5 Uses of Sweet Potato

It’s naturally sweet and packed with good-for-you nutrients (like beta carotene galore), which is one of the reasons we adore the sweet potato. Plus its orange color and the way it pairs so well with our favorite warm and wintry spices make it the perfect food for October and its cooling weather. We found our very favorite uses of sweet potatoes on 417-land menus, from simply delicious waffle fries to complex soups.

1. Sweet Potato Soup
$3.95 cup, $6.95 bowl
Mille’s Turn of the Century Cafe, 313 S.
Jefferson Ave., Springfield, 417-831-1996
Why We Love It: Soft, tender chunks of sweet potato are the hidden gifts under the surface of this creamy sweet-potato soup. And the epilogue to every sweet-and-savory bite? A kick of heat from the soup’s smoked chili peppers. This soup feels hearty—even when you only eat a little cup of it—and its complex flavor tastes like autumn ought to taste. Order it alone, or with a side salad and fruit for a light lunch.

2. Marshmallow-Crusted Sweet Potato Mash
$4 à la carte
Flame Steakhouse, 314 W. Walnut St.,
Springfield, 417-862-4444
Why We Love It: If ever a side dish tasted like a dessert, this is it. The mashed sweet potatoes are topped with a thick layer of mini-marshmallows and baked. You know… like mom used to make. But way better. There’s not a single lump in the perfectly spiced sweet potato mash, and the marshmallows are toasted to campfire-style perfection. Eaten together, they somehow taste like a warmer, creamier pumpkin pie.

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3. Sweet Potato Tempura
$3.99 appetizer
Kyoto Sushi Grill, 853 N. Glenstone Ave., Springfield, 417-869-1628
Why We Love It: When we order tempura-fried veggies at Japanese eateries, we always save that cherished tempura-fried sweet potato for last. Sure the zucchini and squash bites are yummy. But that sweet potato is the salty-sweet gem of any plate of tempura. That’s why we love that at Kyoto you can order a dish where those perfect fried wonders take center stage.

4. Sweet Browns
Gailey’s Breakfast Café, 220 E. Walnut St., Springfield, 417-866-5500
Why We Love Them: Why do we love them? How could we not? The best thing about breakfast (fried potatoes) is made exotic and interesting by using sweet potatoes. They don’t get quite as crispy as white potato hash browns, but the bits that do get cooked a little longer are caramelized crunchiness heaven—like shredded sugar. The sweet flavor is complemented by a little sprinkling of brown sugar.

5. Sweet Potato Waffle Fries
$3.49 for a side
The Blue Bull, 105 Park Central Square,
Springfield, 417-831-2855
Why We Love Them: We’ve tried plenty of delicious sweet potato French fries, but sweet potato waffle fries leave the others in their wake. Waffle fries fall into a category all their own. The crispy edge to soft center ratio is far higher, resulting in a crunchier, more texturally awesome experience.

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