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Garbanzos con Chorizo

This dish is simple, happy comfort food for a cold fall or winter day. What more can you say about a hearty, flavorful chickpea stew? We eat this pretty regularly in our house once the season shifts and it gets consistently cold. I don’t think any region can lay claim to this dish, as versions of it are and have been quite popular throughout what makes up modern Spain for a long time. I have friends from all over the country, and every single one of them has fond memories of their mother making some version of garbanzos con chorizo for them.

Different people prefer using a number of different types of chorizo for this dish. There really isn’t any definitive “proper” variety to use. Just use some kind of flavorful, Spanish style chorizo and you'll get good results. Some people always add tomatoes, some never do. Like most food from Spain, some little details change from one household to another, but the heart of the dish remains pretty consistent everywhere.

You can serve the garbanzos con chorizo as soon as they are done cooking, but it’s best to let them sit for a few hours. The flavors really come together the longer you wait, and they will be even better the next day. All you need to serve the garbanzos is some good crusty bread and extra virgin olive oil to drizzle over the top. It’s difficult to overstate how comforting a meal this is on a cold day.


1 lb (about 4 cups) dry garbanzos

2 bay leaves

1 large (or 2 small) onions, peeled and cut in small dice

2 bell peppers (2 green, or 1 green and 1 red), seeded and cut in small dice

3 Roma tomatoes (optional), seeded and cut in small dice

4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced

3 Tbsp chopped parsley

1 lb Spanish (not Mexican) chorizo, peeled and cut in ½” dice or slices

1½ tsp (or TT) Pimentón de la Vera

Salt TT

½ cup dry white wine

Oil for cooking

Extra virgin olive oil to serve

1. Prepare the garbanzos: Cover the garbanzos in a generous amount of cold water and soak overnight. Drain and rinse the beans, then add them and the bay leaves to a heavy-bottomed pot, and again cover with cold water. Bring up to a boil on a high flame, and reduce heat to simmer. Use a spoon to skim off all of the scum/foam that rises to the top while they cook. When cooked through (soft – you can taste a couple to confirm), remove from the heat, season with salt, and set aside.

2. Cook off the chorizo: Heat a large cazuela or heavy-bottomed pot on a medium flame. When hot, add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan, then add the chorizo. Cook the chorizo for a few minutes, stirring regularly, to very lightly brown it. Remove from the pan and set aside.

3. Make the sofrito: Turn the flame down to medium-low. If necessary, add a bit more oil to slightly more than coat the bottom of the pan. Add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring regularly, until the onion is cooked through, very soft, but not browned at all. Add the bell pepper, another pinch of salt, and continue cooking until the bell peppers are very soft, but not cooked through. If you are using the tomatoes, add them now, and again sauté until the tomatoes are well-cooked, but do not brown the sofrito. Add the Pimentón, and cook another couple minutes.

4. Stir in the garlic and parsley, and continue to sauté for a couple more minutes to make sure the garlic isn’t raw. Turn up the heat to medium-high and pour in the wine. Scrape up anything sticking to the bottom of the pan, and when the wine has reduced by about 90%, stir in the chorizo. When the chorizo is warmed through, stir in the cooked garbanzos and their liquid. When the liquid comes up to a boil, quickly lower the heat to very gently simmer. Allow to very lightly simmer for about 10 minutes for the flavors to come together. Taste and adjust salt if necessary.

Serve hot, allowing diners to drizzle their portions with the extra virgin olive oil.

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