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Spanish Chickpea and Almond Stew

Quick, easy and bursting with Spanish flavour, make Melissa Hemsley's Chickpea and Almond Stew for a satisfying midweek dinner.

From the book

Melissa Hemsley

Introduction

Using store cupboard staples and spinach from the freezer, this Seville-inspired stew comes together in under 20 minutes and is a hit with everyone. You could swap the spinach for other greens, such as chopped chard, or add extra bits and bobs, such as a few tablespoons of capers, olives or chopped sun-dried tomatoes. I love this as a stew-like soup in a bowl, but you could make it thicker and serve with a side of quinoa.

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Ingredients

3 tbsp chopped or flaked almonds
1½ tbsp butter or ghee
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large red or orange pepper, deseeded and chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large handful of fresh parsley, stalks finely chopped and leaves roughly chopped
1 tbsp tomato purée
2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
2 x 400g tins of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
100ml stock/bone broth or water (optional)
250g spinach
1 tbsp lemon juice
sea salt and black pepper
extra-virgin olive oil, to serve
Spices:
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp cayenne pepper

Method

1. In a large, deep frying pan, toast the almonds over a medium heat for just under a minute until golden, then set aside. Melt the butter in the hot pan, add the onion and pepper and fry for 6 minutes until starting to soften.

2. Add the garlic, spices and parsley stalks and fry for 1 minute, stirring constantly to prevent them from burning, then add the tomato purée and cook for another 30 seconds.

3. Tip the tinned tomatoes into the pan, turn up the heat to a medium simmer and cook for 15 minutes, uncovered, to thicken and reduce. Add the chickpeas and cook for another 3 minutes with a lid on. If you want the stew to be more soup-like, add the stock.

4. Turn up the heat, drop in the spinach and cook for 1 minute, covered with the lid, then add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

5. Serve each bowl with a good drizzle of olive oil and with the parsley leaves and toasted almonds scattered over.

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