Simmered in Spices — Sweet Potato and Bean Stew
“Good soup is one of the prime ingredients of good living. For soup can do more to lift the spirits and stimulate the appetite than any other one dish.” Louis P. De Gouy,’ The Soup Book’ (1949)
Wet weather and warm sweet potato stew simmered in holiday spices!
It’s been raining here for the past few days. Sound of rain drops, cozy fireplace, and a bowl of hot stew!
What could be more appropriate? Something we all look forward to at this time of the year when weather gets chilly, and we crave for hot food to warm our bodies.
Simmered in warm spices like cinnamon bark and cloves with fresh ginger, this stew is perfect for holiday season. Sweet potatoes and red kidney beans with some crushed tomatoes, it is warm goodness in a bowl. This recipe is quick and simple. The stew does not take very long to cook. But if you make it a few hours in advance, the spices get to blend and enrich its flavors.
Sweet potatoes, also known as super food and perfect food are hearty, nutritious, and rustic. They tingle our taste buds……sweet or savory. I love roasting them and then flavoring them different ways whatever I am in mood for. You can toss them in your favorite herbs, spice blends or dressings. Add them to salads, grains, or pastas.
Sweet potatoes are one of the most talked about nutritious root vegetables. Health experts can’t discuss enough their health benefits.
Their beautiful jewel tone and hearty texture adds color to our holiday spread.
3 tablespoons canola or any neutral oil
1 medium onion, diced small
1 1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and diced medium
1 15 oz can of red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 cup crushed canned tomatoes
Sea salt to taste
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
Pinch of chili flakes (optional)
1-inch stick of cinnamon bark (cassia) or cinnamon stick
1/2- 1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin plus for garnish
Scallions, finely sliced
Cilantro or parsley, finely chopped
Roasted pumpkin seeds
Heat oil in a heavy- bottom pot. Cook onions for 5-7 minutes until golden. Add sweet potatoes, red kidney beans, ginger, tomatoes, salt , paprika, chili flakes (if using), cinnamon bark, cloves and stir for 1-2 minutes until all the ingredients are combined well. Add 1/2 cup water and stir. Cover and cook for 10-12 minutes until sweet potatoes are cooked through but still hold their shape. Add a little water if too thick. Sprinkle ground cumin. Cover and set the stew aside for flavors to blend.
To serve, heat the stew on low heat and stir gently just a few times. Remove cinnamon bark and cloves. Ladle in serving bowls and drizzle a little oil and sprinkle pinch of ground cumin. Garnish with scallions, cilantro or parsley and pumpkin seeds.
Serve hot with your favorite bread or grain.