Peanut & Vegetable Stew

_MG_6062Despite the fact that it was officially spring last week, New York is still feeling distinctly chilly. I for one am more than ready to not wear a coat and spend a little time outside, but until the temperatures warm up a little more, I'm sticking with hearty soups and stews for dinner. This recipe came from my mom (through one of her oldest friends), and is a great way to get your fill of vegetables and protein all in one. You can also add chicken to make it a little heartier, but I like it vegetarian to feel especially virtuous._MG_6065 Meanwhile, I'll be dreaming of asparagus and strawberries and all things spring over here. Will this winter never end?_MG_6071

 

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Peanut & Vegetable Stew (serves 8)
1 T olive oil
1 med onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 red pepper, chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 c chopped celery
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons minced, peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon curry powder
1-14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 large sweet potato, peeled & cut into 1/2" pieces
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1/2 cup or more of peanut butter
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1-5 oz bag spinach leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
Ground pepper
Heat oil in a large soup pot.  Add onion, bell pepper, carrot & celery.  Saute until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add garlic, ginger, curry powder and saute until fragrant, about 1 min.  Do not brown garlic.  Add tomatoes & bay leaf.  Cook, uncovered until tomatoes are slightly reduced, about 3 min.
Add broth & sweet potato & bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer about 8 minutes.  Stir in garbanzos and peanut butter till combined.  Cook until thoroughly heated, about 2 minutes.  Stir in cilantro and spinach until spinach wilts.  Season with salt & pepper.