Puchero is a peasant stew from Spain, but is prepared in a number of countries in Central and South America, and in the Phillippines. The word "puchero" translates to "stew pot" in English. Many times, the broth is made from meat or cured bones. Depending on the country preparing it, there are variations in some of the ingredients. Latin America includes chorizo or pork belly. The Phillippines includes plantains and sweet potato. Most of the time, chickpeas are included, regardless of the region.
In today's recipe, I combine chickpeas with a rich broth seasoned with whole cloves and sherry vinegar. Sweet potatoes, chard, carrots, leeks and celery come together to form the base of the stew. Served with rice, it's a comforting, warm bowl on a cold winter's night.
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
½ cup leeks, thinly sliced
2 carrots, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 cup sweet potato, peeled and cubed
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 bay leaves
8 whole cloves
1 15 ounce can of chickpeas
4 cups chard of your choice (I used rainbow)
2 cups broth (vegetable, fake chicken, etc)
1 ½-2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
1. Heat olive oil over medium heat, and add onions and leeks with a dash of salt. Cook for about 5-7 minutes or until slightly golden. Add carrots, celery, garlic and sweet potatoes. Cook for 5 more minutes, and then, add bay leaves, whole cloves, and chickpeas. Cook for 5 more minutes. Add chard and broth. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until all the vegetables are fork tender.
2. Remove from heat, and stir in sherry vinegar. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve on it's own or over rice.