Chickpea and chorizo stew


Wouldn’t it be good if life could always be as simple as it is on holiday?

No panic about switching off the alarm and going back to sleep for an hour.

No having to make sandwiches for lunch in the morning while you are still half asleep.

No energy-sapping commute with miserable fellow-commuters.

No worrying about what to wear – the seagulls won’t mind if you wear the same bikini two (or even three!) days in a row.

No jammed staplers, offline printers or software screw-ups.

No discussion about whose turn it is to do the washing up.

Yup, things are pretty blissed out here on CookSister’s holiday at the southern tip of Africa :)


The one thing that you can control and keep simple, even if the rest of your life is complicated, is what you cook. Sure, there is a time and a place for fiddly, complicated, show-stopping food, but that time and place is not on a weeknight after an exhausting day at work. One chilly night recently, Nick was out and I was determined to keep things simple by a) not go shopping for ingredients and b) using one pot only for my dinner.

As usual, when I want something blindingly simple and addictively delicious, the answer lay with my darling Nigel Slater. This chickpea and chorizo is an adapted version of his stew and uses ingredients that I almost always have on hand and dirties exactly… one pot. Simply delicious (in every sense of the phrase!). I served mine with the last of my spinach salad which worked very well indeed.






2 -3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions
4 cloves garlic
about 400g dry chorizo sausage
dried chilli flakes to taste
a glass of dry sherry
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 x 400g tins chick peas, drained and rinsed
small bunch parsley (optional)


Peel and chop the onions and the garlic.  Warm the olive oil in a deep, heavy-based pan and add the onions, garlic and crushed chillies to the oil, stirring to coat.  Allow to cook over moderate heat until the onions are soft and pale gold.

Cut the chorizo into chunks or slices as desired.  Stir into the softened onions then add allow to cook until the chorizo releases some of its delicious red oil. Pour in a glass of dry sherry (or substitute white wine) and bring to a bubble.  Add the tinned chopped tomatoes, bring mix to the boil, then add the chickpeas and half a can of water.  Season with salt and black peppe to taste. Bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer and leave to cook, slowly, half covered with a lid for 45 minutes.

Just before serving, roughly chop the parsley and stir into the stew (I left this step out as I did not have fresh parsley).  Serve in shallow bowls.

I am submitting this as my entry into the December 2009 edition of My Legume Love Affair, the leguminous event initiated by the lovely Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook and hosted this month by Srivalli of Cooking 4 All Seasons.  Do get your entries in by 31 December as you stand to win a copy of the fabulous BloggerAid Cook Book!

Don’t forget to check out my latest column on Food24, all about the foods that make my tastebuds homesick.


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  1. Simba Eats says

    Yum! Might have to make this meal myself. 1 question though…
    Have you tried this dish with anything other than Chorizo? Does it go well? What do you recommend?

  2. says

    Store cupboard ingredients and dirties just one pot. That’s my kind of dish. I have had chickpeas on the brain today as I just blogged some chickpea soup earlier. They’re my favourite pulse by far, this looks like a brilliant midweek dinner that would leave me with plenty of evening left over.

  3. says

    You (& Nigel Slater!) know EXACTLY the food I like to eat, now just how to get you here?? Hmmm… now that would be some party holiday! 😉

  4. says

    Ah, now you’ve got me dreaming of a vacation! Lovely words. And this simple stew is just perfect for the chilly, rainy evenings here in France. A perfect meal! Glad you are having fun!

  5. says

    I can tell that you are in paradise, but like a true blogger always ready with a recipe or two. I love the simplicity of this dish…it is amazing how creative we can be if we just spend enough time in the pantry….

  6. says

    Great minds! I made something very similar and am making a big vat of it for market tomorrow. Very similar recipes but mine contains bacon too :) Great comfort food!

  7. says

    Simba – I strongly urge you to make it :) It’s also a great hangover cure, as I discovered…! Haven’t tried it with anything but chorizo, but I guess any sort of spicy, smoky, pork would do? The chorizo does give it a particular flavour though – if you used somethign else you might want to add some smoky paprika.
    Sarah – God bless the storecupboard! And yes – a perfect midweek dinner that would give you another dinner, or tomrrow’s lunch :)
    Marisa – if my blog has inflamed desires, then my work here is done :)
    Bron – Nigel’s the man! And OMG yes, could you imagine us meeting up? Dreamy dreams. Well, my brother IS talking about taking a camper van round NZ for the world cup next year…
    Val – it’s the perfect KISS principle meal!
    Jamie – there’s nothing more comforting (or easy!) on a rainy, or snowy evening in Europe…
    Koek! – mine too – clearly we agree on the important stuff!
    Nina – there is much inspiration to be had from staring at your fridge/grocery cupboard for long enough! And yes, sad me lined up these posts before I left, so all I had to do in SA was hit the publish button :)
    Pille – yes, I’m sure I remember swooning over some of them on your blog! Truly a match made in heaven.
    Ronell – aaaah, that’s where forward planning comes in! Cooked, eaten and blogged before my departure for sunnier shores 😉
    Kevin – if I had to guess I’d say this is just your kiund of meal – do give it a try!
    Oz – “the meaty, strange creaminess of chickpeas” – what a perfect description! And the nice thing is that you can dial the spiciness up and down, depending on how much chilli you like.
    June – you and me both, baby…! Do try it, you won’t regret it.
    Elizabeth – yup, some nice crusty bread for mopping all that fab juice. Soooooo satisfying!
    Niamh – ooooh bacon! If there’s one thing that’s better than a pork ‘n beans dish, it’s a bean dish with TWO types of pork!
    Srivalli – thanks, and thanks so much for hosting!

  8. Traci Pruitt says

    I’m here in America and as you did not indicate what kind of Chorizo, I used Mexican. Our Farmers Market has many different kinds :-), so hard to choose, I may use the Salvadoran next time. It was absolutely wonderful, my daughter and father thought it was fantastic and I will most definitely make it again, so easy too! Thanks so for the wonderful recipe!! I’ll be trying your Spinach and Feta Fish Fillets next, yum.