This chickpea and kale stew is the ideal nutrient dense comfort food to inhale after a day of wintery outdoor activity. Beans and greens are both hearty and healthy and will warm you from the inside up. In this recipe a portion of the chickpeas are blended to form a sauce so creamy that you will swear that a heel of parmesan has been bubbling away in it all day.
This chickpea stew can be easily converted to vegan simply by omitting the chorizo. The recipe makes for excellent leftovers and great lunches and freezes well.
Chickpea, Kale, and Chorizo Stew Recipe(serves 6)
Cook the chickpeas and reserve the cooking water. To cook the chickpeas you will first need to soak the beans. If possible soak them overnight with enough water to cover by a few inches, and a teaspoon each of salt and baking soda. Overnight is best, but you can get away with several hours of soaking if necessary. Once they have been soaked, drain and discard beans and give them a few rinses. Place in a large pot and cover with several inches of water. Add another teaspoon of salt and a bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and cook until beans are tender. As foam rises to the surface skim and discard. If using immediately, separate out half the chickpeas and set aside, if not allow to cool, then you can store the liquid and beans separately in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To make the stew, heat the olive oil in a medium dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the diced onion and a pinch of salt. Sweat until nice and soft. Add the chill flakes and garlic and cook for 3 minutes, stirring regularly. Measure your bean cooking liquid and add enough water to make one litre if necessary. Add the liquid to the soup pot along with half of the cooked chickpeas and a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a simmer to allow the flavours to blend. Transfer to a blender (or use a handheld) to thoroughly blend. Return to the pot.
Peel the sweet potato and chop into about 1/2" squares . Chop the chorizo the same size. Add them both to the soup. Add the thyme leaves, and sprigs if you have them, the kale and the remaining chickpeas. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are soft. Season the soup to taste, likely at least another teaspoon of salt and lots of freshly ground pepper will be necessary. When serving remove the thyme, squeeze in a dash of lemon juice and drizzle with olive oil. Serve hot.
(*) If you want to substitute canned chickpeas you can, but you will also need one litre of vegetable or chicken stock.