Harissa Chickpea Stew

in 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

{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen February 20, 2012 at 1:15 am

This looks amazing. I buy the harissa that comes in a tub at Whole Foods, and can’t get enough of the stuff! Harissa plus chickpeas in a stew sounds like the best thing ever!


Adrianna February 20, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Oh I need to check that out. I only have it in the small tube. I need a tub. Everyone does. 😉


diana May 7, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Oh I know which Harrisa she is speaking off and it is incredible!!!!


Ruby Alexandra February 20, 2012 at 1:17 am

This looks delicious!! I am feeling terribly uninspired at the moment in the food department. I might try something like this!


Anna @ the shady pine February 20, 2012 at 2:03 am

Harissa is such a useful ingredient and perfect with the chickpeas….this stew sounds lovely!


Emilia February 20, 2012 at 2:29 am

This looks so good, perfect for cold, dark, February evenings. I’ve been seeing so many recipes that want harissa recently, I’m definitely intrigued. Not to to mention, I just bought some more chickpeas…this recipe seems to be in my meal planning cards :)


sreebindu February 20, 2012 at 3:24 am

yummy :) love any version of chick pea’s


Heather (Heather's Dish) February 20, 2012 at 4:38 am

i’ve never actually cooked with harissa even though i LOVE it…i’m totally drooling!


Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar February 20, 2012 at 4:44 am

Yummm! This dish looks so easy and tasty. Love it!


Sally @ Spontaneous Hausfrau February 20, 2012 at 5:26 am

I’m loving all over this. It looks so tangy and comforting!


Heather Michelle @ A Sweet Simple Life February 20, 2012 at 5:57 am

Um! This looks amazing. Perfect for a chilly evening.


ileana February 20, 2012 at 6:46 am

Haha, that nose thing is funny. This soup sounds great. I love anything with chickpeas. Thanks!


Bev Weidner February 20, 2012 at 6:50 am

My entire BODY twitches when I get freaked about something. I’m sure that’s not surprising.

This soup makes me cry. I want it so BAD.


Liz @ Tip Top Shape February 20, 2012 at 8:39 am

This looks great! I love chickpea anything!!


Villy @ For the love of Feeding February 20, 2012 at 9:10 am

I hate that my husband hates chickpeas.. But this IS going to be cooked and I’ll enjoy it all by myself! I’ll confess though: I love the chicken thigh idea.. :)


Connie February 20, 2012 at 10:18 am

That stew is absolutely devine. The nose thing was pretty funny too…


modernworkinggirl February 20, 2012 at 11:34 am

If any food can give you a hug it’s definitely stew!


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!


Adrianna February 20, 2012 at 1:04 pm



Amanda February 20, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Yum! Chickpea stew sounds amazing!


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 :)


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 :)


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!


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.


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

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


Margarita February 20, 2012 at 3:58 pm

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


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

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

: ))


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!


Emily February 20, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Can’t wait to try it!


Yummy Morsel February 20, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Very nice recipe and I love chickpeas.


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

Yum!! Nothing makes me feel better than a hot cup of stew :) great recipe


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!


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

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


Dana B @ thebakingbooth February 21, 2012 at 10:10 am

Just looked up Harissa after reading this post. Looks yummy! Thanks for introducing me to it! Now, if I could just develop a taste for chickpeas. Certainly healthy. Wish I had the willpower you do, then I’d go for them over chocolate :)


detroittokyo February 21, 2012 at 11:52 am

This looks delicious and definitely comforting, as you said. I’ve never tried harissa (gasp!). Is it very spicy? I love your blog!


Adrianna February 21, 2012 at 7:59 pm

It definitely has a kick, so if you’re kind of sensitive to it I’d recommend halving the amount in the recipe. :)


Nadette@Eat, Read, Rant! February 22, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Chickpease+harissa=awesome. I actually just put together my dinner menu for tonight, and it’s chickpeas with hot italian sausage. Great minds think alike? I think yes!


Russell at Chasing Delicious February 23, 2012 at 5:48 pm

I really like this recipe. This is my kind of stew! I am definitely adding this to my soup list. Yum!


Melanie February 27, 2012 at 7:30 am

I so want to make this. It’s pretty hard to come by some good chickpeas in a can here though. How should I make it if I use fresh ones??? Cook them up separately and add them in the end? or should I use more broth and cook them in the broth? sorry if that’s a stupid question ^^

Love your blog!


Tasha the clean eating mama March 11, 2012 at 11:48 pm

This stew looks beautiful. I am such a fan of chickpeas… Being vegan legumes are a staple in my pantry. I cannot wait to make this recipe.


Nicole March 20, 2012 at 6:13 am

I must find myself some harissa and make this before the outside temperatures go up. Thanks for sharing.


Kelsi June 6, 2012 at 9:51 am

just made this stew today and it is lovely. thanks for the recipe. i substituted sriratcha for harissa. probably not the same thing at all but it tastes alright. i just used a tablespoon.


Ali October 9, 2012 at 9:53 pm

I made this last night and thickened it with a little flour at the end and served it with a side of basmati rice.
It was so amazing, delicious, healthy and hearty. This will be added to the rotation!
Do not forget the parsley and lemon.


Adrianna October 9, 2012 at 10:38 pm

Oh man this must’ve been so good with basmati rice. Glad you liked it!


Nilima nigam March 26, 2013 at 5:36 am

Chickpea with Harissa


Nilima nigam March 26, 2013 at 5:42 am

I had with thin spaghetti noodles and kalamata olives. Flavoured with Harissa was delicious. I am looking to try the chickpea stew.


penelope October 15, 2013 at 12:59 pm

I LOVE this recipe!! I have made it several times and it always tastes delicious and makes me feel warm and cozy inside. I also like to throw in a big bunch of kale when it is simmering, and that adds a little extra green to make it a balanced meal. I eat it in a big warm bowl with crusty french bread and a scoop of greek yogurt on top :)


Adrianna Adarme October 15, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Duuude. I love this dish. I must make it again soon. Your additions of kale and greek yogurt sound awesome.


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