Chickpea Stew with Tomato and Tuna Fish

Chickpeas with Tuna Fish

Chickpeas with Tuna Fish


Last year was the second year that my husband took a group of Arizona State University students on a summer abroad program, to his hometown of León, Spain. Lucky me, I went along, although separate from the program. The students have an incredible time learning about the Spanish language, food, architecture, art, and people. They are immersed in the culture because they live with Spanish families who care for them, and the program organizes activities for them to make the study abroad a meaningful experience.

My husband, Carlos used to participate in a program in which the students lived in dorms, or apartment/hotels. One of the things that we really notice in the new setting is that students really appreciate Spanish food. From day one, they eat the mid-day main meal with the family. They observe that life in a small town of 150,000 virtually shuts down for a couple of hours while everyone goes home to eat the main meal and rest before heading back to work. They eat things that many of them have never eaten, or have eaten little of. Spaniards frequently eat fish, occasionally, squid and octopus, and they like cured meats, and freshly baked bread daily.

León, Spain: el mercado de la Plaza Mayor

León, Spain: el mercado de la Plaza Mayor

The family “mom” may take the student to the outdoor vegetable market for their produce. In most homes, the students learn what real food, or slow food, is about. It’s real food, bought locally, and prepared at home, and in most cases tastes delicious (every country has their bad cooks).

Today’s recipe is dedicated to Samantha Velez, who keenly observed that regarding food, in Spain “there is a time and a place.” Samantha loves garbanzo beans (Spanish word for chickpeas), tomatoes and tuna, so I thought she’d love this recipe, too.


Servings: 8

Cook Time: 30 minutes in a pressure cooker, or 1 hour 15 minutes on the stove.

Total Time: 9 hours and 15 minutes (this includes pre-soaking the beans)


1 pound dried chickpeas

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

½ teaspoon sweet Spanish paprika (optional), or ¼ teaspoon Saffron (also optional)

2 cans tuna fish (7 ounces), drained; or, 10 to 12 ounces fresh tuna, chopped

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 teaspoons minced garlic

4 tablespoons minced flatleaf parsley

Salt to taste



1. Pre-soak the beans overnight, or at least 8 hours

2. Heat the olive oil in large pot and begin to sauté the onions. After 5 minutes, add the garlic and continue to sauté for 3 to 4 minutes.

3. Add the Spanish paprika, if you are using it, and the tomatoes and let it cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Add the pre-soaked chickpeas, the tuna fish, and 2 tablespoons of the minced parsley. Reserve the remaining parsley for garnish. Add enough water to cover the beans by and inch and cook until the beans are tender. You may need to add water from time to time. When they are close to being done, add salt to taste.

*Note – If you are using a pressure cooker, they will take about 30 minutes on Medium to medium-low heat.

To serve – ladle into soup bowls and garnish with the remaining parsley.


This recipe is also posted at Slightly Indulgent Tuesday


Recipe: Chickpeas with Chicken Sausage

Chickpeas with Chorizo

Chickpeas with Chicken Sausage

What do you call them, chickpeas, or garbanzos?  I call them delicious! And, I refer to them as garbanzos, because that’s how they’re called in Spain, where my husband is from. The prevalent term in the English-speaking world seems to be chickpeas –a cute name, isn’t it?

Garbanzos are legumes, which are basically composed of protein, starch, and fiber, and are a good alternative to eating meat. But, legumes are an incomplete protein, so they should be eaten in the company of brown rice, nuts, or whole wheat bread.

Legumes, or beans, are an important part of the Mediterranean and Anti-inflammation diets. In the United States they have been growing in popularity over recent years, as more and more people look to plant-based protein alternatives. Once you start to experiment with legumes, alternate with other varieties, like white beans, black beans, pinto, fava, etc. Go ahead and give them a try!


1 pound bag of garbanzos, soaked in water overnight

1 to 1-1/2 pounds green cabbage, sliced in strips 4 inches by 1/2 inch

1 chicken sausage, or chicken andouille sausage. I can usually find  good sausage at my local Whole Foods Market

1 onion, peeled and chopped

3-4 carrots, peeled and sliced to ¼ inch thickness

6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1-½ teaspoons salt

¾ teaspoon spicy Spanish paprika,

1 bay leaf

Note about soaking beans: for best results use beans that you know are not old. Place the beans in a large bowl and cover with enough water so there are at least 4 inches of water over the level of the beans.  Soak the beans overnight so they have a good 20 to 24 hours of soaking.

Cooking Beans: You can cook the beans in one of three ways:

1.) Pressure cooker – Cooking time is 25 to 30 minutes on medium-low

2.) Crockpot – 6 hours on high level

3.) Stove top – place in an 8-quart stockpot and cook approximately 1-1/2 hours.

My personal preference is the pressure cooker, as the cooking time is reduced at least by an hour, as compared to the stovetop method.


1.) Sauté the garlic in the olive oil for one to two minutes without letting it burn. Add the chopped onions and sauté until they are translucent, 5 to 8 minutes.

2.) Add the sausage and let it cook with the onions about 2 minutes, and then add the salt and the paprika and stir. Next, add the carrots, cabbage, the garbanzos, and the bay leaf, and mix them in well. Cover with water, about ¾ of an inch over the level of the beans.

3.) Cook the beans according to one of the above methods: pressure cooker, crockpot, or  stove top.



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