Pureed Spicy Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew with Chickpeas (vegan and gluten-free)

My kitchen has been filled with sweet potato goodness this past week. I have created at least three new recipes using glorious, nutritious, delicious SWEET POTATOES!  These recipes are for a new project (hope to share details very soon)!


Today, I am sharing this most satisfying, flavorful, Pureed Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew with Chickpeas.  It combines sweet potatoes with earthy spices, a good dose of fresh ginger, and just a small amount of peanut (or nut) butter.  The nut butter isn’t heavy – you know how sometimes you have a peanutty or nutty stew, and it’s just too rich and cloying?  This one gives depth of flavor without overwhelming the other ingredients.  The soup is pureed and then whole chickpeas are added for more texture and protein.

But FIRST, let’s share a little sweet potato luv

Sweet potatoes are truly one of my very favorite plant-powered foods.  If you know my books, you know that I use sweet spuds often in my books, and make the distinction between orange and yellow varieties.  In Canada, most grocery stores label the yellow spuds simply as “sweet potatoes”, while the orange spuds are called “yams” (either jewel yams or garnet yams).  Why there is so much variance in classification I do not know – and it causes confusion since in other areas yams refer to these huge tubers.


When I specify using one versus the other, it’s not just for color.  The texture and flavor of sweet potatoes differ by variety.  The orange spuds are sweeter than the yellow, and also more moist and somewhat more fibrous (stringier).  The yellow are a little more dense/dry, and not quite as sweet.  I often use them for sweet potato fries, because they do not crush/squish as easily.  But, both are delicious for sweet fries, and for many other recipe uses.  (If you have Let Them Eat Vegan, try out the “Sunshine Fries with Fresh Rosemary and Coarse Sea Salt” using the yellow sweets!)

Our whole family loves sweet potatoes.  Oddly, our eldest loves them baked, but not so much as fries, whereas the younger girls love them pretty much any way!  Whenever I make them into fries, hubby says “how can anyone NOT like sweet potato fries, they’re like candy?!”  They become so caramelized and sweet, they really are almost like candy!  Perhaps that’s why some folks don’t like them as fries?  Are they too sweet for french fries purists?!  I don’t know… I just know WE love ’em!  (YOU?!)


So, let’s get to this stew!  This recipe is from my 3rd book, eat, drink & be vegan.  If you’ve tried it, I’d love to hear your feedback.

Puréed Spicy Sweet Potato & Peanut Stew with Chickpeas gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free  LINK to RECIpage to print/share

1 tbsp water

5 1⁄2 – 6 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped (see note)

2 cups onions, chopped

1 cup celery, chopped

3 – 4 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 tsp sea salt

2 tsp cumin seeds (not ground cumin)

3 – 31⁄2 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp paprika

1⁄4 – 1⁄2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or more to taste)

2 cups vegetable stock

3 cups water

2 1/2 – 4 tbsp fresh ginger, grated (adjust to taste)

2 tbsp natural peanut butter (can substitute almond or cashew butter)

2 cups cooked chickpeas

3–4 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

lime wedges (for serving)

fresh cilantro, chopped (optional, for serving)

In a large pot on medium heat, add water, sweet potatoes, onion, celery, garlic, salt, cumin seeds, ground coriander, paprika, and red pepper flakes and stir to combine. Cover and cook for 5–7 minutes, stirring once or twice. Add stock, water, and 1 tbsp ginger (reserve remaining 1-2 tbsp). Stir to combine and increase heat to bring mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15–18 minutes or longer, until sweet potatoes have completely softened. Stir in remaining ginger (adjusting to taste) and peanut butter. With a hand blender, puree soup until just smooth.  Stir in chickpeas and lime juice, and serve with additional lime wedges and fresh cilantro.  Makes 7-8 servings.

Note: This soup uses the orange-flesh tubers that many people know as sweet potatoes. In some countries, like Canada, they are commonly referred to as yams. You can use garnet or jewel yams … or sweet potatoes; just be sure the flesh is orange.


Do you have a favorite – orange or yellow sweet potatoes?  Why?  What are some of your favorite sweet spud recipes?


  1. Joael says

    Hi Dreena. I started making this off of your blog and noticed a mistake. In the beginning, you say to add potatoes, spices, etc., and WATER. Then, after 7 min of cooking, you write to add water. I didn’t notice until I added the water in the beginning. Checked in your book and water isn’t added til after. I guess I’ll have to adjust.

    • Dreena says

      Hi Joael, the water used at the beginning is the small amount to saute the veg, it goes in order with the ingredients – and then the remainder is used when adding stock, etc. Does that make sense? Even if you added all the water at the beginning it should be just fine – soups are very forgiving! :)

  2. Katherine says

    Hi Dreena,

    I’ve just discovered your website and will bookmark it for sure! Your recipes look very tasty and I like the presentation of the website as well.

    I’m already going to go to bed smarter tonight as I never knew that some folks in Canada call sweet potatoes yams, and I’ve been living in Canada my entire life. I also never heard of yellow sweet potatoes before.

    Anyway, the reason I write is actually with a question. You say to peel the sweet potatoes in this recipe and typically I never peel sweet potatoes as I have always assumed there is a lot of nutrition in the peel and besides that if you don’t peel them there is no waste. I do however cut away any discolouration on the peel. So, my question is “what is the idea behind peeling them?” Perhaps there’s something you know that I don’t(?). Thanks in advance for your reply and keep up the good work!

    • Dreena says

      Hi Katherine! Thanks for your kind words. :) With this soup, I peel the sweet spuds only b/c of texture. The peel can be very fibrous in this kind of soup and really detract from the smooth puree. But, we often eat baked sweet spuds with the peels still on. It’s a personal preference thing, not everyone likes to eat the peels, but if you do – that’s great!

  3. says

    Sweet Potatoes are my top favorite vegetables…and peanut butter is probably my favorite food ever :) So this is an unbeatable combination in my book!

    I had never heard of yellow sweet potatoes before, how interesting!I wonder if the nutrient profile varies much between the two varieties…

  4. Olivia says

    This looks wonderous! Unfortunately here (Australia) we’ve only *just* moved into Autumn, so still a bit hot for soup – but I will definitely bookmark (especially since I have some growing in the front yard! So easy to grow by the way, just plant a sprouting tuber).

    We call sweet potatoes ‘kumara’ here which is actually a Maori (indigenous people of New Zealand) word. But ours have orange skin and orange flesh or purple skin with white and purple flesh. :)

  5. says

    I absolutely love this combination of ingredients. The combination of sweet potatoes and peanut butter is delicious. I actually make a similar “5-Minute Spicy Sweet Potato Stew” in a pressure cooker using a can of plum tomatoes too! I think it’s one of my favorite meals ever and so easy to make!!
    Debby Sunshine recently posted..VeggieGrill: Casual Vegan Comfort Food!My Profile

    • Dreena says

      that sounds really wonderful too, Debby! Sweet potatoes are so versatile, tasty, and healthy, what’s not to love?!

    • Dreena says

      Jennifer, I’ll have many more recipes with sweet spuds down the road – I’m fixated right now, ha!! And, yes, this is a good one to get started! thanks!

  6. Jane says

    Now I only have to wait until the temperature drops below 30˚……scheduled for thursday! Too hot for anything except rice paper rolls at the moment – we are eating A LOT of rice paper rolls…..but this is top o’ the list for when the weather calms down!

    • Dreena says

      oh wow, still in summer heat, hey?! Well, send it on to Canada I tell you!! A hot soup will be a nice change of pace I’m sure, Jane. Hope you enjoy it when you *do* get around to it!! 😀

  7. Becky says

    I love sweet potatoes too! Could smoked paprika be used for the paprika in this recipe, or would it be best to use plain paprika? Thanks!

    • Dreena says

      oh, that’s a great q, Becky! I hadn’t yet discovered smoked paprika when I created this recipe… I’d give it a try, but use less as the flavor is far more prominent – maybe start with 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. Let me know how it goes if you try it!

  8. Tiffany says

    Hi Dreena,
    This looks incredible!! I’ve really missed your posts. You always put a smile on my face with your sweet posts and delicious recipes. I hope all is well :) xoxo

    • Dreena says

      Oh, you are such a sweetie, Tiffany. I ALWAYS love to see your comments too, they also give me a smile, so thanks. Yes, I’ve been busy… but with some exciting news soon (hopefully) to make up for my blogging absence. Thanks for standing by and always leaving a note of cheer!

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