Slow-Cooker Spanish Chickpea Soup

Slow-Cooker Spanish Chickpea Soup

2 Reviews
From: EatingWell Soups Special Issue April 2016

This easy soup recipe is inspired by cocido, the hearty stew of assorted meats, chickpeas and vegetables considered a national dish of Spain. Each region, family and restaurant has its own variation, but this slow-cooker soup has enough meat to satisfy the carnivores and enough vegetables to make it healthy. Ask for a 4-ounce slab of Serrano ham or prosciutto at your deli counter instead of buying slices. If you don't have a 6-quart (or larger) slow cooker, opt for the stovetop variation instead.

Ingredients 8 servings

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Original recipe yields 8 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • 1 pound dried chickpeas
  • 6 chicken drumsticks (about 2 pounds), skin removed
  • 1 (4 ounce) piece Serrano ham or prosciutto, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 4 ounces Spanish-style chorizo, cut into ½-inch rounds
  • 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 ½-inch chunks
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, preferably Pimentùn de la Vera
  • ½ teaspoon saffron threads or ¼ teaspoon powdered saffron
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth or stock (or Slow-Cooker Chicken Stock, see associated recipe)
  • ½ medium cabbage (about 1 pound), cored and cut into 8 wedges
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Soak chickpeas in enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches for at least 12 hours and up to 1 day.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  • Tip: Clean leeks well to be sure they're grit-free. After slicing, place in a bowl of water and swish around to release any sand or soil trapped between the layers. Scoop the leeks out of the bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving any dirt behind. Drain well. Repeat as needed.
  • To make ahead: Soak chickpeas up to 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate soup for up to 3 days.
  • Equipment: 6-quart (or larger) slow cooker
  • Stovetop variation: Soak the chickpeas (Step 1). Drain, place in a large pot and add ham, chorizo, potatoes, leek, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaves, oregano, paprika and saffron. Add 8 cups broth (or stock) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the chickpeas are tender, about 1 hour. Add chicken and cabbage and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the cabbage is tender, about 20 minutes more. Remove the chicken from the bones and stir back into the soup. Season with pepper. Serve sprinkled with parsley.
  • For easy cleanup, try a slow-cooker liner. These heat-resistant, disposable liners fit neatly inside the insert and help prevent food from sticking to the bottom and sides of your slow cooker.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 2 cups
  • Per serving: 469 calories; 15 g fat(4 g sat); 13 g fiber; 49 g carbohydrates; 38 g protein; 48 mcg folate; 99 mg cholesterol; 10 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 3,588 IU vitamin A; 31 mg vitamin C; 114 mg calcium; 6 mg iron; 733 mg sodium; 1,216 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (72% daily value), Vitamin C (52% dv), Iron (33% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 4 lean protein, 2 starch, 1½ vegetable, ½ high-fat protein

Reviews 2

October 05, 2016
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By: kari
My whole family loved this meal. I used boneless chicken thighs instead of drumsticks and opted for chicken stock from Costco. I was excited to buy saffron for the first time. Smelled so amazing while it was cooking all day! Served over white rice and it was a hit. Lots of leftovers which was even better than the first time around. Best new slow cooker recipe I've found in years of searching.
March 24, 2015
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This is a hearty soup, fully of feel good flavors. I only made two changes as I do not like chorizo, I took that out and added clams. It was the closest to Manhattan clam chowder which is very hard to find. Love saffron!!! I serve this with a simple green and radish salad with lemon and evoo, warm crusty bread! Delicious!!!!raf
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