Chickpea Stew with Spinach and Potatoes
- ACTIVE: 1 HR
- TOTAL TIME: 11 HRS
- SERVINGS: 8
- 3/4 pound dried chickpeas (2 1/4 cups)—rinsed, soaked overnight and drained
- 4 garlic cloves, 1 minced
- 2 large thyme sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 ounces lean bacon, finely diced
- 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (3/4 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 2 cups chicken stock
- Pinch of crushed red pepper
- Pinch of saffron, crumbled
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound spinach, stemmed, leaves coarsely chopped
- In a large saucepan, combine the chickpeas with the 3 whole garlic cloves, the thyme and bay leaf. Cover with 4 inches of water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until just tender, 1 3/4 to 2 hours; add more water as needed to keep the chickpeas submerged. Season with salt and simmer 10 minutes longer. Drain the chickpeas, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Discard the garlic, thyme and bay leaf.
- Heat the oil in a large heavy casserole. Add the onion, bacon and minced garlic; cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 8 minutes. Add the reserved chickpeas, stock, reserved cooking liquid, crushed red pepper, saffron and black pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until the potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the spinach and cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.
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