janet @ the taste space

Yam and Black Bean Stew with Orange and Cilantro

In Mains (Vegetarian), Soups on May 7, 2011 at 7:41 AM

So what kind of meal would you make if you were hosting a dinner party after cycling 100km?

Without going to the grocery store, to boot.

While I prefer not to try new recipes on unsuspecting guests, I warned my brother and sister-in-law that this was a new recipe… AND that I would likely be pooped post-bike ride. They were fine with the menu.

The most important part of having them over is not about the food, you see, it was about catching up. How their plans for puppy parenthood are progressing, moving plans on both ends, and since my apartment is now on the market to be rented, it has never looked cleaner. Oh, and games. Fun was had by all as we introduced them to Bananagrams and Dominion.

I still get a bit stressed when choosing a menu for guests. My tastes have changed and I would like to showcase how great the food tastes. A bit harder to do without rehearsing a recipe, but I trusted the complementary flavours within this soup stew. Yam, black beans, orange, cilantro – what’s not to like?

Yam and Black Bean Stew with Orange and Cilantro

I adapted this recipe from Appetite for Reduction to create a heartier soup, I mean stew.  I decreased the amount of yam, increased the black beans, used canned tomatoes instead of fresh and, of course, used Aleppo chili flakes instead of the serrano peppers.

The yams, partially mashed, created a creamy consistency which meshed well with the extra black beans. I squeezed 2 Navel oranges to acquire 1 cup of fresh orange juice. This added more of a lightness to the soup, rather than an intense orange flavour. The sweet cilantro and orange paired well with the slight zing from the Aleppo pepper.

Let me tell you how perfect this stew was:

1) It is a very easy recipe easy. I had no problems whipping this up after the bike ride, since it came together quite seamlessly.

2) It serves 8, so there was plenty of food for seconds. And (souper) leftovers for me!

3) It tasted very good. No complaints from my guests. Not a typical meal for company, but it would suit me well if I visited someone. 🙂

4) For recovery meals after endurance-based exercise, this was ideal with a high carb content. As is, this has a 1:5 protein:carb ratio, but enjoy it with a glass of soy milk for an overall 1:3.5 ratio. Apparently, liquid-based meals are easiest to digest while in recovery so a soup is perfect.

Sounds like a winning meal for everyone.

Yam and Black Bean Stew with Orange and Cilantro
This is my submission to this month’s My Legume Love Affair, hosted by Smitha of Kannada Cuisine.

Yam and Black Bean Stew with Orange and Cilantro

1 tbsp canola oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp Aleppo chili flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp ground cumin
1.5 tsp salt
15 oz canned whole tomatoes, diced
1 kg yam, cut into 1 cm chunks
3 cups water
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3 cups cooked black beans (or 2x15oz cans of black beans, drained and rinsed well)
1/2 cup cilantro, stems and leaves, chopped (reserve some for garnish)

1. Heat a 4-quart pot over medium heat with the olive oil. Saute the onion for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the chili flakes and garlic, and saute for another minute. Add the cumin, salt and canned tomatoes. Raise the heat to medium-high and allow the tomatoes to cook down for about 5 minutes. Add the yams and water. Cover, bring to a boil, and then simmer until yams are soft (around 15 minutes).

2. Turn off the heat and use a potato masher to squish the yams a few times, while still leaving a few whole. Add the orange juice, beans and cilantro. Allow the beans to get heated through, waiting 10 minutes or so. Stir well, garnish with cilantro and serve with bread and perhaps a salad.

Serves 8.


  2. You can’t go wrong with black beans and cilantro. Totally winning.

  3. My dear, youc can try out new recipes on me any day because EVERYTHING you make looks amazing! I am always up for some yams and black beans in any way shape or form! Delicious! So you survived the 100K I take it?

  4. This looks great. I bet the orange twist really makes it 🙂

  5. I personally would be delighted to your guest if this is what you were serving. I’ve never had the additon of orange, but I know the other flavors go so well together.

  6. […] should judge the difficulty of recipes on my ability to make them after a bike ride (yam and black bean stew, I’ve got my eyes on you!). To be honest, I don’t think any of my recipes are hard to […]

  7. This stew sounds good! The orange and cilantro combo would make it nice and bright and fresh!

  8. I don’t think too much about serving new things to company – I love to experiment! And I’d love it if someone served this to me too 🙂

  9. Hi Janet,

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe. Who can ever go wrong on Black Beans and Cilantro… Orange juice and Yam must be a nice addition to the combo.

    Smitha @ Kannadacuisine

  10. Janet!!! I didn’t know you were into games like Dominion!! If only we lived in the same city we could have boardgame nights. 😀 We just introduced our friends to Dominion last weekend. Eric really wants to get one of the expansion sets too. I love how you modified this stew/soup though I don’t think I could’ve decreased the yams… they’re my favourite!

  11. […] so that no one can say they left hungry. Granted, this means I make dishes that will make great leftovers for me, and usually a large batch of the recipe, at […]

  12. […] Seitan Sausage – Forty Clove Chickpeas and Broccoli – Mango BBQ Beans – Smoky Tempeh and Chard Stew – Yam and Black Bean Stew with Orange and Cilantro – Lettuce Wraps with Mustard-Hoisin Tofu Salad (recipe elsewhere) – Grilled Portobello Burgers […]

  13. […] meals will always be a combination of beans and veggies. Brendan Brazier has always recommended a 3:1 to 4:1 carb-to-protein ratio, preferably a liquid for easiest digestion after recovery from sports. This is easy to get from […]

  14. […] K Lai. And that’s all I have to say about that. In other news, today I made this (I was too hungry to take pictures, but it basically looked the same as the photos from The […]

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