Spanish Garbanzo Bean Stew


Preparation info

  • Serves

    4 to 6

    • Difficulty


Appears in

One Good Dish

By David Tanis

Published 2013

  • About

When I first tasted this wonderful, earthy soup, called potaje in Spanish, all I wanted was more. Chunky and substantial, it is a homely dish made from garbanzo beans, potatoes, and a little pork. The recipe below feeds a few, but you could make a big potful for a larger gathering. Like other stews, the flavor improves if made a day ahead. Serve with red wine, radishes, and coarse crusty bread. Flamenco music too, if possible.


  • 1 cup dried garbanzo beans, soaked overnight in cold water and drained
  • ¾ pound pork belly (or 1 pig’s foot, about pounds)
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 small onion, stuck with 1 clove
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 cups water
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ pound Spanish chorizo, diced
  • 2 teaspoons pimentón
  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks


    Put the garbanzos in a large pot, add the pork belly (or pig’s foot), carrot, clove-stuck onion, bay leaf, water, and 1 tablespoon of salt. Bring to a boil, skim off the foam, and simmer for about 1 hour, until the garbanzos are tender. Turn off the heat. Drain, reserving the liquid.

    Heat the oil in a heavy soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the diced onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and chorizo and stir to coat. Season well with salt and pepper and add the pimentón. Add the garbanzos and 8 cups of the cooking liquid, bring just to a simmer, and cook gently for 45 minutes. Add the potatoes and continue cooking until the potatoes are quite tender, about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

    Remove the pork belly, slice thickly (or remove the meat from the pig’s foot and chop it), and return it to the pot. Ladle the soup into bowls.