Chickpea and Spinach Hotpot

  • Active Time 15m
  • Total Time 1h

Serves 4

The origin of the potaje goes all the way back to the invention of pottery and cooking in a moist medium. The Roman cook Celio Apicio, probably of Andalusian origin, recorded some recipes which could be precursors to modern potajes. From the fourth century onward potajes were a traditional meal during Lent, usually mixing some kind of pulse with vegetables and sometimes other ingredients too. Salt cod used to be included but was given up as a symbol of penitence. A variety of potajes is described by Ruperto de Nola in Libro de Guisados (1520), Diego Granada in Libro del Arte de Cocina (1599), Francisco Martinez Montino in Arte de Cocina, Pasteleria, Vizcocheria y Conserveria (1611) and Juan de Altamiras in Nuevo Arte de Cocina (1745). The exquisite chickpea hotpot is still very popular in Madrid.


  • 1 pound chickpeas, soaked overnight
  • 2 pounds fresh spinach, washed and chopped
  • 1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • Salt
  • 2 eggs, hardboiled
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 thick slice French bread
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon paprika


Heat plenty of water in a large pot. When it comes to a boil, add the chickpeas; cover and simmer over low heat.

Add the spinach, potatoes and a little salt and cook slowly for 30 minutes.

Chop up the whites of the hardboiled eggs. Reserve the yolks.

Heat the oil in a skillet. Fry the slice of bread, then remove from the pan and set aside. Fry the garlic in the same oil, remove and set aside. Slowly saute the onion until it starts to brown. Add the paprika, stir, then quickly pour this mixture over the chickpeas. Crush the fried garlic and bread with the egg yolks in a mortar, then add to the chickpeas along with the chopped egg white.

Check the seasoning. Cook gently for another 15 minutes. Taste to check that the chickpeas are cooked, then serve.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Russell. All rights reserved.

RecID 1187

nutrition information per serving

968 calories; 51g total fat; 106mg cholesterol; 286mg sodium; 102g carbohydrates; 28g fiber; 34g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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