Serves 4.

On the past week, I wrote about the five Mediterranean foods that help you to deal with spring fatigue. This week I would like to introduce an easy recipe that includes two of those ingredients (pulses and vegetables) and is packed with vitamins, minerals and plenty of fibre. It is also full of flavour and low in calories. Serve it with a large bowl of salad (add some chopped nuts to your salad) and some brown bread on the side, and a crunchy refreshing apple for dessert and you will have a perfectly healthy meal that will make you feel better in this time of the year.

If you are a vegan or vegetarian this recipe works perfectly fine with no cod, and it will still provide loads of proteins.

You can find this recipe and much more in the book Spain: the cookbook, available in our store.

  • 500g of blanco lechoso chickpeas (or 1Kg of precooked Chickpeas)
  • A pinch of bicarbonate of soda
  • 200g of salted cod
  • 1/2 bulb garlic
  • 1 bay or laurel leaf
  • 2 small onions
  • 1kg of baby spinach, coarse stalks removed
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large tomato seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 spring fresh parsley
  • Salt


  • Put the chickpeas in a bowl, pour in warm water to cover and add the bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt. Leave to soak for at least 12 hours, then drain and rinse well. You can skip this step if you are using precooked chickpeas.
  • Meanwhile, put the salt cod in a bowl, add cold water to cover and leave to soak for at least 12 hours, changing the water 3 or 4 times. Each time you change the water rinse out the bowl as salt tends to deposit on the base.) You can also use fresh cod, but the taste will be quite different, or you can remove the cod from the recipe if you prefer to make a vegetarian dish.
  • Put the chickpeas into a larger saucepan and pour in hot, but not boiling, water to cover. Reserve a garlic clove and add the remainder of the bulb to the pan with the bay leaf and one of the onions. Cook over a medium heat for 2 and a half hour.
  • Dry the salt cod, add to the pan and cook for a further 30 minutes.
  • Add the spinach and cook for 8 minutes more.
  • Finely chop the remaining onion. Heat the oil n a frying pan Add the chopped onion and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, until lightly golden. Add the tomato and cook, stirring and breaking it up with the side of the spoon, for a further 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the paprika and remove the pan from the heat. Allow the mixture to cool slightly, then transfer to a food processor, process to a puréé and stir into the chickpeas.
  • Season to taste with salt. Pond the parsley with the reserved garlic clove in a mortar, stir in 1 tablespoon of the cooking liquid from the chickpeas, then stir into the pan. Cook for 155’20 minutes and serve in a soup tureen.
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