Food & Drink

Spanish Chickpea Stew

Serves 4 to 6 as a main dish or 8 to 10 as a small plate

Collards and chickpeas take center stage in this recipe from Asheville chef Katie Button

Photo: Evan Sung

“When I stumbled across this rustic Span­ish soup, I had déjà vu. The technique matches that of the collard greens my mom and grandma cooked when I was growing up in South Carolina. Essentially, both the garbanzos and the greens go low and slow with salt pork and ham hocks. I decided to fuse the Spanish and South Carolina dishes by seasoning pimentón and sherry vinegar and starting the collard greens. I’ve also introduced tomatoes to the mix. Along with onion and garlic, their sweetness counters the saltiness of the meat while melding into a comforting blend.” —Katie Button


    • 1 pound dried garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

    • 1½ pounds collard greens

    • 6 ounces salt pork, cut into ½-inch cubes

    • 2 large onions, finely chopped (2 cups)

    • 2 garlic cloves, minced

    • 1 cup canned crushed San Marzano tomatoes

    • 1 fresh or dried bay leaf

    • 1 teaspoon pimentón (smoked sweet paprika)

    • 1 ham hock

    • Kosher salt

    • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar


  1. Cover the garbanzos with cold water by 4 inches in a large bowl. Cover and let stand overnight.

  2. Wash the collards well, then stack 5 or 6 leaves. Cut out the stems and central ribs, slicing along the sides to form a “V.” Discard the stems. Roll up the leaves and cut crosswise to form 1-inch-wide ribbons.

  3. Cook the salt pork in a large saucepot over medium heat until the fat renders, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the tomato and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bay leaf and pimentón.


  4. Drain the garbanzos and stir into the pot, then add the ham hock and 8 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then stir in the collards and 1 tablespoon salt. Bring back to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the garbanzos and ham hock meat are tender, 1½ to 2 hours.

  5. Remove the ham hock. When cool enough to handle, pull off the meat and return to the pot. Discard the bones and cartilage. Stir in the vinegar. Taste and add more salt if you think it needs it. Serve hot. The stew can be cooled and refrigerated in airtight containers for up 3 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop.

Excerpted from the book Cúrate: Authentic Spanish Food From an American Kitchen. Copyright © 2016 by Katie Button with Genevieve Ko. Reprinted with permission from Flatiron Books. All rights reserved. Photography by Evan Sung.