Any recipe with a Hemsley name tag is undoubtedly going to be absolutely delicious. Which is why we’re excited to bring you the most amazing Spanish Chickpea & Almond Stew from Melissa Hemsley’s new cookbook, Eat Happy (Penguin). Enjoy and prepared to be wowed!

Using store cupboard staples and spinach from the freezer, this Seville-inspired stew comes together in under 20 minutes and is a hit with everyone. You could swap the spinach for other greens, such as chopped chard, or add extra bits and bobs, such as a few tablespoons of capers, olives or chopped sun-dried tomatoes. I love this as a stew-like soup in a bowl, but you could make it thicker and serve with a side of quinoa

Serves 4


3 tablespoons chopped or flaked almonds

1½ tablespoons butter or ghee

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 large red or orange pepper, deseeded and chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 large handful of fresh

parsley, stalks finely chopped and leaves roughly chopped

1 tablespoon tomato purée

2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes

2 x 400g tins of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

100ml stock/bone broth

(p. 278) or water (optional)

250g spinach

1 tablespoon lemon juice Sea salt and black pepper Extra-virgin olive oil, to serve


2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper



In a large, deep frying pan, toast the almonds over a medium heat for just under a minute until golden, then set aside. Melt the butter in the hot pan, add the onion and pepper and fry for 6 minutes until starting to soften.

Add the garlic, spices and parsley stalks and fry for 1 minute, stirring constantly to prevent them from burning, then add the tomato purée and cook for another 30 seconds.

Tip the tinned tomatoes into the pan, turn up the heat to a medium simmer and cook for 15 minutes, uncovered, to thicken and reduce. Add the chickpeas and cook for another 3 minutes with a lid on. If you want the stew to be more soup-like, add the stock.

Turn up the heat, drop in the spinach and cook for 1 minute, covered with the lid, then add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

Serve each bowl with a good drizzle of olive oil and with the parsley leaves and toasted almonds scattered over.

Melissa Hemsley