This is a classic recipe passed down by old-school Spanish grandmas in the Catalan countryside. Lore has it that these amazing peasant women used to collect rainwater to soak beans and make dishes just like this to serve to their families. This particular one is called “cigrons amb espinacs“— “chickpeas with spinach” in Catalan—and is one of my very favorites. This recipe contains what I came to consider a somewhat unexpected signature of Catalan cuisine, pine nuts and currants, and a smashed-together thickener with fried (gluten-free, in our case) bread, garlic and parsley called a “picada.” I learned that these ingredients and methods came to the Catalan region by way of elaborate trade routes throughout history, which is part of what makes the cuisine of the region so special. I love this stew for all that it is – very tasty, foremost— and its history, but also that it has a background of being made by badass, resourceful mothers that would collect rainwater to feed their families. I didn’t collect rainwater to make this for you, but I think making 71 quarts of it qualifies as badass.
- Serve with a fried or a peeled, soft-boiled egg on top (my chef friend, Daniel, loves a 3-minute egg on top); if you’re feeling in the Spanish mood, try a Spanish fried egg!
- Serve over charred cauliflower rice, like I do often in our house
- Serve with sautéed, crumbled fresh chorizo sausage (Spanish, not Mexican, preferably) over top/alongside
- Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with paprika
Show me how you serve it by emailing me your photo! Submissions are automatically entered to win a drawing for a Soup Club cookbook.
Yes, all this fun and love went into the recipe. That’s why it tastes so good.
(That is if she hasn’t made it herself!)