This garbanzo and spinach soup is a pretty typical dish up here in Northern Spain. It has all of the stereotypical ingredients: paprika, legumes, garlic… When it starts to get cold and rainy outside, this warm and hearty bowl of soup is the perfect remedy. It’s full of spiced tomatoey flavor
It’s pretty simple to make, although it does take a bit of planning ahead to soak the beans. But if you remember to soak them overnight – the next day is basically just tossing some ingredients into a pot.
- 1 bag of dried garbanzo beans (about 1 pound)
- 1 bag of spinach
- 2 cups of tomate frito (see notes below for alternative)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 thick slice of bread, cut into chunks (better if a bit stale)
- olive oil
- Soak the garbanzo beans in water overnight, in the morning drain the water
- In a large pot, add the garbanzo beans and enough water to cover them, about 2 inches above the beans. Bring to a boil and remove the white foam that forms on top. Reduce the heat a bit and cook for about an hour.
- Meanwhile, in a frying pan add 1/4 cup of olive oil and set to medium heat. Add the chunks of bread and fry until golden on both sides. Remove from the pan and add to a mortar (or a bowl).
- Using a pestle (or anything similar) smash the fried bread a bit. Continue adding ingredients one by one, smashing after each addition. The following ingredients should be smashed with the bread: cumin, garlic cloves, paprika, and finally the leftover oil from the pan. You should be left with a somewhat smooth mixture, but it's okay if it's a bit chunky.
- Add the mixture to the garbanzos along with a bay leaf and the spinach. Cook on medium-high heat until the spinach is wilted.
- Add the tomate frito plus 2 cups of water and a few good pinches of salt.
- Let it cook on medium heat for another 10-15 minutes, or until the garbanzo beans are tender.
- Tomate frito is extremely common here in Spain, but it's difficult to find in the US. Alternatively you could use a can of tomato soup (like Campbell's tomato soup) and that would be very similar.