Yam and Peanut Stew with Kale

November 26, 2012
17 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Serves 4
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

What You'll Need
  • 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
  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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Shelley Warkentin
    Shelley Warkentin
  • Megan
  • Barnes Matthew D
    Barnes Matthew D
  • V.
  • VanessaJo

82 Reviews

Tina W. January 11, 2023
This is delicious! The only mod I made was a squeeze of lime at the end. It's not "peanutty" - the peanut butter just adds a great richness (and the people in my family who are not PB fans didn't notice ;-).
judith.marche February 21, 2022
Delicious! Served with barley.
Shelley W. March 30, 2021
This soup has become a regular in my kitchen. It's so easy, delicious, AND healthy! I haven't made many changes from the recipe aside from not adding the garnishes. It's perfect.
NXL January 26, 2021
This is a satisfying, flavorful stew. Just wonderful. I used almond butter, what I had on hand. Also turned up the spice a little.
Megan October 15, 2020
I made this for lunch on a drizzly day. It was really tasty and nourishing. Leftovers have been delicious as well. Going in the rotation for make-ahead lunches.
Sherry S. October 9, 2020
This was excellent! I added a chopped jalapeno along with the ginger and garlic, and was generous with the spice measurements. I would recommend serving it with chopped cilantro and a freshly squeezed lime- it really enhanced the flavor.
Sherry S. October 9, 2020
This recipe was excellent. I added a chopped jalapeno with the garlic and ginger for a bit of heat, and was generous with my spice measurements. I served it with chopped cilantro and freshly squeezed lime, which really brightened the flavor. Irecommend this highly.
Ruth October 14, 2019
It's good--very much like a Bittman recipe I found on the Times website. Added lemon juice and a jalapeño. Also: blend the peanut butter with some hot liquid from the stew, and it will mix in more easily.
Flexitarian April 18, 2019
This is also good with arugula (we had no kale), and spinach!
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
V. January 13, 2018
Yum!!! I made this for dinner, and everyone agreed it was a keeper.
(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.......
Pam February 11, 2020
Sprouts. Garnet yams.
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!
Ruth October 14, 2019
I used part chicken stock, part water.
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.

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?