Like in many parts of Europe, the weather in the UK has been very wet recently with many areas being flooded. All I could do is to treat myself to a new pair of flowery boots as if the flowers will remind me that one day it will be spring again and there will be some decent weather....still a long way to go for that though!
This is the sort of weather that makes you crave for nice comforting soups, stews and nutritious foods. Whilst in Italy over the Christmas period my mum cooked chickpeas which I enjoyed very much.
Back in the UK I have bought a packet of dry chickpeas in my nearest organic shop. With a 300g packet which cost me less than £2, I made a pot full of them! And my house was smelling delicious too.
Chickpeas take longer to cook than beans so what I usually do is to cook them in a batch and freeze them. I am not a great fan of tinned ones as they don't taste quite the same. In any case once they are cooking you don't need to stir them much and you can leave them to cook at a gentle heat.
- Prep Time : 20 minutes
- Cook Time : 2 hrs 15 minutes + soaking time minutes
Soak the chickpeas in cold water for 12 hours. You can change the water and soak them for longer if you can. This will make them softer.
Chop finely the carrot, the leek, celery and the onion and stir fry in a large pot with the olive oil
Add the drained chickpeas and stir for a couple of minutes
Add enough hot water to cover the chickpeas then add the stock cube, the rosemary and the bay leaves. You can tie the herbs with a string if you like. Cover with the lid and cook for one hour.
Add the tomato sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Cover up again and carry on cooking for another hour. Keep topping up with water if it dries out.
Check that they are soft otherwise carry on cooking them for a little longer. I love them with radicchio (Italian chicory) or you can serve them with green salad and rustic bread. This is proper wholesome food!