Sweet Potato Stew With Chickpeas & Hardy Greens

September 30, 2020
41 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten. Food stylist: Anna Billingskog. Prop stylist: Geri Williams.
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

This autumnal stew is warming and cozy, ready in under 30 minutes, and layered with rich, vivid flavors. It features one of my favorite trios: sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and hardy greens. But the unexpected star of the stew is the vibrant broth, which is delicious enough to slurp on its own. Inspired by the flavors of Carla Lalli Music’s Sweet Potatoes With Tahini Butter, the broth is rich from butter, a little spicy from Aleppo pepper, and spiked with maple syrup, soy sauce, and lime juice.

Because the broth is so essential to the deliciousness of this stew, reach for the best stock or broth you have: homemade chicken stock is great here, or a store-bought, low-sodium variety. If using vegetable broth, opt for homemade or a brand you know and like that’s more savory than sweet for the best balance of flavors.

The first time I made this stew, I fully intended to swirl some tahini in at the end to thicken the broth. But then I remembered the opened container of hummus in my fridge and reached for it instead, reasoning that hummus (an ultra silky-smooth mix of chickpeas, tahini, garlic, and lemon juice) would not only lend sheen and body, it’d boost the rich, chickpea flavor of the stew. It worked a charm, enlivening and enriching the entire pot. It’s a simple trick that has so many possibilities beyond this recipe. —EmilyC

What You'll Need
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 2 large or 3 small), peeled and chopped into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 4 cups chicken broth or stock, homemade or low-sodium store-bought (see author notes)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce, or to taste (regular or low sodium)
  • 1 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups to 4 cups (packed) kale, Swiss chard, collard or turnip greens, or mature (not baby) spinach
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice, plus the finely grated zest, from 1 lime (Note: zest the lime before juicing)
  • 3 tablespoons to 4 tablespoons plain hummus, homemade or store-bought
  1. Heat butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook for about 5 minutes until softened. Add sweet potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and Aleppo pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes (stirring occasionally), or until the outsides lose their firmness.
  2. Add maple syrup, stirring so it evenly coats the sweet potatoes. Cook for 1 to 2 more minutes, stirring constantly, to lightly caramelize the syrup.
  3. Add broth, soy sauce, chickpeas, greens, and lime zest. Simmer gently for about 15 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender.
  4. Lower heat, and stir in the lime juice and hummus, starting with 3 tablespoons hummus; stir until well integrated. Taste, and add another tablespoon of hummus, if desired, for extra richness and body. Taste for seasoning and balance, adding a bit more soy, lime juice, and/or salt to your liking. Turn off the heat. Divide the stew amongst bowls, and serve right away. (Any leftovers will keep well, tightly covered, for several days in the refrigerator. Reheat before serving.)

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Bruce Burger
    Bruce Burger
  • Melanie Shellito
    Melanie Shellito
  • Chris Ohana
    Chris Ohana
  • Darbystone
  • Susanna

Recipe by: EmilyC

I'm a home cook. I love salads. Two things you'll always find in my refrigerator are lemons and butter, and in my pantry good quality chocolate and the makings for chocolate chip cookies.

73 Reviews

Bruce B. February 20, 2024
Delicious recipe -- there are not many dishes, even good ones, that I'm happy to eat 5 days in a row as I did with my leftovers. I replaced about half the butter with bacon fat, which rarely hurts a recipe and certainly didn't hurt this one. I doubled the greens (using Swiss chard) and the greens were still pretty sparse, so I'd do that again. I served it in a wide bowl with quinoa on one side of the bowl; the stew is pretty soupy but didn't excessively invade the quinoa.
Melanie S. January 11, 2024
oh, this was DELIGHTFUL! my teenager give it a gimlet eye when he heard those were sweet potatoes and not carrots... but he tried it and LOVED it. We all did. I discovered belatedly I didn't have a lime, so used lemon zest instead and bottled lime juice (gasp. sorry.) and after tasting I added about 1 tsp of brown miso paste for a touch more umami. Everything else was per the recipe... the myriad flavors of citrusy/tangy then the hits of mild sweetness when you'd bite into a sweet potato... just wow. My TEEN said 'this one's a keeper!' and I think that says it all.
epona1004 October 18, 2023
I believe you mean "hearty" greens...
Susanna October 18, 2023
So pedantic, and wrong besides. “Hardy” is the more appropriate word here, as it connotes greens that keep well and can stand up to long cooking.
Joumou86 September 5, 2023
Like a lot of reviewers have already stated, I was skeptical, but wow, what a great soup. I've made it a few times over the last couple of years and it truly doesn't disappoint!
kristennnanna January 25, 2023
Such a great idea to add hummus to soup. We made this with 1 garnet yam and 1 kabocha squash - beautiful color combo! We also leave out the maple syrup
bethwilkins708 January 19, 2023
So, so good, and easy and quick to make! I was skeptical of the amount of lime it called for but I went with it and was so glad I did! I used curly kale and otherwise followed the recipe other than substituting veggie broth and ground cayenne pepper. Most recipes do not have enough flavor for me and I almost always "spice up" recipes in some way-- but not this time! Next time I would add more kale and a bit more broth to soak up the red pepper bread I served this with. Really, really happy with this recipe (and thank you to my mother-in-law for suggesting it)!
CarrieLouWho January 15, 2022
I went in feeling equally intrigued by and skeptical of this recipe and I am happy to report we found it to be scrumptious! Complex, savory, and just delicious. I did add an extra 14.5 ounces of broth because I wanted it a little more soupy and initially used half-amounts of the lime zest, lime juice, and hummus but ended up adding the full amounts in the end. Oh, and I used black beans and spinach because it was what I had and could get in this second year of Covid and in the middle of snow storms, subsequent flooding, and supply chain issues. :l
Bonknee53 January 12, 2022
Well, I'm not much of a cook - I love to bake. But decided to try this recipe. I didn't have any Aleppo pepper (to be honest, I didn't know what it was - stop rolling your eyes! I told you I don't cook!), so I used some sweet paprika and cayenne. For the first time ever, I bought collard greens! I won't prolong this review - LOVE this stew! In addition, my tummy (which can give me some trouble from time to time) liked it too! Delish and easy! Just my style! =)
cmhgmantsch January 11, 2022
So delicious. My go-to during the fall and winter.
Snj2022 January 10, 2022
This was amazing! I just sent the recipe to my groupchats! Very easy to make. I made a few substitutions based on what I had on hand and it was still great.
EmilyC January 11, 2022
Thanks for trying it (and sharing the recipe with others!). : )
KJain January 10, 2022
I have actually "prescribed" this for my patients wanting to try more plant-based eating, but who are afraid that the food will not be satisfying. If anyone has experimented with a way to crock-pot this, I would appreciate any insights. I'm guessing it could go in the slow cooker up through stage 3.
EmilyC January 11, 2022
I'm hoping someone will weigh in with tips -- I've not tried this in a slow cooker!
Betsy December 12, 2021
Very good. I added a little harissa but otherwise stuck with the recipe.
riceball October 26, 2021
Tasty and warming on a cold night. A N.African meets Caribbean vibe with a bit of sour, sweet, and heat. I was heavier handed on the broth to have a soup-ier consistency and for just a few ingredients, the flavor has a remarkable complexity. The lime zest and juice and maple syrup gives it an unexpected depth of flavor that I imagine wouldn't be the same with other substitutes. The hummus gives it a nice body without feeling 'heavy'. Made this with a whole box of TJ's organic chicken broth which worked fine. Subbed the Aleppo pepper with smoked paprika and pinch of cayenne. Used just 1 tbsp of butter and a few glugs of olive oil. And later topped it with some cactus hummus from a local vendor which had some coriander and cumin that gave the soup added depth. So if you want to create variety for leftovers, add a dollop of flavored hummus to give it a different vibe.
EmilyC October 26, 2021
So happy you tried and liked this, and thanks so much for sharing your detailed notes!
Carl C. March 19, 2021
I absolutely loved this and will definitely make again. I followed the recipe as written and wouldn't change a thing.
EmilyC March 20, 2021
Wonderful -- thanks Carl! : )
Chris O. March 12, 2021
I made this for a small potluck dinner. Every single person wanted the recipe. Then several told me that their friends wanted the recipe after they made it for them. This recipe has a legion of fans. Love it.
EmilyC March 15, 2021
Aw, what a lovely note to receive, Chris. Thanks so much for letting me know!
VikingAndCakes March 1, 2021
It’s so good. I keep on having a taste before putting it in a bowl. These are not ingredients I usually use but I trusted the video and I am disappointed! I will definitely do again. 😋
EmilyC March 1, 2021
Wonderful! So glad you found the recipe by way of Amanda's IGTV video. Thanks for your note!
Darbystone February 5, 2021
Crazy good with no alterations! It achieves a complex taste with minimal ingredients and time. It earns a Super Star rating!
EmilyC February 6, 2021
Excellent -- so glad you liked it -- thanks Darbystone!
k9loves January 30, 2021
I want to try this but not a fan of garbanzo beans. Can you recommend a substitute?
EmilyC January 31, 2021
Hi there -- I think canned white beans would work nicely here! If you have them, cranberry beans would be nice here, too.
k9loves March 1, 2021
Sooo good! Much better than expected!
EmilyC March 2, 2021
: )
Kat January 11, 2021
I was so excited to make this, my friend raved about it and so did all the other reviews. I found it too limey and sweet. I only used the juice of half a lime. I tried to cover up the sweetness with hummus. My recommendation is to put the lime juice in a little at a time and maybe skip the maple syrup.
EmilyC January 11, 2021
Hi Kat -- sorry this didn't hit the spot for you flavor-wise. My guess is that your stock or broth was too sweet. I made this once with a boxed vegetable stock (I forget which brand) and the resulting stew was too sweet and one-note in flavor. That's why I added the note in the introduction about using a more savory/less sweet stock. Anyways, just a thought. Thanks for trying it!
Kat January 12, 2021
I salvaged it with lots of curry powder and black beans. I also threw in a little ground turkey as my husband always wants to know where the meat is.
Ellen February 5, 2021
I have also made this with other root vegetables (and I think I may have skipped the honey too; not totally sure).
I didn't have sweet potatoes but I did have Yukons and I had turnips and one lonely parsnip. The result was delicious! In fact, one friend of mine who had a bowl at my house insists on only making it this way.
So perhaps going with other root veggies to cut the sweetness as well.
Kat January 11, 2021
I was so excited to make this, my friend raved about it and so did all the other reviews. I found it too limey and sweet. I only used the juice of half a lime. I tried to cover up the sweetness with hummus. My recommendation is to put the lime juice in a little at a time and maybe skip the maple syrup.