Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew

Hello everyone, Jess here. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend! We loved to enjoy great local food with family and friends.


As regular readers of this blog know, Sarah and I take turns hosting each other’s families for dinner every weekend in a blog post we call “Sunday Dinner”. This Sunday, it was Sarah’s turn to host, but given the ridiculous amount of leftovers we still had to enjoy, it seemed silly not to host Sunday Dinner here. Sarah liked the idea of a simple leftover meal, so we decided to do it. I also invited our good friend, fellow locavore and mushroom farmer Elizabeth Almeida of Fat Moon fame. She was gracious to share some lovely oyster mushrooms, and I very much look forward to cooking them this week along with the Winter CSA goodness.  Stay tuned!


Apologies for the dark photo, these look much better in person!


Between the Anderson family, the Buck family and the Almeida family, there was hope in making a real dent in the remaining Fakesgiving leftovers.  

One of my favorite dishes of this holiday food tradition is the soup tureen made out of a round winter squash.  A pumpkin works well, but the large and uniquely decorative cameo squash has become my favorite receptacle for a fall soup.  


In the past I’ve enjoyed making potato leek soup, butternut squash soup, and curried sweet potato chowder as the Fakesgiving starter course.  This year, I decided to mix it up again and try a new recipe for which I already had all the ingredients ready and available.  The recipe is adapted from Better Homes and Gardens and was quite hearty in the squash bowl!  Here are the ingredients:

  • tablespoons canola oil
  • red sweet peppers, chopped (1 1/2 cups – I used frozen red peppers from the end of the Summer CSA, remember all those that were left in the swap box?)
  • large onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • teaspoon ground allspice
  • Cayenne pepper (optional)
  • pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in 1-inch peices (7 cups)
  • cups vegetable broth
  • can tomato paste (6 ounces)
  • can (14 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
  • cup peanut butter (I used creamy organic with flax seed)

To make your optional squash soup tureen, cut the top of the squash off similar to if making a jack o lantern.  Be sure the hole is large enough for a ladle, and to hollow out your squash completely.  Place the squash in a preheated 350 degree oven, turning the squash every so often so the top and bottom of your tureen are evenly cooked (too long on it’s top and it burns, too long on its bottom and it becomes saggy and loses structural integrity). You’ll want to roast it until just becoming tender (piercable with a fork but still firm to the touch.) I find my top of the squash cooks much faster than the bowl part, so I usually take it out first. While your tureen is roasting, let’s get back to the soup!

First you heat the oil and sauté the onion and the pepper for a few minutes in your sauce pot. (Because I was working with frozen peppers, I held off on adding them until later). 


Next, you add in the your garlic, ginger and spices and move it around your pan for a minute.  Add your veggie broth and tomato paste.  Bring to a boil,reduce heat and simmer for 20-40 minutes until the sweet potatoes begin to become tender (I stuck with 20 minutes as I knew the sweet potatoes would soften up as a leftover).


While the soup is simmering, whisk your coconut milk and peanut butter together until combined.  After the 20-40 minute simmer, add your coconut milk/peanut butter mixture (this is where I added the frozen red peppers too).  Return things to a simmer and heat for about 5 minutes.


Here is the final product in the squash, hearty and delicious, even the carnivores in my family went back for seconds!


For overnight storage, I removed the leftover soup from the tureen and placed it in a separate container before refrigerating both soup and tureen.  The next day, I re-heated the tureen at 325 until appropriately hot, and I re-heated and simmered the soup in a saucepan on the stove before returning it to the tureen. The soup and squash combo was even more tender today, allowing for more of the squash to make it’s way into the soup.

After we all enjoyed some, the empty tureen was infused with flavors from the soup.  I scooped out the contents and created yet another side dish of peanutty carnival squash puree.  The carnival never ends!

I hope you enjoy this one.  Thanks to Springdell, the Bucks, the Almeidas and Better Homes and Gardens for making tonight’s leftover dinner a success!

About Jess

Jess Anderson is the creator of CSA|365 and is passionate about the local food movement. A long time member of Springdell and a busy mother of two, Jess loves keeping her family fed by honest local food.