I’m a huge fan of one-pot soups and stews especially as the weather cools, but I get bored making the same dishes year after year. I’ve long abandoned the classic “peas and carrots”-based stews I grew up on in search of something a little heartier and more interesting. This dish appeals to me because it contains ingredients I’d never thought to use in a vegetable stew before: cinnamon and sweet potatoes. The heat of spicy peppers, sweetness of sweet potatoes, and heartiness of the tomatoes creates a truly delicious combination that almost catches me by surprise every time I make this. Serve as is or on top of hot white or yellow rice.
2 medium sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, rough chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, rough chopped
1 red bell pepper, rough chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 seeded and finely chopped jalapeño pepper
1 small bunch fresh cilantro (about 2 ounces), leaves and stems separated
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
28 ounces diced tomatoes
sour cream [optional]
large (5-quart) pot
1. Set oven to 400 degrees. Cut sweet potatoes in half and cook in baking dish until fork tender—about 40 minutes. Set aside to cool.
2. Cook chopped onions and bell peppers with oil in pot over medium heat, stirring frequently, until tender—about 10 minutes. Stir in minced garlic and cook 1 minute.
3. Cut stems from cilantro and chop into small pieces. Add chopped cilantro stems, diced tomatoes, chopped jalapeño, and spices to pot. Stir.
4. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is reduced—about 15 minutes.
5. Slip skins off of sweet potatoes, then cut into bite-sized pieces. Stir them into the stew.
6. Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves. Top with a dollop of sour cream, if using.
NOTES & TIPS
• Be sure to wash hands thoroughly after chopping the jalapeño peppers or use gloves