This beautifully flavored stew is brimming with vegetables and tofu in a creamy peanut-coconut sauce that is not too rich or heavy. Sure to become a favorite! Recipe by Dreena Burton.
Heat the oil over medium heat in a soup pot, and add the onion, garlic, yams, salt, coriander, and red pepper flakes. Cover and let cook for 5-7 minutes.
While cooking, prepare the lemongrass. Cut off the lower yellow bulbous portion (about halfway), and remove the outer tough leaves (discard outer leaves along with upper portion of stalk). Using your chef’s knife bruise this bulbous portion. Cut a few shallow slits in the stalk and then use pressure on your knife to open and bruise the stalk, to help release its flavors (do not chop the stalk, keep in one piece).
Add the lemongrass, zucchini, bell pepper, stock, water, coconut milk, peanut butter (start with ½ cup + 1 tbsp), tamari, and fresh ginger. Stir through and increase the heat to bring the mixture to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat to low/medium-low, cover, and let simmer for 10 minutes.
After this time, add the tofu (see note) and gently stir through. Simmer covered for another 3-5 minutes, or longer until yams have completely softened and can be easily squished.
Add the fresh spinach and lime juice (start with 2½ tbsp, and add more if desired), stir through and serve immediately (so spinach stays a vibrant green color).
Taste, and if you’d like a full peanut flavor, add an additional 1 tbsp of peanut butter, or more if desired.
Remove piece of lemongrass before serving. Serve garnished with fresh cilantro if desired, and with a lime wedge to squeeze juices on individual portions.
Note: You can use the orange-flesh tubers that are most commonly known as yams in Canada (but as sweet potatoes in the US), or you can use the yellow flesh tubers most often labeled as sweet potatoes in Canada.
Note: You can choose to use either a full package of tofu, or a lesser amount to your preference. If you’d like a very substantial stew, use a full package (or most of it). If you’d like a lighter stew with fewer pieces of tofu, use roughly ½ of the package, and refrigerate the remaining tofu (tightly wrapped in plastic).
Note: Do not add the spinach until just ready to serve. If making this soup ahead of time, omit the spinach and then reheat soup, adding the spinach for last minute and then serve!