Delicious Curried Yam & Mushroom Stew!

Here’s a brief article and recipe I pitched for publication sixteen years ago. You may want to try this stew. I made this up on one cold winter day and just tried it again this week. It is delish!

Though virtually interchangeable from a culinary perspective, botanically sweet potatoes and yams share nothing.  The yam is a member of the lily family, while the sweet potato belongs to the morning glory family.  And the two plants probably originated in different parts of the world.

Sweet potatoes were a New World plant, discovered by Columbus on his first voyage.  European acceptance of the sweet potato following Columbus’s return to Spain was immediate and enthusiastic.  It became known as the “Spanish potato”, and was even elevated to the status of aphrodisiac.  Henry the VIII had sweet potatoes imported from Spain and made into many types of confections.

Yams probably originated in Africa.  Slaves in the American South called sweet potatoes “nyamis” because they reminded them of a vegetable of that same name from their homeland.  Most “yams” available in this country today are really a variety of sweet potato.  True yams contain a compound from which the sex hormone estrogen was first manufactured.

          Curried Yam & Mushroom Stew

3 slices bacon, chopped small          3-4 c. beef bouillon broth

1 med. onion, chopped                    1 lg. yam chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped                    1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 cup chopped celery                       1-2 tsp. curry powder

1 cup chopped mushrooms             1/4 cup uncooked rice

Fry bacon first and then saute onions, garlic & celery for a few minutes in a tablespoon of oil. Stir in mushrooms, broth, yam, soup and curry pwd. Simmer for 30-40 minutes. Salt & pepper to taste.

After everything is completely cooked, add rice and simmer 20-30 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until rice softens. Total preparation time: 2 hours

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