African Sweet Potato & Peanut Stew

3 Tbs. water for sautéing
3 sweet potatoes, peeled & cut into 1/2″ cubes
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1 can (15 oz.) red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
2 red bell peppers, seeded & cut into 1/2″ squares
1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes or 2 fresh, diced
1/2-3/4 cup smooth or crunchy natural peanut butter
1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
3 tsp. light brown sugar
4 cups vegetable stock
1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
fresh cilantro, chopped (optional – for garnish)
unsalted peanuts, chopped (optional – for garnish)

1. Heat water in a soup pot over medium heat; add onions and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes; add bell peppers, cover, and cook until softened, about 5 more minutes.
2. Stir in brown sugar, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
3. Stir in peanut butter, and distribute it evenly throughout. Hint: You may want to thin out the peanut butter first by mixing it with some water in a small bowl before adding it to the pot (it will make it easier to incorporate into the stew).
4. Add sweet potatoes, kidney beans, and tomatoes, and stir to coat.
5. Add vegetable stock, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the potatoes are soft, about 30 minutes.
6. Taste and add salt or other seasonings, if necessary. Serve in individual bowls and top with chopped nuts and cilantro, if desired.
7. Serve over quinoa, brown rice or couscous

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