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This one-pot comfort meal is inspired by a traditional North African dish called shakshuka, typically made by cracking eggs over the top of a rich tomato sauce. This vegan adaptation subs in fluffy herbed dumplings and chickpeas for a little more heft. It’s one of those feel-good dinners that’s hearty, satisfying, but not overly heavy. What really makes the dish shine is a few spoonfuls of harissa: a sweet and smoky chili paste that you can order online in jars, or find in the international section of most well-stocked grocery stores.

Credit: Reprinted with permission from Fantastic Vegan Recipes for the Teen Cook by Elaine Skiadas. Page Street Publishing Co. 2023. Photo credit: Elaine Skiadas.

Harissa Chickpea and Dumpling Stew [Vegan]

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Ingredients You Need for Harissa Chickpea and Dumpling Stew [Vegan]

For the Harissa Chickpea Stew:
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons (15 to 30 g) harissa paste (see Tip)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 (15-oz [425 g]) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14.5-oz [410 g]) can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 cup (240 ml) low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Herbed Dumplings:

  • 3/4 cup (175 ml) soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup (120 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon (5 g) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (30 g) chopped fresh herbs (blend of cilantro, parsley, mint, dill, and/or chives)

How to Prepare Harissa Chickpea and Dumpling Stew [Vegan]

  1. For the stew, in a large, lidded pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When shimmering, add the onion and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, or until softened.
  2. Stir in the bell pepper, garlic, harissa, cumin and cinnamon. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until fragrant.
  3. Add the chickpeas, fire-roasted tomatoes, vegetable stock and salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered.
  4. Meanwhile, make the dumpling batter: In a small bowl, whisk together the soy milk and lemon juice, then let the mixture stand for a few minutes to thicken. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. To the dry ingredients, add the soy milk mixture along with the olive oil. Mix until a sticky dough forms, then fold in the herbs. Be careful not to overmix the dough, or else the dumplings will be dense.
  5. Bring the stew back to a boil and plop golf ball–sized pieces of dumpling dough on top. Lower the heat to low and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the dumplings are firm to the touch and no longer doughy in the center. Let the stew sit, uncovered, for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld, then serve with a generous drizzle of olive oil.
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Tip: Whether you’re using homemade or store-bought, every harissa paste is a little different. Some are spicier or sweeter than others, so make sure you taste a small amount before deciding how much to add to the pot.

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