Yield: 4 servings
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small onion, diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
Generous pinch red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons sweet or hot smoked paprika (or to taste), divided
2 teaspoons ground cumin
8 cups (packed) kale, center ribs and stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped (from about 1 1/2 pounds kale)
4 cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained
Sherry vinegar, to taste
Sugar, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed stock pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and reduce heat to medium low and sauté until soft and golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Stir in garlic and red pepper flakes; cook for 1 minute. Add paprika and cumin; cook until fragrant, 15 – 30 seconds more. Add kale, stock and chickpeas. Cover and cook until kale is soft and chickpeas are heated through.
Remove lid, turn heat to medium-high and cook until the stew thickens somewhat. Season to taste with salt and pepper, a splash of sherry vinegar, sugar and more smoked paprika, if desired. Transfer to individual bowls; drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and serve.
For a heartier, non-vegetarian version of this recipe, add cooked andouille, kielbasa or other spicy sausage along with the chickpeas.