Chickpea & Saffron Stew

A smoky tomato soup made with spinach, chickpeas and spices. Vegan and gluten free.

Chickpea & Saffron Stew //

It’s good to be home. After a busy (and very social) week at Alt Summit, it was nice to come home and spend some quiet time over the stove.

Unlike many of the recipes I make here, this one is an old friend. It’s my take on Espinacas con Garbanzos… and has been a favorite ever since our first trip to Barcelona.

But the real thing it has going for it is that it’s largely a pantry meal. Because who feels like going to the store right after they get off the airplane? Not me, that’s for sure.

Chickpea & Saffron Stew //


chickpea & saffron stew

Serves: serves 3-4
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 shallots (or 1 small onion), chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 teaspoons paprika (I used a combo of sweet & smoked, but use what you have)
  • 2-4 tablespoons sherry vinegar (depending on how much tang you like)
  • 1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes, use the tomatoes only, not the juice
  • 2 or so teaspoons saffron
  • pinches of red pepper flakes
  • 2-3 cups fresh chickpeas (or 2 cans, rinsed and drained)
  • 2 cups veggie broth
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • salt & pepper
  1. Drain tomatoes (save the juice they were in for something else). Place the whole tomatoes in a small bowl and gently break them apart with your hands. Set aside.
  2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil and add the onions and a few pinches of salt. Let the onions cook on low to medium heat until translucent. About 5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, cumin & paprika, and cook for about 30 seconds more (don't let them burn).
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of sherry vinegar and stir, getting off any small bits that are sticking to the bottom of the pot. Add tomatoes and cook (they should be bubbling) for another minute or so. Add the saffron, red pepper flakes, chickpeas & broth. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or so.
  5. Stir in the spinach and let it wilt down for a few minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. I usually add another tablespoon or two of sherry vinegar for more zing, but if zing isn't your thing, you can leave it be.
  6. Serve with crusty bread and a glass of wine.
  7. Refrigerate or freeze the leftovers - this is one that tastes better the next day.


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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Rachel Cantin

    Delicious !!

  2. Joanna

    Do you really use $30 of saffron for this recipe? Or do you make saffron water and use 2 teaspoons of the liquid. Thanks

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Joanna, my apologies – it should say one or two pinches.

      • Joanna

        Ahh. Makes perfect sense!

  3. Hadden @ Alwosta

    It’s the second time in which I tried one of your recipes it’s delicious and i think that’s perfect for a healthy winter meal, so this just may have to go on next menus 🙂

  4. Patricia

    Isn’t 2 teaspoons of saffron a huge amount?

  5. Kelly

    Can I substitute very dry sherry for sherry vinegar?
    Rookie in the kitchen

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Kelly, I haven’t really cooked with sherry so I’m not sure how the taste would be different – if I didn’t have sherry vinegar on hand, I would go to white wine vinegar next. If you give it a try, I would just start with less and add more to taste.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.