The second that it started to feel like fall was finally in the air, I started clicking through all of my favorite blogs and sites and I happily flipped through my favorite beautiful cookbooks looking for inspiration for what kind of soup or stew to make. This sweet potato apple & swiss chard stew was the perfect choice.
I can sit on the couch with cookbooks surrounding me and lose all track of time. Same thing with sitting with my laptop perusing food blogs and recipe sites. Yup, I can be a couch potato to the max — it’s one of my best talents!
But, whoever said couch potatoes are not productive, has not seen some of the results of my expertise in this area. Because I come up with my best recipe ideas when I’m in full-on couch potato mode (maybe even with a cheesy romantic movie playing in the background on TV)…
This is one of those dishes that you are so happy to have leftover in the fridge. And, it’s so good that even when the days grew hot and humid again here in New York, we still happily ate the hot stew. And, if you’ve ever been in New York City on a really hot and humid day, you know how good this sweet potato apple & swiss chard soup must be if we ate it on some of those days!
It’s quite the mental picture: we came in from the heat and humidity outside, stood in front of the cool refrigerator in our stuck-to-our-backs clothing, pulled out the big pot. And we heated it up. And we stood there, eating it with sweat stuck to us. Wow, that’s a pretty awful picture… but I’d do it again in a second…
A few days earlier, when I thought fall might be upon us (which, by the way wasn’t even close to fall yet — it got to be really hot out later…), I found a genius recipe from one of my fav blogs: Contentedness Cooking. So, I want to give credit for the original recipe to Florian; it’s an awesome recipe.
If you want another great recipe that shows off sweet potatoes, try my Stuffed Sweet Potatoes.
Here are some of the reasons this sweet potato apple & swiss chard stew is so awesome and healing:
Sweet potatoes are good for your digestive system. They can be good for both constipation and diarrhea. These orange gems also help rid your body of excess water, are good for breast health, help people with diabetes and actually can help ease night blindness. In olden times, it was common in China to rub mashed sweet potatoes on poison insect bites to remove the toxins. I haven’t tried this, but if you see me looking a tad orange, this will be why…
It really is true that an apple a day is a good thing. Apples help to strengthen your heart. They are also good for your digestion and they can help eliminate mucus when you have a cold. So, the combination of apples and cinnamon together are great for this time of year when everyone seems to be getting sick. Apples have a high antioxidant content, especially Granny Smiths and Red Delicious. This, combined with the fact that they have a lot of healthy fiber, is why apples are good at fighting Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and some cancers. They have also been shown to help ward off diabetes, high cholesterol and gallstones.
Swiss Chard can help detoxify your body. It contains large amounts of minerals including iron, pottassium, and magnesium. It’s got lots of fiber and can help reduce inflammation.
Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. In the winter, I eat lots and lots of onions… I guess I should feel sorry for the people close to me! Recently, I recommended that a patient with bronchitis put sliced raw onions in her socks when she went to sleep… she woke up so much better; they actually can rid the body of bacteria. (I know I’ve told you this before, but it really is awesome!) Onion is a superhero in the food world!
Turmeric is actually a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.
Cashews are really a multi-tasking nut. I use them all the time so I say it all the time: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts. Most of the fat in cashews is unsaturated and is made up of oleic acid; this is the same acid that is found in olive oil, making these nuts a heart-healty choice. For this stew, I sprinkled cashews on top of each bowl before serving, and it really elevated the taste… so don’t skip this step!
In Asian medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. And perhaps most importantly, it helps you keep your mind sharp and it makes it easier for you to focus. I like to use full-fat canned coconut milk for this stew.
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 apples, peeled and diced
- 1 tsp curry powder
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 large head Swiss chard (I used rainbow chard), sliced into ribbons
- 2 cans full-fat coconut milk
- 1 cup raw cashews
- Heat coconut milk and sweet potatoes in a large soup pot over medium heat. Let cook for 5 mins.
- Add remaining ingredients, except cashews, and cook about 15 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are cooked through.
- Ladle into bowls and sprinkle each bowl with a big fistful of cashews.