Thai-Spiced Sweet Potato Stew
With Thai ingredients available at most natural foods stores and well-stocked supermarkets, it has become easy to enjoy the delightful flavors of this cuisine at home. Use your discretion with the red or green curry paste; a little will give a hint of heat, but if you want a spicier stew, you can step it up from there. Adapted from Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for all Seasons by Nava Atlas.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, quartered and thinly sliced
- 4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 medium-large sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and diced
- 3 cups water
- 1 medium green or red bell pepper,cut into narrow strips
- 1 1/2 cups frozen green beans
- 1/2 teaspoon red or green curry paste, more or less to taste
- 1 tablespoon natural granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 2 stalks lemongrass, optional
- One 14 – to 15-ounce can light coconut milk
- 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
- Salt to taste
- Cilantro leaves for topping
Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until both are golden.
Add the sweet potatoes and water. Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are about half done.
Add the bell pepper, green beans, curry paste, sugar, and ginger. If using lemongrass, cut each stalk into 3 or 4 pieces, and bruise by making long cuts here and there with a sharp knife. This will help release the lemony flavor. Stir into the soup pot. Simmer the stew for 10 minutes longer.
Stir in the coconut milk, peanut butter, and salt. Return to a simmer, then cook over very low heat for another 10 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender and the flavors well integrated
Remove lemongrass pieces. Taste to adjust seasonings, particularly the curry paste if you’d like a spicier stew, as well as the salt, sugar, and ginger. Serve at once, topping each serving with a few cilantro leaves.