Harissa boosts the flavors of these humble beans, adding warmth and a spicy and aromatic kick. Make a big batch, and if you have some pre-cooked rice (or quinoa) on hand, toss it with the beans (if you have any left over) for dinner or lunch another day.

Stewed Great Northern Beans With Harissa [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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For Cooking Beans:
  • 1 cup dried great northern beans (or cannellini or navy beans), picked over and soaked overnight (optional, or 2 15-ounce cans of great northern beans, drained)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 small carrot
  • 1 small dried bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoons coarse salt or to taste
For Stewing:
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, optional
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste
  • 8-10 plum tomatoes, chopped or 1 can (16 ounces) whole plum tomatoes with juice, pulsed
  • 1 tablespoon harissa paste
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt or to taste


To Cook the Beans:
  1. Rinse beans place in a large pot, cover with about 2 1/2 inches water and add garlic, carrot and bay leaf.
  2. Cook over medium-high heat and bring to a boil and let beans cook for about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat and let beans simmer until tender (but not bursting), about 35-40 minutes.
  4. Add salt, cook for another 5 or so minutes and turn off heat.
  5. When ready to use, drain beans and reserve about a cup of the bean water, remove and discard garlic, carrot and bay leaf.
To Make the Stew:
  1. In a medium heavy-bottomed pot, heat coconut oil over medium heat.
  2. Add cumin, turmeric, onion, garlic and pepper flakes.
  3. Sauté, stirring occasionally until onions start to soften but not browned, about three minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes, drained beans and 1/4 cup of the bean water and let stew cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, and letting it come to a gentle boil.
  5. Add harissa paste, rosemary, dried oregano and salt and reduce heat.
  6. Let stew simmer for another 5-10 minutes or so to let the flavors meld and tomato sauce thicken.
  7. Check seasoning and add more salt.


Add another 1/4-1/2 cup bean water or more if you prefer more a more saucy stew.


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