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Slow-Cooker Spanish Chickpea Soup

Slow-Cooker Spanish Chickpea Soup

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.


8 servings

Prep Time

30 minutes

Total Time

5 1/4 hours


  • 1pound dried chickpeas
  • 6chicken drumsticks (about 2 pounds), skin removed
  • 14-ounce piece serrano ham or prosciutto, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 4ounces Spanish-style chorizo, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 8baby red potatoes, scrubbed and halved
  • 1large leek, white and light green parts, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2stalks celery, chopped
  • 3large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2bay leaves
  • 1tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2teaspoon saffron threads or 1/4 teaspoon powdered saffron
  • 6cups low-sodium chicken broth or stock
  • 1/2medium cabbage (about 1 pound), cored and cut into 8 wedges
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2cup chopped fresh parsley


  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.


To preapre Slow-Cooker Chicken Stock, cut 1 medium carrot, 1 celery stalk and 1 small onion into 1-inch pieces. Combine with 4 pounds skinless chicken leg quarters, 6 sprigs fresh parsley, 2 sprigs fresh thyme, 1 bay leaf, 1 crushed garlic clove and 20 whole peppercorns in a 6-quart slow cooker. Add 9 cups water. Cook on High for 4 hours. Strain and let cool to room temperature before refrigerating airtight for up to 1 week or freezing for up to 3 months. Makes: about 10 cups. (After straining, this stock has negligible calories, nutrients and sodium.)

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 this recipe on the stovetop, 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.

Soak chickpeas up to 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate soup for up to 3 days. Equipment: 6-quart (or larger) slow cooker

Nutrition Facts

Per serving (recipe makes 8 servings)

Calories 469kcal
Carbohydrate Total 50g
Total Sugars 10g
Added Sugars 0g
Fiber 13g
Total Fat 15g
Saturated Fat 4g
Mono Saturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 99mg
Sodium 729mg
Protein 38g
Potassium 1241mg
Calcium 119mg
Folate 53mcg
Omega-6 1g
Vitamin B12 1mcg
Vitamin E 1mg
Zinc 2mg
Vitamin B3 8mg

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