It snowed in South Texas last night.
This is highly unusual in of itself, but in addition, the snow wasn’t just brief flurries. Instead, it was a thick blanket of heavy, wet flakes. So while the streets remained completely clear and drivable, everything else was covered in this surprising early December snow.
When I noticed the snow coming down, an hour or so after dinner, I was extra glad i’d made this warming, grounding, nourishing stew. I’d planned on making something else, but at the last minute I ended up making this.
Instinctively, I must have known we’d need a little more warmth and the cozy feeling of soup in our bellies. And this one is a crowd pleaser, to boot. Even my pickier eater will have a few bites of this delicious, soothing stew.
Variations of this stew are frequently called “African Peanut Stew,” but I’ve never known why and no one has ever given me a reasonable explanation. So I’ve decided to call my version the sum of it’s parts — or some of it’s parts. Who knew that pairing sweet potato with peanut butter would be so heavenly?
This soup does well when served with rice, but it can also stand alone since it’s fairly dense. It can also have a little more heat if you want to increase the spice — we don’t since keeping it less spicy makes it more appealing to the kiddos.
Oh, and the seconds were just as delicious during the snow melt today!
Sweet Potato Peanut Stew
Serves 4 people
1 Tbs coconut oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 small red pepper, chopped
1 large sweet potato, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
28 oz of tomatoes, fresh or canned with their juices (I prefer fresh)
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 15oz can)
2 cups kale, torn into pieces
salt, pepper to taste
cilantro for garnish (optional, but adds a delicious flavor)
peanuts or cashews for garnish and crunch (optional)
Mix the peanut butter in the vegetable broth until it’s smooth with very few clumps. Set aside until you’re ready to use it.
Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add in the onion, cooking until translucent (about 5 minutes). Add in the garlic, stir well, and cook for an additional minute.
Add in the red pepper, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes with their juices, plus the chili powder. Stir well, coating all of the veggies with the chili powder and the onion.garlic mixture.
Stir in the peanut butter broth, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or so, until the sweet potatoes are soft.
Add in the chickpeas and kale. Cook for a few minutes until kale is wilted, but still bright green.
Serve over rice or as is and make it fancy with cilantro or some peanuts or both!
***Note: This soup can actually be made with cashew butter and cashews as well. I’ve tried almond butter and don’t like it quite as much, but it’s also worth trying if that’s you’re preference and you need to avoid peanuts!