By Team Dirty
Mar 26, 2022,
Espinacas con garbanzos is a popular tapas dish with Andalusian roots frequently served in Spain. Our whole food plant based Spanish Chickpea and Spinach Stew is inspired by the traditional tapas staple. Its rich and creamy broth is full of tasty veggies, tempting spices, and you won’t regret giving it a try.
Gather your Spanish Chickpea and Spinach Stew ingredients
Canned diced tomatoes: canned tomatoes are generally used for soups and stews because they tend to have more concentrated flavor and stand up to cooking better than fresh tomatoes
Canned garbanzo beans: along with convenience, canned garbanzo beans (AKA chickpeas) tend to have a smoother texture than cooked dried beans, however, you can substitute with freshly cooked beans if you’d like.
Fresh ginger: the sharp flavor of ginger helps cut the heaviness of the broth and balances the dish.
Spanish sweet paprika: paprika comes in many varieties and from many places. Spanish sweet paprika tends to be slightly sweet and mild in flavor. See substitution notes below if you have trouble finding it.
Red wine vinegar: adding a finishing acid like citrus juice or vinegar to rich soups and stews is an easy way to balance flavors and add a bright note that makes the dish sing. Don’t skip this if you can help it.
Let’s make Spanish Chickpea and Spinach Stew
First, we’ll make the backbone of the rich and creamy broth. Grab your trusty blender and add the canned tomatoes (including the liquid), ½ cup of the garbanzo beans, all the veggie broth, and the ginger to the blender pitcher. Blend until smooth and set aside.
Save yourself time by measuring out your sweet paprika, smoked paprika, and cumin into one small bowl and your bay leaf, coconut aminos, and soy sauce into another.
Preheat a medium-sized pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Once it’s warmed up, add your carrot and onion and saute for about five minutes to begin to soften. If things start to stick, add a splash of water and stir.
Next, add the garlic to your pot and cook for an additional three minutes. Stir frequently to keep the garlic from burning. When you’re done, the garlic and onions should be a light golden color, just beginning to brown.
Add your spice mix from earlier and stir for about 30 seconds. We want to toast the spices and allow them to become fragrant, but we don’t want to burn them or else they’ll turn bitter.
Toss in the rest of the garbanzo beans and stir for about two minutes. If your spices stick to the bottom of the pot, that’s fine. We’re going to be deglazing soon.
Next, add to the pot the broth liquid you blended earlier along with the bay leaf, coconut aminos, and soy sauce. Add the salt and stir the stew, scraping the bottom of the pot to get up any stuck bits (we like to use a wooden spoon).
This process is called deglazing and it helps deepen the taste of the stew by incorporating all the yummy caramelized flavors of those browned bits stuck to the bottom. 🌈 The more you know!
Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. No need for a lid.
Once the time is up, remove from the heat and discard the bay leaf. Finally, add your baby spinach, parsley, red wine vinegar, and black pepper. Stir until the spinach is wilted and scoop into bowls. Serve your Spanish Chickpea and Spinach Stew while listening to Spanish flamenco for ambiance.
This recipe makes enough for four servings and it will keep in the fridge for about five days.
Substitutions and a gluten-free variation
Can’t find an ingredient or need to skip the gluten? We got you, boo!
Garbanzo beans: substitute with any white beans or kidney beans.
Fresh ginger: use ¾ teaspoon ginger powder.
Spanish sweet paprika: feel free to substitute with sweet Hungarian paprika or a variety that’s more accessible. Just be sure the one you use is not smoked.
Baby spinach: substitute with almost any baby variety of a leafy green veggie. Our favorites are baby chard, baby bok choy, and baby kale. If you can’t find the baby variety, use the regular greens, just be sure to chop finely.
Red wine vinegar: use the same amount of balsamic or white wine vinegar.
Gluten-free: to enjoy a gluten-free version of Spanish Chickpea and Spinach Stew, use a gluten-free tamari in place of the soy sauce.
Ways to enjoy your Spanish Chickpea and Spinach Stew
If you’re patient enough to wait, give yourself a pat on the back, and refrigerate the stew overnight before serving. The flavors will continue to meld and blend for an even more delicious and rich stew. Reheat using whatever method you prefer and enjoy.
You can even top your stew with fresh avocado and whole food plant based sour cream if you’d like.
To help get your kids into dinner, set up a DIY stew station with cooked quinoa or rice, chopped parsley, sliced or cubed avocado, sour cream, and chopped almonds (for crunch). They can go crazy creating their own bowls and are more likely to try something new if they were involved in its preparation. If this doesn’t work, you get points for trying, plus more stew for you!
Have you tried this tapas favorite? Rate the recipe and give us your thoughts in the comments below.
- 1½ cups canned diced tomatoes, undrained (365 g)
- 3 cups garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed, divided (450 g / AKA chickpeas)
- 1¼ cups low-sodium vegetable broth (295 ml)
- 1 tablespoon ginger root, peeled and roughly chopped (6 g)
- 1½ cups carrot, unpeeled and diced (195 g)
- 1½ cups sweet onion, chopped (240 g)
- 1⅔ tablespoons garlic, finely chopped (15 g)
- 1 tablespoon Spanish sweet paprika (can use Hungarian or other sweet non-smoked paprika)
- ½ tablespoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tablespoon coconut aminos
- 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce (sub tamari for gluten-free)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 5 cups baby spinach, chopped (150 g)
- 1½ tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper (about 10 turns)
- Place the canned tomatoes (including the liquid), ½ cup (75 g) of the garbanzo beans, vegetable broth, and ginger in your blender and blend until smooth. Set aside for now.
- Heat a medium-sized pot over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the carrot and onion and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and saute for 3 additional minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions and garlic are light golden brown.
- Add the sweet paprika, smoked paprika, and cumin and stir for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the rest of the chickpeas (2½ cups / 375 g) and stir for 2 minutes. It’s okay if the spices stick a bit to the bottom of the pan.
- Transfer the blender mixture to the pot and stir. Add the bay leaf, coconut aminos, soy sauce, and salt and stir, making sure to scrape up any stuck bits from the bottom of the pot.
- Simmer for 20 minutes (without a lid), stirring occasionally. Remove the pot from the heat and discard the bay leaf. Add the spinach, parsley, red wine vinegar, and black pepper and stir until the spinach is wilted.
- Serve while hot with more chopped parsley on top.
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May your life be as sweet as Spanish sweet paprika.
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