Pumpkin, spinach and chickpeas stew: using my Halloween leftovers
Today I have a question for you: once Halloween is gone, what do you do with the pumpkin surplus? Do you cook something else since it’s on season? Or do you use the whole of it for the occasion? The pumpkin cake I featured on my last post was fairly big, but believe it or not I only needed half pumpkin to bake it. Therefore, I ended up with almost 1 kg of it that I stored in the freezer straight away. By doing this, it would give me time to research how to cook it, I thought.
On Wednesday I decided to use some of it. I had to cook lunch for the next day at work and in these cases nothing can beat a hearty, soupy stew. I love bringing these to the hospital because they are very nutritious and taste even better after sitting in the fridge overnight-all the flavours re-concentrate and then explode in your mouth. I checked what I had in the pantry and found this wonderful recipe which combines chickpeas, spinach and our star ingredient. Moreover, it takes just 30 minutes to cook. The website of the original recipe is called Cocina facil (Easy cooking) and it really honours its name here.
You can tell from the pictures the dish is just spectacular-a Spanish stew is always a winner. It is vegan, has a delicious sofrito, an excellent seasoning and it is very nutritious thanks to the proteins of the chickpeas and the vitamins of the vegetables. Even though you see black and white chickpeas, you can use regular ones. The reason I went for these is because I made a mistake when doing my online shopping. If you decide to use fresh chickpeas, remember to soak them overnight with plenty of salt and water.
Years ago, I would only eat pumpkin in creamy vegetables soups, all boiled and blended. Now I am happy to discover these kind of recipes because the more meals I can add to my diet, the better fed I will be. And I still have some more pumpkin in the freezer! Has anyone got any good idea?
INGREDIENTS (SERVES 2)
Canned chickpeas (1 can)
Spinach (1 bag)
Garlic cloves (2)
Tomatoes (2, small)
Green pepper (1)
Smoked paprika (1 teaspoon)
Thyme (1 teaspoon)
Bay leave (1)
DIRECTIONS FOR COOKING
As always, we will start with the sofrito. Heat some olive oil in a pot. Chop the onion, the garlic and the pepper, add a pinch of salt and simmer until tender.
2. Finely chop the tomatoes and drop them into the pot. Simmer until the water evaporates and you achieve a pureed texture as they mix with the other ingredients. Increase the heat slightly if you need. Then, add bay leave, the smoked paprika, the thyme and cook at low heat for one minute.
3. Chop the pumpkin and drop it into the pot together with the chickpeas. Cook for five minutes at medium heat. After that, pour water until almost cover all the content and boil for approximately 20-25 minutes.
4. Check all the ingredients are tender and add more salt if it’s necessary. Finally, empty the whole spinach bag into the pot, stir and heat until they shrink-this will take no more than five minutes. After that, put it aside to sit for 10 minutes (with the lid on top) and serve.