Harissa White Bean Stew with Turmeric Yogurt

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Cookbook author Sarah DiGregorio adds depth and heat to her hearty white bean stew by adding harissa twice: first for the long simmer in the slow cooker, then at the end, to finish the dish with some bright heat. Slideshow: More Hearty Stews Recipes 

Harissa White Bean Stew with Turmeric Yogurt
The slow cooker turns out the absolute best comfort food. Cookbook author Sarah DiGregorio adds depth and heat to her hearty white bean stew by adding harissa twice: first for the long simmer in the slow cooker, then at the end, to finish the dish with some bright heat. Photo: © John Kernick
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
6 hrs 45 mins
Yield:
4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped

  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • Kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons harissa

  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika

  • 1 pound dried cannellini beans

  • 2 large carrots, sliced 1/2 inch thick

  • 3 thyme sprigs plus 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

  • 2 fresh bay leaves

  • One 3-inch strip of lemon zest plus 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric

  • 1 1/2 cups full-fat Greek yogurt

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley, plus leaves for garnish

  • 1/2 preserved lemon, pulp discarded and rind thinly sliced

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the onion and garlic, season generously with salt and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened and is starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup of the harissa and the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the cumin and paprika, then add 2 1/2 cups of water and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Transfer to a 6-quart slow cooker along with the dried beans, carrots, thyme sprigs, bay leaves, lemon zest and lemon juice. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and 3 1/2 cups of water. Cover and cook on high until the beans are tender, about 6 hours.

  2. Meanwhile, in a small nonstick skillet, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the turmeric and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until it dissolves, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a medium bowl and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in the yogurt until smooth. Season with salt.

  3. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs from the stew. Just before serving, stir in the thyme leaves, chopped parsley and the remaining 3 tablespoons of harissa; season with salt. Ladle into bowls and garnish with the preserved lemon and parsley leaves. Serve, passing the turmeric yogurt at the table.

Make Ahead

The turmeric yogurt can be refrigerated for 2 days. The stew can be refrigerated for 4 days; gently reheat before serving.

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