What’s Cooking at Food First: Black bean and Sweet Potato Stew

Marilyn Borchardt | 05.23.2019

Black Beans are known in the Basque Country as Tolosa Beans.

On occasion, we have grown shelling beans in our Food First garden, but shelling beans are happier in a drier, warmer environment. By using canned beans which have about the same nutritional value as dry beans, a tasty meal can be prepared in record time.

Here is a traditional black bean recipe from the Basque Country of Spain. For more background on the Tolosa bean go to https://foodfirst.org/tolosa-beans-the-basque-countrys-legendary-legume/.

Black bean and Sweet Potato Stew


Stay in the loop with Food First!

Get our independent analysis, research, and other publications you care about to your inbox for free!

Sign up today!
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes (about 2 small), cut into 1/2-in. dice
  • 1 tablespoon New Mexico chile powder, or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne or ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 can (14 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • Toppings can include 1 orange, 1 lime, chopped cilantro leaves, diced avocado, sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips


  • Heat oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, bell pepper, and sweet potatoes and cook, stirring, until vegetables soften; about 5 minutes. Add chile powders, cumin, and coriander and cook until spices are fragrant, about 10 seconds. Stir in beans and broth and partially cover. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until sweet potatoes are soft and chili is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Meanwhile, zest orange and lime into a small bowl (you should have about 1 tbsp. orange zest and 2 tsp. lime zest). Add cilantro. Quarter lime. Reserve orange for another use.
  • Ladle chili into 4 bowls. Top with cilantro-zest mixture, avocado, sour cream, crushed chips, and lime wedges.

Preparation time: 30 minutes.  Serves 4.

Comments are closed here.