nooch, carrots, onions, and green pepper. But everything is pureeed, so the veggie flavors meld together and get all creamy. This was perfect for a cold winter night, served alongside crusty whole wheat garlic bread and a salad with vegan ranch and faux bacon bits.

20 comments:

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

I roasted them both once & there was a taste difference. The sweet potato was white & sweeter than the orange yam! Who knew?!

Alice (in Veganland) said...

I don't know anything about sweet potatoes and yams, so I'll stick with the occasional sweet potatoes (very expensive and not local!). The soup sounds great, I've been thinking about buying that book for a long time...

shelby said...

I don't know the difference b/t a yam or a sweet potato either. I've seen them in stores but they look the same to me.

Yummy soup!!!

VeggieGirl said...

All I know is that I love the orange-fleshed taters, haha ;-)

jessy said...

we do use the terms interchangably. it's weird! but there is a bit of a taste difference. i find yams to be just a little less sweet than sweet potatoes. and i only see yams for about a month or two in the fall at my natural food store, then it's back to sweet potatoes. both are super tasty though! the chedda & yam soup looks soooo super creamy & tasty, Bianca! what a great way to stay warm! your whole wheat garlic bread 'n salad look like perfect sides, too. mmmmmmm!

Andréa N. said...

I have the same exact doubt.

Megan said...

mmmm, i LOVE a good soup in the winter. makes me all warm inside :)

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

You know, I used to buy these things that were called "garnet yams" last year, then, when looking around on the internet I found out that those might not technically be yams, they are a variety of sweet potato. Something about a "real" yam being called a Tropical Yam, and they are dark skinned with white insides, or something like that. I got really confused somewhere along the way and decided that it wasn't important. I love sweet potatoes, or yams, or whatver those things that look like potatoes with orange flesh are called. :-)

The soup looks great, I'm going to check out the recipe.

miss v said...

i did the same wikipedia search a couple weeks ago when my husband brought home (what i thought was) yams. turns out their were sweet potatoes.

i just ended up eating them... wish i had made something as yummy as this!

alaina said...

i heard a yam was like some gargantuan african plant or something... i have no idea. but that soup looks freakin delicious.

Cyn said...

Yum! That looks delicious. I love the garnish on your soup. You're totally inspiring me to try out new stuff from The Uncheese Cookbook.

shellyfish said...

Here's more fuel for the confusion: here in France we get 'patates douces' which are generally huge (like, longer than a big banana and similar in shape to an American football). They are imported for Africa, and they are technically yams, but their name means sweet potato!
Who cares? Let's have soup!

Jenn said...

I just grabbed my Uncheese cookbook, and what the heck, Yam chedda isn't in there! I must have a different version.
Your soup looks fantastic!

Green Eyes, Green Heart said...

I think I could live off of sweet potatoes, if I had to. :)

River said...

I've never known what the difference is between the two. All I know is that your soup looks so good and "restauranty"! May I have a bowl, please? (I am giving you the most pathetic little puppy eyes ever)

Veg-a-Nut said...

I used to make a casserole with that processed cheese soup, hmmm wonder if this would work? Sure sounds good. Glad I found your blog!

Sal said...

mm sounds good, I love sweet potatoes. I'm hoping that santa is gonna bring me that book!!

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

I'm glad you reviewed this recipe. I have the book but haven't made this yet!

Mike K said...

Keep the sweet potato recipes coming! Every time I look at the Uncheese cookbook I know I should buy a copy, and still haven't. I'm confused by yams too - I thought they were the same thing as sweet potatoes, like how yucca has different names all over. So much to learn!

Erin said...

That soup looks really good! For whatever reason I don't think I've ever noticed that recipe in the book.

A grocery store I go to advertises yams, but they're definitely sweet potaotes. I probably wouldn't know the difference if I tried.