Spanish Chickpea Stew with Fennel and Saffron

. July, 2016
Photography by Kelly Gibney.
Spanish Chickpea Stew with Fennel and Saffron

The bright flavour and warming heat of this dish are really wonderful on these chilly winter nights. I like to serve with steamed quinoa or thick slices of hot buttered sourdough.

Serves: 4


1 onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 fennel bulb, layers pulled apart and cut into cubes
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 cup vegetable stock
2 x 400-gram tins chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 x 400-gram tins cherry tomatoes
1 bay leaf
2 pinches saffron threads
¾ teaspoon hot smoked paprika
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
zest of 1 lemon
large bunch silverbeet, trimmed of stalks and cut into thick ribbons (could also use kale or spinach)
sea salt and ground black pepper
3 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil for sautéing 

To serve
fennel fronds to garnish


Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large sauté pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrot and fennel bulb. 

Cook gently for 5 minutes until the onion is translucent. Add the cumin and fennel seeds and sauté for 1 minute.

Add the stock, chickpeas, tinned tomatoes, bay leaf, saffron threads, paprika, thyme leaves and lemon zest. Bring to a boil and then simmer over a low heat for 60 minutes. Remove bay leaf.

Add the silverbeet and cook for 2–3 minutes until just wilted.

Season to taste. Garnish with roughly chopped fennel fronds.