Kwanzaa (December 26-January 1) is a relatively new holiday named for the time of year when African tribes traditionally celebrated the first harvest of their crops. The seven-day celebration ends with a feast featuring music and dancing and food. Curried Kwanzaa stew is traditionally served at a Kwanzaa celebration. This harvest dish is adapted from Adriene Cruz’s recipe in The Festive Table, by Ronni Lundy (North Point Press, New York, 1995).
In a large soup pot, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft. Add the pepper and ginger, and saute for 2 minutes more. Stir in the curry powder, cinnamon, tamari, and juice from the tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes and 1 cup of water. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add the broccoli, potatoes, and 2 quarts of water. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Chop the tomatoes and add to the pot with the corn, green beans, and peas. Cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the kale and simmer 10 minutes more. Salt, to taste, and serve hot.