Sweet Potato Hodge Podge is a comforting, hearty dish packed with fresh summer vegetables from the garden. Boiled and with added cream, it’s even better the day after you make it!
Hodge Podge is one of those classically Nova Scotia recipes that’s different depending on who you talk to. Everyone’s got their grandmother’s recipe, bestowed upon them on her deathbed, that they swear by, and everyone else’s recipe will never be as good, how dare you even suggest adding that, you monster! (I’m sure someone’s grandmother is rolling over in her grave with my sweet potato substitution for normal potatoes, sorry Gram! Allergies!)
I kid, but it is true to some extent. Everyone puts their own twist on this recipe! Some recipes have chicken, or rabbit in them, others turnip, or leeks, or fish, some people call it a soup, others a stew, but the heart is the same. Fresh summer vegetables, boiled until soft. Add a little cream, a little butter, and there you have it. The perfect Nova Scotia Hodge Podge.
And dang, is it ever good.
But Cristina! You protest, IT’S 30 FRICKIN’ DEGREES OUTSIDE WHY ARE YOU MAKING SOUP? Well, first of all, yes it is just that delicious, and second… um… it makes the hot seem less hot? Because you’re sweating and therefore self-cooling? Plus there’s always that weird week in August where it drops to 15°C at night (*cough cough* Tuesday *cough*) and you need just a little warming up inside before you go watch the meteor shower.
The best part of this recipe (besides the taste, obvs), is how simple the ingredients are.
Green beans, yellow beans, carrots and peas…
Then, our sweet potatoes, cut to bite size. Start boiling those, add a little salt, pepper and butter (of course), and let ‘er boil for about 10 minutes, or until the outside of the pieces are just a wee bit soft.
Add in your beans, peas and carrots, and keep boiling until the sweet potatoes are completely soft and easily speared with a fork, probably another 10 minutes or so. It’s okay if the other veggies aren’t completely soft! A little crunch is fine. Drain some water, add your milk and cream and bring it to a boil again, letting it all simmer and meld together for at least 5 minutes.
Serve with a GIANT hunk of bread.
Hodge Podge is exactly that, a hodge podge. So if it tickles your fancy to add some more veggies, maybe a little pre-cooked meat, and not follow this recipe exactly, give ‘er.
I promise I won’t tell your grandmother if you don’t tell mine.
- 1 large sweet potato , peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
- Water to cover the potatoes (~3 cups)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp butter , halved.
- 170 g (6 oz.) mixed green and yellow beans, ends snapped
- 85 g (3 oz.) peas
- 2 large carrots , sliced into rounds
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
Dump your sweet potato pieces into a large pot on the stove, and cover with water. Add the salt and pepper, and 1 Tbsp of the butter.
Bring to a boil, and simmer about 10 minutes, or until just the outside of the sweet potato is soft.
Add the rest of the vegetables, bring to a boil and simmer for another 10 minutes, or until the sweet potato is completely soft and easily speared with a fork. If the other vegetables are still a little crunchy, that's okay!
Drain the water and add the milk, cream, and last tablespoon of butter.
Put back on the stove, bring to a boil, and then set to simmer for 5 more minutes.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen in a Hodge Podge? I would love to know!