North African Vegetable and Bean Stew

North African stews combine potent spices with filling vegetables, pasta and beans. Here is a recipe that sets out to create one of these rich tasting stews; a combination of chickpeas and butter beans gives this stew and a combination of earthiness and creaminess. The Harissa adds a touch of spiciness using a variety of spices that when added to the stew brings the dish together for a satisfying and delicious meal. Plus, taking a break from the use of animal proteins in our diet brings benefits not only to ourselves but to our planet.


I Tablespoon of Olive oil

I small onion, chopped

6 ounces of Swiss chard , stems chopped fine, leaves cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 garlic clove minced

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon Paprika

1/8 teaspoon ground Coriander

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons all purpose flour

1 and 1/2 teaspoons of tomato paste

3 – 4 cups vegetable broth (low sodium preferred)

1 carrot cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1/2 can of rinsed chick peas

1/2 can of rinsed butter beans

1/2 can rinsed black beans

1/2 cup ditalini pasta

2 tablespoons minced parsley

Salt and Pepper

For the Harissa:

1 and 1/2 tablespoons Olive Oil

2 teaspoons Paprika

1 teaspoon ground Coriander

1 garlic clove minced

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon ground Cayenne Pepper

1/8. teaspoon salt

To start the stew heat olive oil in large sauce pan over medium heat, than add onion and chopped chard stems ad cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and the spices (cumin, coriander, paprika and cinnamon) and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds should do it. Stir in flour and tomato paste and mix well creating a nice mixture of flavors. Once you are happy ingredients have melded well together add broth and carrots and bring to a boil scraping the bottom of the pot to release all that flavor, bring heat down and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes. Stir in chick peas and beans along with the ditalini and the chopped chard leaves and continue to simmer for 15-20 minutes until vegetables and pasta are tender. Remember to taste and add salt as you go to reach the level of flavor you prefer.

For the Harissa combine all ingredients in a small bowl, whisk well and set aside.

Once the stew is done add as much Harissa as you like to spice up the stew. I would start with a tablespoon and go from there, taste as you go. I added it all for a bold round flavor to the stew. Add parsley and serve.

I hope you enjoy this easy, healthy and delicious recipe.


  • This recipe sounds delicious and perfect for a cold rainy night. I’m going to attempt it. I love all the healthy ingredients.


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