Dishing Up the Dirt

Tomato, Harissa & Butter Bean Stew

We’re still under a blanket of snow at the farm and it’s been damn cold! I don’t remember a winter when we’ve gone through firewood this quickly (the shed is stocked but at the rate we’re going we’ll be lucky to make it until spring). Thankfully, for the time being, we’ve got a warm house, a healthy wine supply and lot’s of hearty soups that are keeping our spirits up and our bodies nourished. It really is the little things that can bring you the most joy on these cold, dark days of winter. I think we’ll survive!

This particular soup is a great one to turn to this holiday week because it can help balance out all the indulging. If you’re hosting visitors I’d highly recommend doubling this recipe. It’s easy to feed a small crowd and packs a lot of flavor with minimal ingredients. I’ve been on a harissa kick lately because my body is craving spice (I think it’s the cold weather) and a jar hasn’t been lasting long. My go-to breakfast at the moment is scrambled eggs with a dolloped of harissa stirred in with a side of roasted potatoes. If you’re in a breakfast rut try it out! It’s a keeper.

Anyhow, this stew has been pretty good to us this week. Besides being absolutely delicious it’s inexpensive to prepare. And when paired with some crusty bread, a glass of your favorite red wine and good company life doesn’t get much better.

Cheers from Tumbleweed Farm

Tomato, Harissa & Butter Bean Stew

Prep Time: 15 minutes    Cook Time: 40 minutes    Serves: 4

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 teaspoons harissa (more or less depending on spice preference)
  • one (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth + additional to thin if needed
  • one (14 ounce) can butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup parsley, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and carrot and continue to cook for about 5 minutes longer. Stir in the harissa and continue to cook for 1 minute longer, making sure to coat all the veggies in the spice. Add the tomatoes and vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer on low for 20 minutes.
  2. Add the beans and parsley, if the soup seems too thick add more broth to thin as needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm.


*Use this recipe as a guide *Adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary *Taste test as you go

Leave a Reply

11 thoughts on “Tomato, Harissa & Butter Bean Stew

  1. dana says:

    Just open a restaurant already! Love this! xoxo

    1. Andrea says:

      Haha! You’d have to be the farm baker though!!

  2. Rachael says:

    Mmm…yummy! I love butter beans and harissa so this is perfect for me 🙂
    Rachael xx.

  3. Shannon says:

    Yum! This is exactly what I want to eat right now. Do you have a favourite brand of harissa paste? Or do you make your own?

  4. Jeanette Meyer says:

    another recipe that has the “look” of the season – perfect – thanks

  5. Debbie Duhn says:

    I’m wondering if I could get permission to use this recipe and photo in our next issue of our local farm and food publication. Thx Debbie

  6. Kristy Turner says:

    Goodness…just made it….sooooo good! Thank you for introducing me to Harissa….this is dish is delightful!!!

  7. Ellen says:

    I made this tonight very good. I added spinach

  8. Lynn says:

    I tried this recipe tonight and loved it! Wonderful flavours and easy – what more could any recipe offer? I did substitute yams for half of the carrots and also added a handful of chopped kale to bump up the nourishment, which didn’t detract at all from this delicious soup. It will definitely become part of our dinner menu rotation. Thanks, Cheryl!

    1. Andrea says:

      So happy you loved it!

  9. Sharr says:

    just made a small batch for my husband who had a cold; I added a pinch of turmeric to the onions once they were softened, and I found I had to use significantly more broth than shown, or it would have dried out or been too thick and sauce-like. Towards the end, I tasted and it seemed like I had put in too much harissa – the heat was fine, but it had a sharpness that wasn’t so pleasant. I thought about adding sugar or honey, but in the end decided on a few splashes of red wine balsamic vinegar, which took the edge off perfectly. Next time I would like to make it more broth-like, without compromising on flavor.

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