I’ve always been a cold-weather girl. I love my sweaters, tights, and boots, and I love roasted, stewed, baked, and simmered foods. For dinner tonight I developed (with an inspired suggestion from Will) yet another simple, delicious, nourishing winter veggie stew:

  • 3 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • olive oil
  • nutmeg
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14 oz.) chicken or vegetable broth, plus 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup black-eyed peas, rinsed
  • 1 bunch of chard or kale, leaves torn
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375. Toss the sweet potato cubes with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, and nutmeg and roast in a shallow baking dish for 20 to 30 minutes (stirring once halfway through), until soft and starting to brown around the edges.*

In the meantime, sautĂ©e the onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until slightly softened. Add black-eyed peas and broth; bring to a rapid boil and then lower heat and cover. When potatoes are cooked, add them to the pea mixture with a cup of water and continue to simmer for at least 30 more minutes, until peas are cooked through and potatoes start to disintegrate. Once mixture is cooked, add torn greens and cook until they’re just wilted. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

*Roasting the sweet potatoes was Will’s idea. This would probably also be fine if you just tossed them in with the peas at the outset, but roasting gave them an almost silky texture and highly concentrated flavor in the broth, whereas they might have tasted a little soggy otherwise. It doesn’t take much more time or effort, and the payoff is great.