Harissa White Bean Stew


Harissa is one of my favorite spice blends. Here, I’ve mixed my own using garlic powder, dried chilies, caraway, coriander, cumin, and salt. I know it is probably most frequently seen as a paste, but I had never tried it in a paste until recently when the local branch of Cost Plus was going out of business and I picked up a few tubes of it. The tubes are metal, so I can recycle them, and the spice is super tasty!

I recently soaked and cooked some small white beans, I think perhaps navy beans, and knew I wanted to turn them into a delicious dish.

The original recipe calls for this to be slow-cooked, but since my beans were already cooked, I chose not to do that, and this dish was ready in about 30 – 40 minutes.

Other than that, I followed the recipe quite closely.

Saute onion, then garlic in butter, then add in harissa and tomato paste.

I do still buy organic cans of tomato paste, but use so little and so infrequently, that I transfer it into a small glass jar and keep in the freezer.

Add in cumin and paprika and stir until fragrant, then deglaze the pan with a few cups of water.

Add in beans, approximately 2 cups, and 2 sliced carrots along with bay leaves, and thyme.

I found the soup to be quite smoky, and it needed more salty flavor, so I added my homemade bouillon, and you may want to as well. Also add additional water if desired.


I let that simmer, then browned some butter and turmeric, about 1 TBS each, then added in some plain yogurt to stir in. A squeeze of lime was needed to top it all! It was very satisfying, and had a depth of flavor that is sometimes difficult to find with soups.

The light through my window was causing rainbows to appear above the stew, so even though you cannot see the contents, I thought it was fun. 🙂


Peace and love,