It’s May and I know I should have visions of asparagus and strawberries dancing through my head but yesterday it was so grey and cool out that I simply wanted a warm, comforting meal.
I had a large sweet potato on the counter and then remembered that I picked up black beans in bulk at the store last week. Black beans and sweet potatoes are a match made in heaven, don’t you think? I pulled out a few other veggies and basic seasonings to get my creative juices flowing.
Once I laid out the base ingredients I began to think about spices. My homemade vegetable stock was made with apples (thanks to a tip from a chef ) so I wanted to build on that subtle sugary flavor when choosing my spices. I went with cinnamon and garam masala – the result was a thick, stew-like, savory dish with just a hint of sweetness.
Black Bean & Sweet Potato Stew
Ingredients (Serves 4 – 6)
- 1 cup dry black (turtle) beans, soaked for 1 – 2 hours, rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons vegetable broth (or vegetable oil)
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 large sweet potato, diced into equal, bite-size pieces
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 small tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon iodized sea salt (optional)
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- Soak black beans for just a few hours.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable broth (or oil) in an uncovered pressure cooker, on high heat.
- Add the onion and garlic and saute for a few minutes.
- Add carrots and sweet potato and saute for another 3 minutes.
- Add celery, tomatoes, cinnamon, garam masala and stir to coat all of the vegetables with the spices.
- Add the black beans (rinsed and drained), bay leaves and vegetable broth and cover the pressure cooker.
- Bring to pressure.
- Cook at pressure for 20 minutes
- Remove from heat and allow pressure to release naturally.
- Once pressure is released, remove the lid, away from you.
- Add sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste.
The stew has an aroma reminiscent of maple syrup, which I attribute to the apples in the vegetable stock, the sweet potatoes and the powerful combination of cinnamon and garam masala.
Last night I spooned it over a vegan Italian sausage (think bun-less “chili dog”). The spiciness of the sausage and the sweetness of the stew made for another match made in heaven!
Are you a sweet potato-black bean combo fan?