This is the dish to make in September. The month when the chaos returns and the inevitable chilly nights begin to descend upon us. Chop an onion, brown the meat, dump in a few more ingredients and in close to 30 minutes you have a seductively fragrant and delicous one-pot meal that will make you exceptionally happy.
If you aren’t yet familiar with harissa, it is a North African ready-made spice paste, sauce or powder that is traditionally made from roasted red peppers, tomatoes, a mix of hot chili peppers and spices and herbs such as caraway, cumin, garlic, and coriander, and sometimes vinegar. It is bold and complex and adds a burst of flavour to meats, sauces and vegetables. Making your own harissa is not difficult but this is one of the rare times I won’t be urging you to do so. The idea here is to keep it super simple and given it’s popularity you can now find many versions of it, such as the ones pictured above, at most well-stocked supermarkets. Harissa does, however, vary in heat level, even within the same brand, so you will have to experiment a bit before you find your comfort zone or preferred brand. We like our chili with quite a bit of heat but I have occasionally kept it mild and the harissa flavours still come through beautifully so start with small amounts if you like a milder chili, taste, and add more if you think you can handle it.
I am partial to the subtle creaminess of cannellini beans, but any other white bean can be used. Chickpeas love harissa so try not to leave them out. As with all chilis, avocados and a dollop of sour cream add a much needed creamy and cooling factor but feel free to dress it up with your favourite toppings. Needless to say, this recipe would be brilliant for the slow cooker or instant pot. I will even be trying a vegan version with tempeh next so I will keep you posted.
- 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion chopped
- 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
- 2 Tablespoons harissa paste sauce or spice blend (adjust to taste)
- 1 28- ounce can whole tomatoes crushed with your hands
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt or more to taste
- 1 14- ounce can cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- 1 14- ounce can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- Optional toppings:
- Sour cream
- Greek yogurt
- Sliced avocados
- Chopped cilantro
- Lime wedges
- Place a medium-large pot that has a lid over medium-high heat and add the oil.
- Add the onion and saute for 2-4 minutes. Add the ground turkey and break up the meat with the side of a spoon; cooking until no longer pink and turkey begins to brown, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in harissa and cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, chicken broth and salt and bring to a boil.
- Lower heat, cover pot and simmer for 10 minutes. Add cannellini beans and chickpeas and cook for about 5 minutes more. Taste and add more harissa and/or salt if necessary. Serve with desired toppings.