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 hot seasoning you choose; 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. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.
Thai-Spiced Sweet Potato Stew
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion quartered and thinly sliced
- 4 to 6 cloves garlic minced
- 3 medium-large sweet potatoes about 1 ½ pounds, peeled and diced
- 3 cups water
- 1 medium red bell pepper cut into narrow strips
- 1 ½ cups frozen organic whole green beans thawed
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 2 stalks lemongrass optional
- One 14 - to 15-ounce can light coconut milk
- ¼ cup natural peanut butter
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon red or green Thai curry paste dissolved in a little water; or sriracha or other hot sauce of your choice, 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.
- Stir in the bell pepper, green beans, 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. Either way, simmer the stew for 10 minutes longer.
- Stir in the coconut milk, peanut butter, salt, and curry paste or hot sauce. Return to a simmer, then cook over very low heat for 5 minutes longer, or until all the vegetables are tender and the flavors well integrated.
- Remove lemongrass pieces, if used. Taste to adjust seasonings, particularly the hot seasoning if you’d like a spicier stew, as well as the salt and ginger.
- Serve at once, topping each serving with a few cilantro leaves.
Per serving: Calories: 290; Total fat: 10g; Protein: 14g; Fiber: 6g; Carbs: 42g; Sodium: 235 mg