What you need:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, quartered and thinly sliced
4 to 6 garlic cloves, minced
3 medium 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, or to taste
1 tablespoon natural granulated sugar
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 stalks lemongrass (optional)
1 (13.5-ounce) can light coconut milk
2 tablespoons peanut butter
Salt to taste
1 (8-ounce package) Thai peanut-flavored baked tofu, diced (optional)
Cilantro leaves for garnish
What you do:
1. In a soup pot over medium-low heat, heat oil. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and continue to sauté until both are golden.
2. Add sweet potatoes and water. Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are about half-done.
3. Add 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 throughout with a sharp knife. Stir into the soup pot. Simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Stir in coconut milk, peanut butter, salt, and tofu. Return to a simmer, then cook over very low heat for another 10 minutes or until all vegetables are tender and flavors are well integrated.
5. Remove lemongrass pieces. Taste to adjust seasonings, particularly curry paste if you’d like a spicier stew, as well as salt, sugar and ginger. Serve at once, topping each serving with a few cilantro leaves.
Photo by Hannah Kaminsky