I’m a big believer in listening to your body’s cravings for food. Somewhere in you, you often know the perfect thing for your needs, if you just give yourself the space to listen. I didn’t have to listen hard before I made this supper – my stomach was practically yelling sweet potatoes, SWEET POTATOES all afternoon. On the bus home from work, it was like I had a CNN news-ticker pertaining solely to tubers.
This is a leave-it-and-come-back recipe – perfect for rustling up, going for a long run and coming home to devour. I went to a 90 minute Bikram yoga class while it was in the oven – I couldn’t stop thinking about what was waiting for me at home during Shavasanah, the laying down part at the end. When I got home, the house smelled incredible. I chucked the spinach in the casserole, jumped in the shower and when I got out, the coziest, freshest dinner was ready to reward my exertion and fuel my muscles.
Sweet Potato and Butterbean Stew
2 leeks, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 chilli, finely chopped
Oil for frying
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp paprika
4 sweet potatoes
1 big regular potato,
1 can of butterbeans
1 can of chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 pint of vegetable stock
Half a glass of red wine
A bag of spinach, or a few lumps of frozen spinach, defrosted.
1 Preheat the oven to 150 degrees.
2 In a heavy-based pan or casserole that will be able to go in the oven later, fry the leeks , ginger, chilli and garlic in the oil over a low heat for about 5 mins – let the leeks soften and lose their shape, but don’t let them brown.
3 While they’re frying, cut your potatoes into bite-size pieces (see photo for my idea of bite size), open the cans and boil the kettle for your stock.
4 Add everything apart from the spinach to the pan, give it a good stir and season to taste. Put a lid on, and pop it in the oven for about 90minutes (start checking after an hour – it’s done when the sweet potatoes are tender).
10 minutes before serving, add the fresh or defrosted spinach and stir, putting it back into the oven.
Serve with a dollop of crème fraiche and sprinkling of coriander on top.