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South American Sweet Potato and Black Bean Stew

Last night was another evening with the Riverford folks on our Veggie Box Evening Workshop. With chillies in their prime and Autumn very much in the air, we cooked up a warming sweet potato and black bean stew, full of fragrant spices, fresh vegetables and of course those fiery chillies.

South American Sweet Potato and Black Bean Stew

Serves 4 

Dietary: Vegan, Gluten free


  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 stick celery, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped (can be a hot or mild chilli depending on your preference)
  • 1 red pepper, chopped into chunks
  • 500g sweet potato, squash or new potatoes (or a mixture) chopped into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tin black beans, drained and rinsed
  • (Or 100g dried beans, soaked overnight and cooked in water until soft)
  • 300g green beans-runner or French, topped, tailed and de-stringed
  • 300ml vegetable stock
  • 2 ripe tomatoes (chopped) or 10 cherry tomatoes or 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • Juice and zest of a lime
  • Brown sugar to taste
  • 10g fresh coriander, chopped
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Heat a frying pan and dry fry the cumin and coriander seeds until fragrant and then grind in a pestle and mortar or electric spice mill.
  2. To remove the string from runner beans use a sharp peeler to slice off the sides. Leave French beans whole but chop runner beans into 2 cm chunks.
  3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onions and celery, fry for 10-15 minutes or until they are soft. Add the garlic, chilli, pepper and spices and chopped vegetables and stir fry for 5 minute, adding a splash of water if the spices start to stick.
  4. Add the black beans, green beans, 1 tsp of brown sugar, the zest of the lime and the juice of half of the lime and the stock and bring to the boil. Simmer the stew for 10-15 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
  6. Taste and add salt, pepper, lime and sugar to your taste.
  7. Serve the stew with quinoa and chopped coriander.

Monica's sweet potato and black bean chili