Below is a delicious recipe for Olla Gitana ‘Gypsy Pot’, a hearty pumpkin and chickpea stew from Murcia 

Serves 4 – 6
  • 2 Jars of Arroyo chickpeas, drained
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 2 liters rich chicken or vegetable stock
  • 500g pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2.5cm chunks
  • 300g green beans, trimmed and cut into 2cm lengths
  • 2 small slightly under-ripe pears, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
  • coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 handful of blanched almonds
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sweet unsmoked paprika 
  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 pinch saffron strands, crumbled and steeped in a few spoonfuls of hot stock for fifteen minutes
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1. Combine the chickpeas, carrots and enough stock to come about 5cm above the top of the ingredients in a large heavy pot and bring to a boil over medium heat.

2. Add the pumpkin, green beans, pears and season with salt to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered until the vegetables have softened, about 15-20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium pan over a medium heat. Add the almonds and garlic and cook, stirring, until golden for about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl, leaving behind as much oil as possible, and set aside (to use in step 4).

4. Add the onion to the seasoned pan and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the paprika and stir for a few seconds then add the tomatoes and a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid and cook until the tomatoes soften and reduce, approximately 7 minutes. Gently stir the tomato mixture and the saffron into the pot with the chickpeas add sherry vinegar and serve with crusty bread and the fresh mint.