This spinach chickpea stew turns a bag of frozen spinach and some chickpeas into a wholesome one-pot dinner to feed a crowd! There are variations of this spinach stew recipe with tomatoes throughout the Mediterranean and the Middle East. My mom made her spinach stew, Egyptian-style using lean ground beef, but I opted for a vegan option, which is just as hearty and satisfying, thanks to chickpeas!
In a large pot, heat ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions and garlic and cook, tossing regularly, for 3 to 5 minutes or until softened.
Add the tomatoes, spinach, chickpeas, and chicken broth. Add the parsley and season with a good dash of kosher salt and black pepper. Stir in the spices.
Bring to a boil of medium-high, then turn the heat down to low and cover partway, leaving part of the top open. Allow the spinach to simmer for 25 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally.
While the spinach stew is simmering, toast the vermicelli. In a small pan, heat about 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high. Add the vermicelli and continuously stir to toast it evenly. Vermicelli should turn a nice golden brown, but watch carefully not to over-brown or burn. Remove from heat.
Stir in the toasted vermicelli in the spinach stew and cook for another 10 minutes or until the vermicelli noodles are cooked to tender.
Remove from the heat and finish with lemon juice and a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
To use fresh spinach in place of frozen spinach: you'll need about 2 ½ pounds of fresh spinach leaves (stems removed). You'll start by quickly sauteing the fresh spinach in olive oil until it wilts some, finishing it with a splash of lemon juice. Once you've done that, you'll set it aside and proceed with the recipe.
Leftovers: properly stored in the fridge, this spinach soup will keep in the fridge for 3 to 4 days
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