I am a big lover of legumes and the chickpea was my first. This long-time love of Chickpea (AKA Garbanzo), was elevated when breaking, quite literally, out of the can. I used to be completely satisfied eating and cooking with canned beans. They are convenient, tasty and usually tender.
Older, wiser and armed with a pressure cooker, I am now convinced that a homemade batch of beans is both convenient and a staple to many a great meal. I have my Sister-In-Law, Irma, to thank for the epiphany regarding the cooking of dried beans. She uses a pressure cooker, which I had always been fearful of but since converting to, have never looked back.
The beautiful thing about this recipe is that it is many things in one. It is chickpea soup if you ladle it into a bowl with the liquid, it is a side dish if you scoop it out of it's liquid with a slotted spoon and it is an ingredient if you are making one of many different things such as hummus, salads, baked goods or soups.
You will need a pressure cooker for this. If you don't have one but are intrigued with this idea, less than $100 is worth investing, if nothing else, in cooking beans. There is no need to soak overnight and the cooking time is cut in half. There are many other uses though so it really is money well spent.
—10 Legs in the Kitchen
approximately 6 cups (including liquid)
dried chickpeas, rinsed
celery stalk, cleaned and trimmed
onion, cut in half, skin removed
cloves coarsely chopped garlic
The juice of 1 1/2 lemons
a few drizzles olive oil
fresh thyme (tied together makes it easier to remove; a cheese cloth pouch makes a prettier broth)
Put all the water, celery, onion, garlic, juice of one lemon, one drizzle olive oil, bay leaf and thyme in the bowl of an electric pressure cooker. Set it to high pressure and set the cooking time to 24 minutes.
It will take 10 minutes or so to work up to the right amount of heat and steam before the timer clicks down. Once the time is up, allow the pressure to work itself down by itself (which will take another 15-20 minutes or so).
Once the lid has released, remove it and check the chickpeas for tenderness. I like mine al dente; easy to bite through but not mushy and falling apart. If they are still a little tough, set the cooker to simmer and let simmer till done.
When they are cooked to your preferred consistency, add the salt, another drizzle of olive oil and the juice of the remaining 1/2 lemon. Turn the cooker off and let cool in the liquid. Once mostly cooled, check the seasonings and adjust to your own liking.
Remove the thyme stems (leaves will have scattered about unless you cooked them in a cheese cloth pouch). Remove the bay leaf too and press on the onions and celery with the back of a spoon. They should disintegrate into the broth as you press on them. You can remove and discard any large pieces, if you wish.
You now have a wide range of options, as mentioned above. Store the unused chickpeas in their liquid. Munch often and eat well.