During the colder cooler months I'm in the habit of making a big pot of soup on the weekends. It gives us an easy, healthy lunch to take to work during the week and sometimes we'll have it for a quick dinner - we don't mind eating the same thing a few times.
This weekend I tried out a soup recipe from my newish cookbook, The 30-Day Vegan Challenge. So far everything I've made from the cookbook has been tasty and hasn't required any ingredients that aren't at my usual grocery store. The Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew was no exception. Peanut butter gives it heartiness, it's going to keep you warm!, while cinnamon, cumin, ginger, and cayenne give it depth with the added bonus of making your house smell delicious.
Tracy has inspired me to get all my ingredients together before I start...instead of pulling them out as needed. She is one smart gal.
Now get to chopping...
...chop, peel, chop, chop...
Get out your onion chopping goggles.
No onion chopping goggles? Get some! They're awesomely functional. However, you will not look cute when you chop onions wearing goggles. You have been warned. But you definitely won't be crying. So, without shedding a tear, chop those onions! And garlic!
Time to stew. Add the onions and garlic to a large pot with a little bit of water.
Add those pretty red peppers.
Put the lid on to let the peppers soften.
Meanwhile, back at the cutting board, grate some ginger. Gather the sugar and spice.
Add the sugar and spice...
Now let's get protein-y with some peanut butter. This is where it starts smelling really delicious.
Mix, mix. Add some water if it's too thick.
Now, bring on the potatoes, beans, and tomatoes. Heartiness is happening.
Add some veggie stock and then it's time to simmer down.
While the stew is simmering, get some quinoa going: One cup quinoa with two cups water in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil and then reduce to a low simmer until all the water is absorbed, about 10-15 minutes.
Get some garnish ready to make the stew pretty. It's from my garden!
Get those leaves off.
Quinoa + stew + sprinkle of cilantro and peanuts. Let's eat!
African Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew
from 30-Day Vegan Challenge
3 tablespoons water for sauteing
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 red bell peppers, chopped
3 teaspoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon group cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 - 3/4 cup smooth or crunchy natural peanut butter
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
One 15-ounce can of red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
One 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes or 2 cups fresh diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
dry roasted peanuts, chopped, for garnish
chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
Heat the water in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers, cover, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
Stir in the peanut butter and distribute evenly. Mix in some water if it's too thick. Add the sweet potatoes, kidney beans, and tomatoes, and stir to coat. Add the vegetable stock, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the sweet potatoes are soft, about 30 minutes. Add salt to taste.
Serve with quinoa, rice, or couscous, topped with cilantro and peanuts, if desired.