Seasonal Recipes

Harissa Stew with Purple Sweet Potato (vegan)

2 tablespoons refined coconut oil, at room temperature
1 medium sweet onion, peeled and minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons yellow curry powder 
1 3-inch cinnamon stick 
1½ tablespoons harissa*
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
450gm purple sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes 
¼ teaspoon salt or more to taste
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 can crushed tomatoes
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock or broth
3 bay leaves
¼ teaspoon saffron threads
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 capsicum (yellow or red), seeded and diced
2 cups cooked Israeli cous cous, farro, orzo or freekeh
Handful of Italian parsley, finely chopped
Finely grated lemon zest
Extra virgin olive oil
Heat a wide, heavy skillet or Dutch oven (5½ quart) over medium heat. Melt the coconut oil in the pot. Add onions and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in ground cumin, ground coriander, curry powder, cinnamon stick, harissa and tomato paste and sauté for 2 minutes longer. 

Add the carrots, purple sweet potatoes, salt, black pepper, crushed tomatoes. Cook, stirring, for about a minute, until fragrant, and add the broth and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer, and simmer until the sweet potatoes and carrots have cooked down slightly, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low, simmer uncovered, for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the Israeli cous cous or grains, grate lemon rind; chop parsley.

Add the saffron threads and chickpeas to the pot. Reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid. Simmer 10 minutes. Add the yellow bell pepper and cook another 2 minutes.

Remove bay leaves and cinnamon stick before serving and add cous cous or your favorite grain. Ladle into bowls and top with chopped parsley (if desired), grated lemon zest and a drizzle of olive oil.


The stew is moderately spicy. For very spicy, use 2 to 2½ tablespoons harissa. For mildly spicy, use 1 tablespoon harissa. 

Purple Sweet Potato substitutions: Any potatoes, squash, pumpkin, turnips, or cauliflower. If you are using winter squashes or butternut, I recommend steaming them and adding them in the end. 

Chickpea subsitutions: Use canned Cannellini, Great Northern and Navy beans if you like, but add them at the same time as the sweet potatoes & carrots and the beans will absorb the flavors of spices while cooking.

Source : Vegan Miam