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Red Curry Sweetpotato and Leek Stew

Recipes developed by Chef Vivian Howard in partnership with NCSPC
As Chef Vivian says, this recipe is a “result of an effort to develop sweetpotato dishes that don’t depend on “pumpkin pie spice” for definition, I call this comfort with a kick. The starting point was a pumpkin curry I ate in a Thai restaurant. When I realized I could finish each bowl with a sprinkle of one of the sweetpotato’s closest friends, the peanut, I got silly excited. While you can definitely eat this like a soup, also consider having it under a piece of pan-roasted chicken or pork.”
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  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups leeks, white and light green part only, sliced into 1/3 inch rounds
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 3 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 2 pounds sweetpotatoes, 7 cups peeled and cut into cubes
  • 4 cups chicken broth*
  • 14 ounces coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup mint, chopped
  • 1/2 cup salt roasted peanuts, roughly chopped with your knife
  • *If you use homemade chicken stock instead of broth from the store, you may need to increase the amount of salt in this recipe. Just taste in the end and adjust to your liking.


  • In a 4 quart heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven sweat the leeks, ginger and garlic with 1/2 teaspoon salt for about 3 minutes. Add the curry paste, stir it around into the leeks, and roast an additional minute to develop the flavor.
  • Add the sweetpotatoes, chicken broth and remaining salt to pot. Cover and bring it up to a gentle boil. Cook for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and falling apart. Check the liquid level occasionally to make sure it is not drying out.
  • Once the potatoes are done, remove the lid, and using the back of your spoon, break up the potatoes to a chunky consistency. Ideally, you’d have an even amount of smooth sweetpotato along with sweetpotato chunks.
  • To finish, stir in the coconut milk and the lime juice. Serve very warm with lots of herbs and peanuts sprinkled over top.
Number of servings (yield): 2 quarts