31st Jan 2024 @ 1:00 pm

During Lent, meat is avoided and humble ingredients are used in easy-to-prepare dishes that give sustenance for the long religious vigils. This classic Spanish Lent dish is warming, healthy and absolutely delicious.


• 200g dried chickpeas (or a

300g jar)

• Four eggs

• Olive oil

• A medium onion, chopped

• A small leek, chopped

• A small green pepper,


• Two cloves garlic

• 1 tspn pimentón dulce (fresh


• 200g chopped tomatoes

• 300g cod fillets (bacalao), cut

into 2 cm strips

• 150g fresh spinach, chopped


• 1,5 litres fish stock


1. If using dried chickpeas, soak overnight then boil at a low simmer for an hour (20 minutes in a pressure cooker). Boil the eggs until hard, peel and set aside.

2. In a saucepan, fry the onions, pepper and leek for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 5 minutes until soft. Add the pimentón and tomato and cook for another 5 minutes. Add fish stock, bring to the boil then give the broth a whizz with a stick blender.

3. Add the chickpeas and cook for 20 minutes, or until the chickpeas are soft. Taste the soup and season with salt and pepper if necessary.

4. When you’re sure that the soup is ready, add the cod and spinach and stir well. Cook for another 5-8 minutes. Serve with a quartered boiled egg for each person.


This dish is even easier to prepare nowadays. Defrosted cod is fine, and jarred chickpeas can be used too. Prepared fish stock can be bought in cartons in local supermarkets.

For a vegan version, omit the cod and eggs and use a vegetable stock (a strip of kombu seaweed, while not traditional, will boost the flavour dramatically).

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