The perfect winter stew

This time of year I just adore having a big pot of steamy stew simmering on the stove. What I adore even more, is digging into a big bowl of that stew to warm and nourish me.

A dear friend of mine told me about a sweet potato and peanut stew she’d made for her family. She described it like a West African peanut stew type dish that even her kids really enjoyed. I got the recipe and have been telling everyone about my new favourite winter stew.

I’ve made this many times over the years and it truly is heaven in a bowl. There are a couple variations you can choose from. A vegetarian option and simply skip the chicken included in the recipe below. But my favourite is to add the   chicken thighs which boosts the protein and makes for a full dinner meal. If you’re following an ancestral or Paelo way of eating you could skip the red lentils and use less liquid.

Here it is. I hope this becomes one of your favourite “go-to” winter meals, just like it has for me.


Peanutty Sweet Potato, Chicken and Kale Stew

Inspired by Gena Hamshaw

  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2  tablespoons ginger, minced
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes (about two large), chopped into small bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup dry red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • 2 teaspoons cumin, ground
  • 1/2  teaspoon turmeric, ground
  • Couple dashes cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4-5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup creamy organic peanut butter
  • 4 cups curly kale, chopped into small pieces
  • 6 small skinless chicken thighs or two breast cut into 6 pieces*
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup peanuts or macadamia nuts

*The original recipe did not include chicken and is a delectable vegetarian dish without it. Simply skip that step.

1      In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of water on medium. Add the onion and begin sautéing until onion gets soft and translucent (about three minutes). Add the garlic and ginger, and continue to sauté for another three minutes, adding more water as required, until you can smell the garlic. Add the sweet potatoes, red lentils, tomatoes, chicken and all the spices. Stir to combine.

2      Add four cups stock and bring to a boil. Make sure everything is covered by the stock. If not add more. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 40-45 minutes, or until sweet potatoes and lentils are very tender. Watch and add more stock if needed.

3      Add peanut butter and stir well until it is completely mixed in. Remove the chicken and set aside on a plate. Using an immersion blender, blend soup till about half of it is pureed and the other half still has texture. Alternatively, you can take half the soup and blend in a blender, then add it back to the pot. Add the chicken back in. The stew should be nice and creamy, with some chunks of sweet potato, chicken and other veggies.

4      Stir in the kale and let it cook slightly. Add the lemon juice and season to taste, with more salt and pepper if required.

5      Serve in big bowls, topped with a tablespoon each of green onion and crushed nuts.

If you want to integrate more whole foods recipes like this one into your life, contact me today to book your 90-minute nutritional consultation. We’ll do a health history, review your food journal and map out your whole foods action plan with practical, easy-to-implement, doable and realistic suggestions. Contact me today!


  1. Mary Blakey on January 31, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    Michelle, this sounds really good. I would like to make the vegetarian version this week. Do you have nutritional values for this recipe?

    Thank you

    • Michelle on February 16, 2015 at 1:10 pm

      Hi Mary. Sorry I do not have the breakdown.

  2. Teri Hall on February 3, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    Excellent stew. The whole family loved it. Def. a keeper.

  3. Cristine on March 15, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    Hi Michelle, I really enjoy these recipes and appreciate that you send them.
    Would it be possible if the recipes had a ‘print version’ link? This last one used 4 pages of printing, including all the colour and Facebook links, etc, and the recipe was only on one page. thank you.

    • Michelle on March 15, 2015 at 9:00 pm

      Hi Cristine. I will check into adding a print feature to my blogs. In the meantime, the easiest way is to copy and paste the content you want into a word or pages doc and print from there. Thanks

  4. Judy on May 10, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    Made the stew today for the second time definitely a keeper. I put two generous dashes of cayenne in there nice little bit of heat very tasty!

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