Yam and Peanut Stew with Kale

November 26, 2012

Test Kitchen-Approved

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
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 1 hrs 5 min


  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1 Yellow onion, diced
  • 2 Cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons 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
  • 1 dash Cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sea salt (or to taste)
  • 4 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
In This Recipe


  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.

More Great Recipes:
Soup|Stew|American|Kale|Nut|Peanut|Peanut Butter|Vegetable|Sweet Potato/Yam|Cumin|Green Onion/Scallion|Winter

Reviews (70) Questions (2)

70 Reviews

Barnes M. November 11, 2018
This recipie is a staple at my house! I tweak the recipie by frying up some red peppers or chiles for some extreme spice! I also can never find red lentils so I use whatever lentils are readily available, and have never had any issues with the color/taste/texture! I also unfortunately have to use canned tomatoes and have never had that sacrifice the taste— I definitely wouldnt skimp on quality though
Vivian H. January 13, 2018
Yum!!! I made this for dinner, and everyone agreed it was a keeper. <br />(I substituted brown lentils for red ones, it was what we had on hand.)
VanessaJo January 3, 2018
I made this as written but substituted a “braising greens mix” (kale, red kale, baby mustard, baby collard) for the kale and it was delicious on a cold winter night. A keeper; thanks!
Glenys January 3, 2018
I am guessing what you're calling yams are actually mislabelled dark orange sweet potatoes. Common practice in supermarkets, but they're not true yams. However, true yams with peanuts, that's a classic combination in African and Creole cooking. There's almost nothing I can't buy when it comes to ethnic ingredients, but not yams. Sweet potatoes, including the "yam" imposters, I can get in about cream, purple, garnet, white.......
Chris E. December 29, 2017
This was really delicious and completely satisfying on a cold wintery day. I will make it again and again. Thinking about adding lamb for my protein eating friends. Thanks!
Gseghi December 4, 2017
Question. How would this fare with chicken stock instead? I have a ton of homemade chicken stock in my freezer but no veg.
toweringinferno December 5, 2017
That should be fine - it just wouldn't be vegan anymore, but I'm guessing that's not a worry for you!
toweringinferno September 21, 2017
This was my pick to bring to a potluck tonight in consideration of a mostly vegan/GF crowd. It's warming and substantial over brown rice and was appreciated by all! For textural interest, err on the side of less blending (I overdid it) and keep the kale pieces large-ish. Don't skimp on the green onion as it really brightens up the overall flavour. I swapped out the peanuts for coarsely chopped cashews.<br /><br />Notes for next time: To avoid nuts entirely, try tahini instead of peanut butter and top with pepitas. A drizzle of red wine vinegar would be a welcome note of acidity to really make it feel refined.
Cheryl April 24, 2017
I love this soup. Nothing better in the fall/winter to warm you and fill you up.
Sadie March 15, 2017
This is an amazing dish! This soup is so nutrient dense and filling! We will serve this over and over!!
tracey S. January 29, 2017
Absolutely freezes well
Heather January 29, 2017
This is delicious. Does anyone know if it will freeze well?
ChefJune January 6, 2017
This recipe is amazingly similar to one I've made from cookbook author and historian Dr. Jessica B. Harris. Funny Gena didn't mention any inspiration for this dish...
Erika M. October 12, 2015
This recipe is a huge hit at my house, and we're usually meat people. The flavor is really delicate and warm—not bland or overwhelming, as many potato-based stews tend to be. Next time I will swap a crunchier veggie like broccoli for the kale, which got a little lost in the texture.
Cheryl S. April 11, 2015
What is the nutritional info?
Deondra L. January 14, 2015
I absolutely loved this recipe ...my first time trying this recipe and meal my husband and I are choosing a more hhealtheir life style...followed every intruction and it was well worth it thank you...
bo R. January 3, 2015
You know, I made this with trader joes almond butter because my daughter can't eat peanuts. Um. It tastes like almond soup! All those lovely ingredients and, well, hot almonds. My cashew butter was beyond it's date, or I think that would've worked better?
Twinkle January 4, 2015
Cashew butter would've been a better substitute - it's creamier and more unctuous than almond (which can be kind of gritty and/or dull when cooked).
Kira B. November 14, 2014
Do the yams get peeled?
Mookie November 23, 2014
Kira, I didn't peel the yams, just gave them a good scrub. While scrubbing some of the skin sloughed off (the skins are pretty thin) but I didn't notice the peel in the end result as it cooks for a good amt of time & there's so many flavors/textures.
Mookie November 8, 2014
Wow - sooo good! I bought these two rather large yams, having never actually cooked with them before. When I searched around for recipes I mostly found the usual yams baked in some sort of sweet sauce - honey, molasses etc. I'm not a fan of sweet vegetables so no go for me. I was so happy to find your recipe, I used cashew butter & crushed cashew topping and instead of the spices (cumin, turmeric etc) I actually used Patak's Vinaloo paste; it has all of the same spices plus a few others, just put a tablespoon or two in while sweating the onions/garlic & it was amazing. Blending half of the soup is key - it really develops such a creamy consistency when added back in. I have to say I was really blown away by how well all of the flavors were distinct but also were so harmonious with each other. Another thanks for a great recipe!
Shalea March 14, 2014
Has anyone tried this without the tomatoes? What could I sub instead
Ken March 8, 2014
Did you peel the Yam or leave the skin on?