Harissa, Cavolo Nero, Red Pepper & Lentil Stew

The Balanced Kitchen
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 1 large brown onion skin removed and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic skin removed and minced
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil for frying the onion
  • 1 red bell pepper washed, core and seeds removed, chopped chunky
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 cups dried lentils I used green
  • 4 large, beef tomatoes washed, quartered
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 2-4 tsp harissa seasoning depending on how spicy your mixture is and how strong you like the flavour
  • 12 cavolo nero leaves washed, stalks removed and torn into small pieces
  • pinch sea salt & ground black pepper
  • 2 carrots peeled, ends removed and diced


  • Heat the oil in a large pan which has a lid, then add the onion and garlic.  Fry for 5-6 mins on a low heat until they begin to soften.
  • Rinse the lentils under running cold water using a sieve.
  • Add the red bell peppers and quartered tomatoes to the pan and continue to cook for a few mins on a low heat.
  • Add the tomato paste to the pan and stir.
  • Add the vegetable stock and rinsed lentils to the pan.  Return the lid and bring to the boil.
  • Reduce the heat and allow to simmer on low, with the lid in place for 20 mins or until the lentils are beginning to break down / become soft.  Add a little water if the mixture becomes too dry.  It's better to have too much liquid than not enough.
  • Add the harissa spice mix, seasoning and cavolo nero and stir the whole pan together to ensure all combined well.  
  • Spoon the mixture into bowls and serve immediately or allow to cool and store in suitable containers.


The Cavolo Nero is added at the end to retain the nutrients.  The heat from the stew will be enough to gently cook the leaves before serving.
Serve with steamed broccoli and garlic toasts for that something extra.
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