Yam and Peanut Stew with Kale

By • November 26, 2012 • 48 Comments

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Author Notes: Rich, nutrient dense, sweet, savory, and spicy, this stew is the ideal winter comfort food. Garnish with green onions and crushed roasted and salted peanuts for an extra kick!Gena Hamshaw

Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1 Yellow onion, diced
  • 2 Cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Ginger, minced
  • 2 pounds Yams (about two large), chopped into 1 inch chunks (or a little larger)
  • 1/2 cup Dry red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 3 Ripe vine tomatoes, peeled and chopped (if you cannot access fresh tomatoes at this time of year, use 1 can of homemade or store-bought diced tomatoes)
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon, ground
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric, ground
  • dashes Cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sea salt (or to taste)
  • 4-5 cups Vegetable stock + extra as needed
  • 1/4 cup Creamy peanut butter
  • 4 cups Curly kale, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup Green onion, tops only, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Roasted and salted peanuts, chopped
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot set on medium heat. Add the onion and begin sauteeing till onion is getting translucent (about 3 minutes). Add the garlic and ginger, and continue to sautee for another 3 minutes, till garlic is fragrant. Add the yams, the red lentils, the tomatoes, the cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne and give it all a quick stir to combine.
  2. Add 4 cups vegetable stock and bring mixture to a boil. If there isn't enough broth to cover everything but at least 1 inch, add another cup of stock. When soup boils, reduce to a simmer and cook for 40-45 minutes, or until sweet potatoes and lentils are very tender. If you need more broth as the mixture cooks, add it.
  3. Add peanut butter and stir well. Using an immersion blender, blend soup till about half of it is pureed and the other half still has texture. The soup should appear creamy, but chunks of sweet potato should be visible.
  4. Stir in the kale and let it wilt. Season to taste, adding more salt and pepper as needed.
  5. Serve, topped with a tablespoon each of green onion and crushed peanuts.
Jump to Comments (48)

Comments (48) Questions (1)

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7 months ago Shalea

Has anyone tried this without the tomatoes? What could I sub instead

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7 months ago Ken

Did you peel the Yam or leave the skin on?

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7 months ago Renee Klang

How do you think coconut milk would taste in this dish? Like maybe half veg broth and the rest coconut milk?

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8 months ago Maria Reina

This is fantastic. I ended up using only 1.5 lb. of yams, just because that was all I had in huge house, and it seemed like enough. I also added the zest and juice of 1/2 lime right at the end for a little citrus note. Really really delicious!

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8 months ago Maria Reina

sorry … what I meat to say was: I only used 1.5 lbs because that was all I had in the house!

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8 months ago Pamela Anthony

This Yam and Peanut Stew with Kale is one of the best stews I have ever made. I am looking forward to making this stew again. Thank you for the delicious recipe.

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9 months ago Marie Weber

This recipe is great. I keep making recipes with such a similar flavor profile and this has been one of the best. I've been making this with butternut squash instead of yams. Comes out delicious. I imagine it would be a little heartier with the potatoes.
Tonight I plan to get this ready to go in the slow cooker for tomorrow. First time to try it this way and perhaps with some yams in addition to the squash.

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9 months ago veganfrk

This is a great version of Senegalese peanut soup! I prepared it this evening, making just a few tweaks and it was wonderfully rich and satisfying. I added a few teaspoons of ground coriander seed, subbed about a third PB2 for some of the peanut butter (to lighten it up a bit), and added the juice of half a lime. I served it over short-grain brown rice....yum! Thanks for the lovely recipe!

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9 months ago Layla Corcoran

How large is the can of tomatoes you use? 16oz? 28 oz?

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9 months ago plainhomecook

I use a 15 oz can of diced tomatoes, with the juice - I just throw the whole thing in.

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over 1 year ago Jaime Surgil

Sounds amazing!

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over 1 year ago healthierkitchen

I made this tonight and we really loved it! I have to admit that there was a point during the cooking that both the smell and look had me a little worried, but after the immersion blender went in and I tasted the stew, I realized that it had cooked itself into a delicious flavor!

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over 1 year ago Claire Dorsey

Thanks Sheryl and plainhomecook! I appreciate your responses and am ready to take a stab at this recipe.

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over 1 year ago plainhomecook

Good luck! It really is wonderful - I doubled this and served it as the vegan option at a community dinner not too long ago, and everyone wanted the recipe - Gema's given us a gift.

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over 1 year ago Claire Dorsey

Can this be made with other nut butters (for those of us with peanut allergies)?

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over 1 year ago Sheryl Esparza

Claire, having made it, I would not see why you could not use another nut butter and garnish with the same nut for some crunch. Also I like to add cilantro vs green onions as my garnish. Maybe cashew butter would work for you or almond butter. I even think you could add coconut milk to this dish. Bon Appetit! Sheryl

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over 1 year ago plainhomecook

I had no peanut butter one time and ground up some cashews in my food processor and used those instead, plus some chopped cashews for garnish. It was still really good.

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over 1 year ago With The Grains

After discovering my peanut butter was too old, I substituted almond butter, and it tasted great! I like the coconut milk idea as well. So many options, and then you have dinner for a few nights! Here was my rendition- http://withthegrains.com...

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over 1 year ago Dan Hanley

Thank you Sheryl!

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over 1 year ago Sheryl Esparza

You are welcome Dan, so glad you had such a wonderful celebration dinner!

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over 1 year ago Dan Hanley

Hi everyone! It turned out AMAZING! No flavor stronger than another, I guess it just smelled that way. We both loved it! I am so excited!

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over 1 year ago Dan Hanley

I am making this right now. It is at the simmering part. I am a bit nervous as I smell cumin strongly. But from what I have read here I have a lot to look forward to! And I hope it's OK to use my Vitamix for the blending???

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over 1 year ago Sheryl Esparza

Hi Dan, I am a friends with you on yours on facebook page! I halved the cumin. Do make it again and try it with less if it is too much for you, I usually tweak every recipe that I come across. You will love this stew it is rock star! Sheryl

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over 1 year ago Sheryl Esparza

Oh and Dan, just pulse your Stew in the Vitamix

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over 1 year ago adele93

if canned lentils are being used, when should they be added?

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over 1 year ago idocmeg

Has anyone tried this in a crock pot?

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over 1 year ago Charlotte Everett

Yes, I have. Worked well.

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over 1 year ago Kim Potter

How did you do? Throw it all in a crockpot on low for 8 hrs?

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over 1 year ago Charlotte Everett

Pretty much, yeah. And used less liquid. Also left the kale out until about 30-40min before the end.

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over 1 year ago tracey shafroth

I have made this twice and it is so good...rich and so so good Just made six quarts for next weeks soup swap!

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over 1 year ago Le Petit Oiseau

Wow! I made this stew for a vegan pot luck dinner party a few nights ago. Most guests had seconds and our French host told me this was the best thing he's ever eaten at any Meetup event. It was a proud moment to have impressed him, so he got to keep the last bowl worth for lunch the following day. Thanks for a great recipe!

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over 1 year ago peggymchoe

If you don't have an immersion blender you can take out a couple of ladles-full of the soup, put the peanut butter into that, stir until emulsified, and then dump the mixture back into the soup. I made this last night. I think it'll be a very useful winter version of peanut stew.

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over 1 year ago Valentona

This sounds delicious, I have blue/purple sweet potatoes. Do you think they could still work with this recipe?

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over 1 year ago Sheryl Esparza

I used Yams in this recipe since I love the sweeter taste, but I would think you could use blue or purple yams.I also used Red Bore Kale that is a curly kale and it was pretty with the contrast of the deep orange color stew. If you think it needs a bit of sweetness you could always add a bit of Agave to it.

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over 1 year ago Sheryl Esparza

Fab! I made this last night, I halved the Cumin and added 1/2 tsp of curry powder. I got raves from the Husband and 16yr old son.

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over 1 year ago Jann Olsen

I made this today, but used a shallot instead of an onion and Wow! I love it! Will make this again & again. Love the spice/ peanut flavor with yams.

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over 1 year ago bottomupfood

Really enjoyed this recipe. Easy to make. No need to peel the tomatoes and sweet potatoes!

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almost 2 years ago Shawn ODonnell

delish. a new favorite to add to my repertoire. i used collard greens in lieu of kale and yellow split peas instead of lentils b/c it is what i had on hand. yum!

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almost 2 years ago robynguth

thank you for posting the comment about adding apple Antonia - really good idea!

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almost 2 years ago Mmichelle

I just made this and it's ahhmazing! I don't have an immersion blender so I used a potato masher... Yum!

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almost 2 years ago tiana138

`this is the first re cipe i made from food52, and it was SO good! my family ate it up. i didn't use the immersion blender either and thought it was perfect the way it was :) thank you

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almost 2 years ago Charlotte Everett

Just adapted this recipe for my slow cooker and it turned out amazing! Would you mind if I share my adaptation on my blog, with a link to this original recipe of yours Gena?

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almost 2 years ago jamieyuenger

This is a delicious stew. I would agree with SuzanneRobin that you could reduce the peanut butter a bit and it would be just as good. The peanut and scallion topping really adds, so I wouldn't leave off a least a little something for the garnish.

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almost 2 years ago plainhomecook

I've renamed this "What to feed your vegan friends in winter." All at our table (including meat eaters) had seconds. Thank you!

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almost 2 years ago SuzanneRobin

Delicious! A great "stick to your ribs" stew for a winter day that you can really feel good about eating! I agree with AntoniaJames that the immersion blender is not necessary, although I did choose to mash a bit of the sweet potatoes with a potato masher. I also reduced the peanut butter to about two tablespoons and I thought that was a good amount to add a bit of rich nuttiness but avoided making it taste like peanut butter stew!

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almost 2 years ago Gseghi

Just made this for dinner. Yum. Used fresh ground honey roasted peanut butter.

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almost 2 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Excellent recipe -- we enjoyed it tremendously. I found that the immersion blender was quite unnecessary, as the smaller pieces of sweet potato just melted into the stew. It seemed a bit sweet -- in part due to my use of a luscious vegetable stock made with roasted butternut squash skins and seeds (a trick learned from Deborah Madison) -- so I garnished with diced Honeycrisp apple pieces, which worked well. I'll probably squeeze some lime juice in the leftovers I plan to enjoy at lunch. Will definitely make this again. A keeper! ;o) P.S. While the stew was cooking, I made stock with the sweet potato peels and trimmings from the ginger and onion. It smells divine. I'll use it the next time I make this stew.

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almost 2 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

For dinner tonight!!! ;o)