With good bread and a salad, this stew makes an excellent cold-weather lunch or supper.
Soak chickpeas in cold water for at least 4 hours. Drain, put in a medium saucepan, and add water to cover. Add bay leaves. Bring to a strong boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until tender, about 2 hours. Add more boiling water if needed to maintain water level. When beans are tender, add salt to taste, and cook a few minutes longer. Drain, reserving cooking liquid.
Cook onion and garlic in olive oil over low heat until translucent, about 15 minutes. Add paprika, oregano, pepper, tomato paste, and chopped tomatoes, and cook a few minutes more.
Add chickpeas, squash, and enough cooking liquid to cover. Cook, covered, until squash is tender, about 30 minutes. Add pepper flakes if desired, and adjust seasonings. Remove bay leaves. Stir in spinach, cook until wilted, and serve.