Mimsy Were the Borogoves

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Spanish chickpea stew

Jerry Stratton, October 11, 1998

Spicy chickpea stew with bacon and sausage, red bell peppers, and tomatoes, slow-cooked in a crockpot.


Servings: 5
Preparation Time: 10 hours


  • 2 cups dried chickpeas
  • 4 tblsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup diced bacon
  • 2 Italian or Spanish sausages
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño, chopped
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tblsp hot pepper flakes
  • 3/4 tblsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tblsp oregano
  • 1/4 tblsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 lbs tomatoes, pureed


  1. Prepare the chickpeas. Follow the directions with your pressure cooker, or soak, covered, in boiling water for one hour and then simmer in boiling water half an hour.
  2. Brown the sausages in the oven or stovetop. Chop the sausages.
  3. Brown the bacon in a fry-pan. Drain the fat.
  4. Brown the onion, garlic, bell peppers and jalapeño with the bacon and olive oil.
  5. Put the chickpeas, sausages, vegetables, bacon, spices, salt, and tomatoes in a crockpot. Cook on low for 10-12 hours.

Dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans) are the legume advertisement for pressure cookers. They take forever to soften by boiling. You might choose to use canned chickpeas if you don’t have a pressure cooker.

Browning is important for any crockpot recipe. Crockpots do not waste anything put into them, and that includes the grease in bacon and sausages. If you don't reduce the bacon fat first, you’ll end up with a sickly-greasy stew. You’ll want to toss the sausage grease most likely, but save the bacon fat for baking or popcorn.

If you have saffron, add several strands along with the other spices for a distinctly Spanish flavor.

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