This is the sort of stew that keeps me going in the cold months. We returned from our sunny holiday and were welcomed home with cold and rainy weather! Luckily we had this stew waiting for us in the freezer. I like to make a big batch meal like this before traveling so we have dinner the night before leaving and can freeze the rest to have something warm, comforting, and homemade to come home to. That said, I prefer this stew freshly made, and I would not think twice about serving it to anyone who stepped through our front door. That's because it's truly an all-around loveable one-pot meal. The chunky vegetables, red lentils, giant white beans, tomatoes, balsamic, and harissa make for a hearty, satisfying and flavor-packed meal in a bowl that warms from the inside out. I hope you can work this into your weekly meal plan because it will pay you back twofold helping you easily and happily transition into fall!
Chunky Vegetable Harissa Stew
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 2-15 oz. cans diced tomatoes
- 4 cans water - fill up empty tomato cans (7 1/2 cups / 1.75 L)
- 2 Tbsp. harissa*
- 1 1/2 - 2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup (213 gr) red lentils, rinsed and drained
- 6 medium carrots
- 2 medium zucchini
- 1-15 oz can giant white beans (or 1 1/2 cups, cooked)
- Pesto, to top (optional)
- Chop carrots and zucchini in chunky bite size pieces; set aside.
- Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add olive oil, onion, garlic, and season with a generous pinch of salt and black pepper. Stir to combine and cook for a few minutes, or until onion begins to soften.
- Stir in tomato paste and balsamic vinegar (lean back so you don't breath in the vinegar!), then add tomatoes, water, salt, harissa, lentils, and carrots. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a strong simmer, and cook 15 minutes, covered. Stir once to make sure lentils are not sticking to the bottom.
- Add white beans and zucchini. Re-cover and simmer another 10 minutes. Taste and adjust for seasoning, if necessary. By now the stew should be nicely thickened from the lentils, and the vegetables should be crisp tender.
- Ladle into bowls. Top with a dollop of pesto (optional but really tasty!), and serve with extra harissa at the table for those who like it extra spicy.
*Harissa is widely available now. Here in Switzerland, Migros and Manor sell it. In the US it's available on Amazon and in large supermarkets with well-stocked international sections. Make sure you use the harissa that comes in a glass jar and includes spices such as cumin and sometimes vinegar. The spice level of harissa can vary by brand so if you are sensitive to spice, start with 1 Tbsp and go from there. If you cannot find harissa, you can substitute withsmoked paprika, chili powder, chipotle chili powder, or dried red pepper flakes.
I'd Love Your Feedback!!
The change of seasons has always been a great source of inspiration for me. The ever-evolving landscape of produce at the market keeps me on my toes and gives me a renewed sense of energy and excitement to create in the kitchen. But hand on heart I can honestly say I’m equally inspired by all of you who read my blog and cook my recipes. I am sincerely grateful for your support and enthusiasm to follow along, and I want to continue sharing delicious and nourishing recipes that you love and feel are practical for your lifestyle. So I’d like to hear from you!! I’ve created a short survey here. If you subscribe to my e-mail updates you might have already filled it out, otherwise I would appreciate if you could take 3 minutes to complete it so I can learn what type of recipes and content you most want and need. Thank you for your support and love of whole nourishment!