For Day 3 of our week-long series featuring Latin vegetarian recipes as part of National Vegetarian Week, I'm tackling one of my childhood favorites: the potaje. Of course, in  my Cuban household we almost always made it with chorizo and also used different kind of beans and lentils. But this hearty stew can easily be made vegetarian to please the whole family. It's a great dish because not only is it perfect for dinner, but it can also be frozen and saved for lunch another day. I love this classic version using chickpeas (a.k.a garbanzos) and spinach. Coupled with the potatoes, this potaje de garbanzos comes out a golden color that's as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate. Serve it up and enjoy!

Read more ¿Qué más? Latin vegetarian recipe of the day: grilled chili-lime vegetable tacos with charred pineapple salsa

Potaje de Garbanzos, a.k.a. Spanish Chickpea Stew (recipe courtesy of Veggies for Real)

Ingredients:
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil 
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 green bell pepper, diced (you can definitely substitute a different colored bell pepper)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tomato, diced
About 1 lb potatoes (I used about 3 smallish red ones)
5-6 cups vegetable stock (I wanted my potaje more soupy, so I used 6)
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 cups loosely packed spinach, chopped
1 15 oz / 425 g can chickpeas
Optional: 1 nori sheet, julienned

Directions:
1.  In a pot with a lid, heat the oil over medium heat. Toss in the onions and saute them for about 5 minutes, or until tender but not brown. Add the garlic and cook for about another 3 minutes. Mix in the peppers and saute for approximately 4 minutes. Stir in the paprika, cumin, salt and pepper, toasting the spices for about a minute.
2.  Deglaze the pan by adding the tomatoes, broth, potatoes, and bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer. Cook the soup covered for 15-18 minutes or until the potatoes are just shy of done.
3.  Add the spinach, nori and chickpeas and simmer the stew for about 5 minutes or until the potatoes are done. Fish out the bay leaves and serve.

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Have you ever made a potaje? Are you following along with our Latin vegetarian dishes this week? Share with us in the comments below!

Image via Veggies For Real

About the author

Irina Gonzalez is a Staff Writer for MamásLatinas. She loves pop culture, social media, photography and, above all, discovering new places. She's also a foodie eating healthy and learning to enjoy exercise.

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Saving this recipe!  Love a simple, vegetarian meal! 

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