Harissa Chickpea Stew

Dinner, Soups

I’d like you to know something incredibly weird and personal about me.

Whenever I get sad, anxious, elated, nervous…something happens. It’s really strange. Like, I dunno why it does this, but my nose does this weird twitch thing. It’s like Bewitched, except totally not cute and definitely not deliberate. There’s no explanation and it hasn’t done this my whole life just recently actually, in the past few years. All my energy goes to my nose and tells me that it doesn’t like something (or does)!

On Saturday this happened to me. It was a combination of 3/4 parts sad and 1/4 parts anxious (in re: of a project I’m working on). Also, something I learned: coffee totally doesn’t help. It makes it twitch faster. Yes, coffee makes it go faster…by a lot. This is weird. And it’s weirder that I’m sharing this. But really we’re friends by now and you should know that when crazy emotions run through my body, my nose reacts. The end.

To calm my nose (or whatever) I decided to make something comforting…that wasn’t doughnuts…

This stew is pretty perfect. Let’s talk about its strengths:

1. It’s vegan, though it doesn’t have to be. Add chicken. The original recipe does and it looks delicious that way. I recommend cooking up a few chicken thighs before (in the same pot!) you start making the stew.

2. Thirty minutes is all you need to throw this together.

3. It’s cheeeap. I dunno. Probably under $10?

4. Harissa. I put it on everything. Eggs, toast with avocado, chicken, etc. You should too. It’s about $6 for the tube and lasts a good while.

This stew was designed to cure some of that February cold that won’t go away.

For me, I’m using it as a hug as I listen to some sappy music (example 1 and example 2) and muscle through this work.

Let’s make this week count–we can do this!

Harissa Chickpea Stew

Print this recipe!

Olive Oil
2 shallot, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoon Harissa (see note below)
2 tablespoon tomato paste
3 bay leaves
2 cups vegetable broth
1 3/4 water
2 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 yellow red bell pepper, diced
4 lemon wedges
Handful of Italian parsley, chopped
French loaf for serving

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add minced shallot and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Place garlic atop of shallots and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Next, add the cumin, harissa (note! if you’re adverse to heat scale it back to 1 tablespoon) and tomato paste; stir until a smooth paste forms, about 1 minute.

2. Add vegetable broth, water and bay leaves. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, occasionally stirring, for about 20 minutes.

3. Transfer chickpeas to pot; bring to a simmer and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Salt to taste. I added about 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt. Throw in red peppers and yellow peppers; simmer for 1 minute. Divide stew into 4 bowls, squeeze lemon on top and sprinkle with Italian parsley. Serve with bread.

Adapted from Bon Appetit, January 2012

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Leave a Reply

  • Reply Jillian@TheHumbleGourmet February 21, 2012 at 9:04 am

    Looks delicious and comforting. I hope it works in both ways for you!

  • Reply nicole @ BREAD & SILK February 21, 2012 at 9:01 am

    I’m so loving chickpeas right now. I made some crispy chickpeas the other day but I still have a toooon of chickpeas left. I know what I’m making!

  • Reply Living The Sweet Life February 20, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Yum!! Nothing makes me feel better than a hot cup of stew πŸ™‚ great recipe

  • Reply Yummy Morsel February 20, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Very nice recipe and I love chickpeas.

  • Reply Emily February 20, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Can’t wait to try it!

  • Reply Cookie and Kate February 20, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Oh, I’m sure I came across that recipe in last month’s Bon Appetit, but your version is so much more relevant since I made a big batch of harissa last weekend! I used Mourad’s recipe and I’ve been adding it to everything. I love chickpeas so I have no doubt I’d love this stew!

  • Reply Jen @ pretty plate February 20, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    What a great recipe! I have to try this one.
    Have a great week.

    : ))

  • Reply Margarita February 20, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    I love chickpeas! This reminds me that I need to renew my Bon Apetit subscription.

  • Reply Kelsey @aslolife February 20, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Yum this looks great–and love the low cost/serving too!

  • Reply Mike @TheIronYou February 20, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Such a great recipe! Super healthy and vegan too. Gonna try this for sure this week.

  • Reply Kelly February 20, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    This looks incredible! I have never tried Harissa before, but everything sounds amazing! Can’t wait to try this one out!

  • Reply Ruth February 20, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    This looks so delicious! We LOVE harissa. Works perfectly with chickpeas!!

    And hey, at least something good came from the nose twitching thing πŸ™‚

  • Reply Heidi @ Food Doodles February 20, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    My eye does that! Actually I don’t know what triggers it, but it’s probably stress. And every time I ask someone to look at it to tell me if they can notice my eye twitching it stops. And then comes back later. So weird!
    Your stew looks delicious! Love that you made a vegan version, sometimes that’s just what I want πŸ™‚

  • Reply Amanda February 20, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Yum! Chickpea stew sounds amazing!

  • Reply Jessica @ How Sweet February 20, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Next time you get the nose twitch over some anxiety, email me and I will remind you how fabulous you are!

    • Reply Adrianna February 20, 2012 at 1:04 pm


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