Sweet Potato Stew

I had a real collection of sweet potatoes after Thanksgiving and knew I had to find something to do with them – because I love ’em and can’t waste food voluntarily. My mother sent me home with a half-crate full. Thankfully (I’m still in Thanksgiving mode) I had a recipe-in-waiting from one of my new cookbooks, but of course I couldn’t make it as written. I made some changes to make it spicier and less sweet.  I suspect a lot of people prefer the sweet potato with less cinnamony sweetness and more sassiness if given the option. Like I said in a previous post, the sweet potato just seems so nice. I wanted to give it a little edge.

It’s really somewhere between a soup and a stew. The broth gives it that slurpy appeal every soup should have and the potatoes give it a smooth, lavish texture . The best thing about it? It’s so incredibly yummy and comforting on a cold winter night…which we are starting to have. The second best thing about it? It’s actually Healthy with a capital H. Between the sweet potatoes, the lentils, and the beans you not only have a heartily rich and filling soup, but you have a fiber and iron packed powerful bowl of goodness. Not that I have to say more, but another key ingredient in this stew is turmeric- one of nature’s healers. The medicinal properties are still being revealed, but mainly it is has anti-inflammatory properties. I need to  mention ginger! Ginger is in it too and in addition to providing spice, it aids in digestion. I may be rambling, but really you can have your sumptuous soup and eat it too.

Sweet Potato Stew  Adapted from Sweet Potato Lentil Stew in “The Kind Diet”

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive or safflower oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 small diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (add more if you like it spicy)
  • kosher salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ inch cubes
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 cup lentils (try to get the no-need-to-soak kind)
  • 1 can black soy beans, drained and rinsed

How To:

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Place 1 cup of the diced sweet potatoes (approximately 1 sweet potato) on a baking sheet lined with parchment, sprinkle with salt, and bake for about 30 minutes or until tender. Once tender, place into a medium bowl and mash. Set aside.

Heat large stockpot with the oil. Add onions and garlic and saute for about 4 minutes.  Add tomatoes and stir gently. Add ginger, turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and cayenne. Stir to combine and let cook for about 2 minutes. Add mashed sweet potatoes and stir. Add diced sweet potatoes, allowing to steam lightly in the mixture. Add broth, lentils and beans. Season with salt and pepper. Bring soup to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer for about 40 minutes or until potatoes and lentils are tender. Check seasonings again, adding more salt and pepper if necessary.

I recommending serving with pita bread, cornbread, or even quesadillas.

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