Welcome to flavor town. This stew with sweet potato and black beans, once again proves that these two things are meant for each other. Especially with a supporting team of other kitchen staples that transform a simple stew in something so very flavourful. Fresh chilies and cumin definitely play a role, as does fresh lime juice that finishes off this dish so very nicely.
Simple & tasty: Sweet Potato & Black Bean Stew
The base for this delicious stew starts with a few staple ingredients for plenty of plant-based goodness and flavor. There are carrots and sweet red pepper, as well as garlic and onion. Plus fresh vine-ripened tomatoes which are slow-cooked together with fresh chili, a dollop of tomato paste for extra umami richness, and the star….sweet potatoes. Only at the end, once all the flavours have melded together do black beans make their entrance.
Using black beans in recipes
If the question, canned or dried black beans come to mind, then I definitely recommend dried beans. Not only are they cheaper, but I find freshly prepared dried beans always taste better. This said, I rely a lot on canned beans. Simply said —- there isn’t a lot of planned ahead needed and when I do prepare dried beans, I generally prepare a batch, and plan them into a few meals for the week. Canned black beans aren’t always easy to find where I live. Sometimes they can be found at my local organic food shop, but generally when I want to include them in a recipe, I need to plan ahead and prepare dried black beans.
Preparing dried black beans
Unless you are lucky enough to have a pressure cooker, then you’ll need to soak your beans overnight. Simply place them in a bowl with at least 3 times the amount of water. You can’t add too much water here, but you can add too little. Let sit for overnight.
Drain and rinse the beans, then add them to a large pot and cover with again at least three times the amount of water. The beans will absorb even more liquid this time so be extra sure to add enough.
Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, for about an hour. You can start checking around 45 minutes and let them keep cooking until they al dente. I find sometimes that take up to 75 minutes. Add more water as necessary while they are cooking so that they stay covered in liquid.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do! It’s So easy to make and is hearty, wholesome, and so very satisfying! Plus it makes great leftovers. You can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a couple days or freeze it to enjoy another day.
Looking for other recipe ideas with black beans?
Then try my recipe for Black Bean Vegetarian Chili or Sweet Potato Kumpir with Black Bean Salsa.
Sweet Potato & Black Bean Stew
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 small yellow onions, finely chopped
- 1 large carrot, finely chopped
- 1 pointed red pepper, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 fresh red chiles, seeded and chopped
- 5 roma or vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped (400 g)
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed (425-450 g)
- 3 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth (750 ml)
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 x 400 g can black beans, rinsed and drained (or 150 g dried black beans, cooked ahead of time)
- juice from one lime, plus more to taste
- fresh cilantro, for garnish
- toasted sesame or nigella seeds, for garnish
- cooked Grünkern or brown rice, for serving
In a dutch oven or large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, red pepper and a pinch of salt and saute until slightly softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic, chiles and chopped tomatoes and cook another five minutes. Stir in the cumin, tomato paste and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Add the sweet potato and the broth and stir to mix. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for about 30-40 minutes until the sweet potato is softened.
Add the cooked beans and simmer, uncovered, another 10 minutes to warm through. Add the lime juice and taste for seasonings.
Serve in bowls together with grain of choice. Garnish with fresh cilantro and seeds. Enjoy!
- I highly recommend serving this with Grünkern, as the texture and smoky flavor really compliment this Sweet Potato & Black Bean Stew. Otherwise, go for a short grain brown rice.
- Even for vegetarian stews like this, I like to use chicken broth as I find it is more flavorful. For store-bought vegetable and chicken broth, I prefer organic bouillon cubes from Alnatura organic food stores.
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