Thai-Spiced Sweet Potato Stew
With Thai ingredients available at most natural foods stores and well-stocked supermarkets, it has become easy to enjoy the delightful flavors of this cuisine at home. Use your discretion with the red or green curry paste; a little will give a hint of heat, but if you want a spicier stew, you can step it up from there.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, quartered and thinly sliced
4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
3 medium-large sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and diced
3 cups water
1 medium green or red bell pepper, cut into narrow strips
1 1/2 cups frozen green beans
1/2 teaspoon red or green curry paste, more or less to taste
1 tablespoon natural granulated sugar
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 stalks lemongrass (optional)
1 (14 to 15-ounce) can light coconut milk
2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
Salt to taste
1 (8-ounce) package White Wave Thai peanut flavored baked tofu, diced (optional)
Cilantro leaves for topping
- Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until both are golden.
- Add the sweet potatoes and water. Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are about half done.
- Add the bell pepper, green beans, curry paste, sugar, and ginger. If using lemongrass, cut each stalk into 3 or 4 pieces, and bruise by making long cuts here and there with a sharp knife. This will help release the lemony flavor. Stir into the soup pot. Simmer the stew for 10 minutes longer.
- Stir in the coconut milk, peanut butter, salt, and optional tofu. Return to a simmer, then cook over very low heat for another 10 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender and the flavors well integrated.
- Remove lemongrass pieces. Taste to adjust seasonings, particularly the curry paste if you’d like a spicier stew, as well as the salt, sugar, and ginger. Serve at once, topping each serving with a few cilantro leaves.
Makes 6 servings.
Recipe provided courtesy of Nava Atlas; www.vegkitchen.com.