Hearty Vegetarian Stew

This is a hearty vegetarian stew that’s perfect for fall and winter. Like most stews, this one tastes better the next day, and leftovers can be wrapped in a large whole-wheat tortilla and eaten Jamaican Roti-style.
December 01, 2016

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons cumin seed
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 habanero or 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked garbanzo beans
  • 2 cups fresh (or one 16oz can) tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Lightly toast the cumin seed, coriander seed, and fennel seed in a small cast iron pan. Cool, and grind the spices to a powder in a mortar.
  2. Scrub but don’t peel the sweet potatoes, and cut into large chunks. Boil the sweet potatoes in salted water until al dente, and strain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Let the potatoes cool.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot, and saute the onion and garlic until soft and translucent.
  4. Next, toss in the ground spices, and stir to coat the onion and garlic, cooking for a few more minutes.
  5. Cube the cooled potatoes, and add them to the onion mixture along with the peppers, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, salt, and reserved 1 cup of sweet potato cooking water. Cover, and simmer together for half an hour. Serve over brown rice or quinoa with a healthy dollop of fresh yogurt.

About this recipe

"I love the ritual of soaking beans overnight and slowly cooking them  until tender, but I have used this recipe with canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas), and it turned out just as good. We like very hot and spicy food, so we use fresh habanero peppers when we can get them. If this is too hot, substitute two jalapeño peppers, or, if you’re a total wimp, just use one large green bell pepper."

Local like you:  John Rankine

Born in Toronto, Canada, John Rankine is an award-winning, mixed-media artist who has lived in Eureka Springs with his husband, Bill King, for the past 20 years. Primarily a self-taught photographer and artist, Rankine worked as a writer and photojournalist for the Lovely County Citizen, a newspaper he cofounded and later sold. He currently runs his own clothing line and creates assemblage art. In 2011, the Arkansas Arts Council awarded him the Individual Artist Fellowship for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts for his multi-media installation, “A Community At Peace.”

John and Bill stick to a vegetarian diet, primarily. They raise goats, whose milk they use to make their own yogurt and cheese, and they raise chickens, which provide them with fresh eggs. They live just outside of Eureka Springs in a home they built themselves, and for a while were able to run solely on solar energy. John has always loved cooking, and said he isn’t the type to follow a recipe.

“I just see what I have and try to make something out of it,” John said. “It’s kind of a creative challenge – coming up with something with what you have on hand.”

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons cumin seed
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 habanero or 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked garbanzo beans
  • 2 cups fresh (or one 16oz can) tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
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