Hearty garbanzo bean soup (chickpea soup) is a very popular Cuban dish made with ham, chorizo, pumpkins and cabbage. Total comfort food!
14 ounces dry garbanzo beans or chickpeas
8 ounces smoked ham chops (you can use ham hocks too)
1 chorizo sausage link (about an ounce, give or take)
8 ounces red potatoes
8 ounces pumpkin
1 cup chopped green cabbage
1 medium yellow onion
2/3 green bell pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 bay leaves
2 culantro leaves
6 garlic cloves
½ cup tomato sauce
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon thyme
1 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
¼ teaspoon black pepper or to taste
8 cups water
Soak the garbanzo beans for four hours or overnight.
Rinse the beans and add them to the Instant Pot with 8 cups of water. Add half the onion, 1/3 green bell pepper, 3 garlic cloves, culantro leaves, bay leaves and ham. Do not cut the onion and leave the pepper in one large chunk and the garlic cloves whole. We are going to remove these things once the beans are softened.
Cook in the Instant Pot for 35 minutes on high pressure. If you’re cooking on the stovetop, bring to a boil and simmer for about an hour or until the beans are softened.
While the soup cooks, prep the vegetables.
Chop the other half of the onion, crush the garlic. You can chop the bell pepper or leave it whole. I don’t like the pepper in my soup so I leave it whole so I can avoid it or remove it. Chop the cabbage into one-inch pieces and peel and cut the potatoes and pumpkin into small chunks (about 1 ½ inches pieces). Also, slice the chorizo into ¼ inch slices. Measure out the spices.
Once the beans are softened, remove the onions, bell pepper, garlic cloves, and the culantro and bay leaves. If you want to, you can cut up the ham into bite-size pieces.
Add the olive oil to a sauté pan on medium heat. Once heated, sauté the onions, bell pepper and garlic and cook until softened. This should take about 4-5 minutes. Add the oregano, cumin, paprika and thyme and cook for 30 seconds. Add the tomato sauce and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the mix to the beans, along with the chorizo, vegetables and another bay leaf. Add the salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 30 minutes or so, until the potatoes and pumpkin are cooked through. If you’re using an Instant Pot, saute for 25 minutes.
Serve with some soft croutons and a drizzle of olive oil. Or serve with a hearty slice of buttered bread. It’s comfort food!
Prep time does not include soaking the beans.
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