This Spanish chickpea stew is an easy one-pot, freezer friendly and oil-free meal that costs just pennies per bowl. This is a vegan version of potaje de vigilia and is simple to make with garbanzos, spinach and a mix of vegetables in a simple smoky paprika-flavoured broth. This soup can be made with canned chickpeas for a quick 20-minute meal or dried chickpeas for a dirt cheap dinner.
I was surprised to see how successful last week’s recipe for Spanish-style vegan lentil stew turned out to be. I can see that people love easy recipes with simple ingredients and tons of flavour. As I said in that post, the Spanish are experts at recipes like that (and hats off to the Italians, too)!
So I’ve come back with another Spanish recipe made vegan: Spanish chickpea stew. This is a vegan version of potaje de vigilia, a recipe that normally includes cod and has a million and one different variations (as do all traditional recipes). Some are very simple with just fish, chickpeas and spinach; and others include additional vegetables, bread or egg.
Since I’m taking out the cod to make this vegetarian, I decided to go for the extra veggies. I added a carrot and a potato, but of course since this stew is so simple, you can go ahead and add in any veggies that you happen to have languishing in the back of your fridge.
This recipe starts off similar to last week’s lentil stew, with a flavour base of sautéed onions, garlic, tomato, bay and smoked paprika. If you don’t have smoked paprika in your spice cabinet, I highly recommend add it as one of your staple spices. I use it in a ton of recipes and it’s a cheaper way than liquid smoke to add smoky flavour to chilies, tofu bacon, soups and stews.
If you’re on a serious budget and have a bit of time, you can cook this Spanish chickpea stew from scratch with dried chickpeas. If you don’t have time, you can consider cooking the chickpeas ahead, maybe on the weekend, and freezing them for quick use throughout the week. If not, canned chickpeas are just fine, simply throw them into the pot together with the carrot and potato and simmer everything together for about 20 minutes. That’s it!
Got leftovers? Use them in these recipes:
Spanish Chickpea StewPrint Recipe
- 1 onion, finely diced - $0.15
- 5 cloves of garlic, grated of finely minced - $0.40
- 1 large tomato, diced (bonus points if you peel it) - $0.25
- 2 bay leaves - $0.30
- 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika -$0.15
- 5 cups water (plus more as needed) - $0.00
- 2 cups (400 grams) dried chickpeas, soaked overnight (can sub for 5 ½ cups / 900 grams canned chickpeas) - $1.00
- 1 large potato, peeled and diced - $0.32
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced - $0.10
- 200 grams frozen spinach (can sub for fresh if you prefer) - $0.38
- 2 teaspoons sea salt (or to taste) - $0.06
- A few grinds of the pepper mill - $0.03
Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and add a splash of water (you can use a tablespoon of oil, if you prefer), the onion and garlic. Sautee until the onions are very soft, adding more water as necessary. Add the diced tomato and sautee until broken down completely, breaking the pieces up with your spoon as they soften. Add the bay leaves and paprika and fry for about a minute, while stirring, to release the flavour.
Dried chickpeas: Add the water and chickpeas. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for one hour or one hour and a half until the chickpeas are almost tender, adding more water to keep them covered if necessary. When the chickpeas are finishing, add the potato and carrot and cook until soft. Finally, stir in the frozen (or fresh) spinach and heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Cooked chickpeas: Add the water, chickpeas, potato and carrot and simmer until the vegetables are soft. Add the frozen (or fresh) spinach and heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste.
This stew can be served thick or thin. Take out some of the liquid if you want it thicker, or add a bit more water for a thinner soup.
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