Yam and Peanut Stew…and a Few Pints of Pickled Beets and Onions

I really liked the look of this Yam and Peanut Stew from food52.com, so I made it with a few adjustments. I realized when I tasted the finished product that I don’t actually like yams because they’re too sweet. In fact, I don’t even like yam fries and those suckers are deep-fried!! To compensate for the sweetness, I increased the peanut butter to 3/4 cup and added another big TBS. of BTB paste.

The result is nice and schmecky, but a bit heavy for a hot August evening, so it’s going in the freezer until the fall. I’m imagining eating a big bowl with some homemade beer bread in front of a blazing wood stove on the Thanksgiving weekend. Either that or I’ll discover it at the bottom of the freezer two years from now, wonder what it is, and throw it away


  • 1tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1Yellow onion, diced
  • 2Cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2tablespoons Ginger, minced
  • 2pounds Yams (about two large), chopped into 1 inch chunks (or a little larger)
  • 1/2cup Dry red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 3Ripe 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)
  • 1teaspoon Cinnamon, ground
  • 2teaspoons Cumin, ground
  • 1/2teaspoon Turmeric, ground
  • dashes Cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • 1/2teaspoon Sea salt (or to taste)
  • 4-5cups Vegetable stock + extra as needed
  • 1/4cup Creamy peanut butter
  • 4cups Curly kale, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/4cup Green onion, tops only, chopped
  • 1/4cup 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.


  1. Serve, topped with a tablespoon each of green onion and crushed peanuts

2015-08-22 11.15.47

Ooooh, and I made a few jars of pickled beets and shallots. For one of my jars, I used my entire beet crop from this year (and I still needed to add more shallots because there were so few…and they were so small):


The other two jars were made with beets from the pantry.


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