Spanish Chickpea Soup

– 1 pound dried chickpea – 6 chicken drumsticks (about 2 pounds), skin removed – 1 (4 ounce) piece Serrano ham or prosciutto, cut into 1/2-inch cube – 4 ounces Spanish-style chorizo, cut into 1/2-inch round – 8 baby red potatoes, scrubbed and halved


– 1 large leek, white and light green parts, halved and thinly sliced (see Tip) – 2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch chunk – 2 stalks celery, chopped – 3 large cloves garlic, minced – 2 bay leave – 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

– 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, preferably Pimentùn de la Vera – ½ teaspoon saffron threads or 1/4 teaspoon powdered saffron – 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth or stock – ½ medium cabbage (about 1 pound), cored and cut into 8 wedge – Ground pepper to taste – ½ cup chopped fresh parsley

Soak chickpeas in enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches for at least 12 hours and up to 1 day.


Place chicken in a 6-quart (or larger) slow cooker. Drain the chickpeas and add along with ham (or prosciutto), chorizo, potatoes, leek, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaves, oregano, paprika and saffron.  

Bring broth (or stock) to a boil in a saucepan, then pour it into the slow cooker. Cook on High for 4 hours. 

Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board. Nestle cabbage into the soup, cover and cook until it is tender, about 30 minutes. 

Discard the bay leaves. Remove the chicken from the bones and stir it back into the soup; season with pepper. Serve sprinkled with parsley. 


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