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Potaje de Acelgas (Swiss Chard Pottage)

Potaje de Acelgas Photo: juantiagues Some rights reserved

Acelgas (Swiss Chard)
Chard is native to the European countries of the Mediterranean coast and North Africa and arrived in the Canary Islands after the Conquest in the 15th Century, and has been part of the peasant diet in the autumn and winter, months in which it was collected after the rains, since in most cases it grew on the farmland without the need for cultivation. 

In Las Mercedes (San Cristóbal de La Laguna) this vegetable is prepared in a stew accompanied by pork, chickpeas, corncobs and pumpkin.

Serves 4


150 gr. chickpeas
150 gr. pumpkin
Corncob, cut into 4 pieces
200 gr. chard (you could also substitute spinach)
300 gr. pork
200 gr. of potatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 ripe tomato, peeled and deseeded
2 or 3 cloves of garlic
A teaspoon of sweet pimentón
A few strands of saffron
4 tablespoons of olive oil


Soak the chickpeas the day before to soften them. 

Add a splash of olive oil to a pan and brown a small onion along with the tomato. When the onion is golden brown, add water. When the water is lukewarm, add the chickpeas. Wash the chard well and chop, taking care that the stems are not too large. Add the pork, corncob pieces, chard and saffron to the pan. Leave over medium heat for 45 minutes.

In a mortar and pestle add a little coarse salt, three cloves of garlic and crush. When everything is mashed, add the sweet pimentón (paprika). Add to the pan.

When the chickpeas are almost done, add the potatoes and the chopped pumpkin to the stew. Once the potatoes are cooked (20 minutes) turn off the heat, letting the stew rest until it is served. As in all Canarian stews, you can add gofio on the plate, or it can be accompanied by an escaldón made with the soup broth.

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