When I was growing up, chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) were these cold and slimy things that my mother would occasionally put on salads. I didn’t discover that they could be anything but awful until just a couple of years ago. Their flavor is really pretty good. Chickpeas are mild, with a hint of richness, and quite hearty. I love them toasted or fried, and so when I saw a recipe that turned them into soup, I was intrigued.
I soaked the chickpeas on Sunday night, and I was all set to make this recipe for dinner on Monday night. However, when I got home and read the recipe again, I saw the one line that I’d obviously skipped over the first time I read the recipe. Cook for 2 hours. TWO HOURS. TWO. HOURS. Well, it was already 5:45 and we had yoga at 8, so I knew that wasn’t going to fly. So… I pushed the recipe off until Tuesday. So, beware. This recipe only takes about 20 minutes of active work in the kitchen, but it does require that two hour block of cooking at the beginning. You can certainly cook the chickpeas and onions one night, and then transfer the whole pot to the fridge and continue the next night.
- 1 cup garbanzo beans (chickpeas), soaked overnight
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 4 slices of bread, toasted
- 1/2 cup fontina cheese, grated
- Salt and pepper
- In a medium sized saucepan, add the onions, the chickpeas, and 6.5 cups of water.
- Bring to a boil, reduce the heat slightly, cover, and cook over medium heat for 2 hours.
- Transfer the chickpeas, onions, and the fluid to a blender and process until smooth. Return it to the pan to keep arm.
- In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the crushed garlic clove and the rosemary and cook for 5-7 minutes, until the oil is well infused. Season with salt and pepper.
- Discard the garlic and the rosemary and pour the oil into the chickpea puree.
- Ladle the puree into four oven safe bowls.
- Top each bowl with a slice of bread and divide the cheese between the bowls.
- Broil the bowls for 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling.
- I suspected that the water to bean ratio that was left after cooking the beans for 2 hours was important. It is. You can’t just puree the beans by themselves, or you’ll end up with more of a hummus consistency. You need some of that water. There’s probably about 1.5 cups of water leftover once the beans have cooked for 2 hours.
- I’m adept at cooking beans in the pressure cooker, but I’m no expert. I suspected that the beans needed to be extra tender for this recipe and while I know I can get raw, soaked beans to tender in about 10-12 minutes in the pressure cooker, I wasn’t sure what I’d need to do to get the beans to their proper level of tenderness for this recipe. So for now, until I get a little better at pressure cooking beans, I’m going to keep using the stovetop method for this recipe. If you’d like to use the pressure cooker though, please do so and let me know how this recipe turns out!
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