Simmered Chickpea Stew

Get those garbanzo beans a soakin’. Long ago, when Alex was a youngster, I had a client who gave me a recipe for her favorite garbanzo bean stew. It really was delicious and I made that recipe many times – delicious and cheap. Although we both grew tired of this recipe I’m pretty sure that it did imprint as one of his childhood foods, so when I make it now, it’s familiar and comforting. I was thinking of this recipe the other day but couldn’t find it. Frustrating but I decided to try to ad lib holy-befold!

I have to say that I’ve come pretty close! I got those Rancho Gordo dried garbanzo beans to soaking and this is what I came up with. A pretty good approximation of my favorite simmered chickpea stew.

Simmered Chickpea Stew (- from a compilation and memory)


Ingredients (For the basic cooked garbanzo recipe):

1 lb. of dried garbanzos (same as chickpeas if you didn’t know)

2 bay leaves

1 clove garlic peeled and smashed

2 6”-stalks of rosemary

Ingredients (For the stew):

3 Tbsp olive oil

2 cloves of garlic smashed and minced

1 Tbsp chopped rosemary

1 tsp chipotle pepper flakes or just red pepper flakes

28-oz can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes or crushed tomatoes or whole tomatoes – whatever you have. It’ll all break down in the pot.

3 Tbsp chopped parsley

4 Cups of good vegetable broth (See Batch-33’s roasted vegetable stock, from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian) or canned. You can also use chicken stock if you’d like. It’s good that way too.


-Cooking the garbanzos

Soak the garbanzo beans in water, overnight (beans should be covered by a few inches of water). The next day, put the soaked garbanzo beans into a pot with the 2 bay leaves, the garlic clove and the 2 6-inch stalks of rosemary. Cover with water by about 3 inches above the beans. Cook until done. Probably about 30 minutes if the dried chickpeas are fresh. If stale/old beans it will take longer. Who knows how long but definitely longer. Once done, cool and drain.

– Cooking the garbanzo bean/chickpea stew

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed dutch oven or large straight-sided pan. Add the minced garlic and sauté over medium heat until lightly colored about a minute or two. Stir in the Tbsp of Rosemary and the pepper flakes and cook for about a minute – maybe less.

Add the canned tomatoes and salt to taste and simmer until the sauce thickens – 5 or 8 minutes. Stir in the chickpeas and parsley and 4 cups of homemade roasted vegetable stock a la Mark Bittman. Simmer until the flavors are blended about 15 more minutes. Adjust for salt.

Serve with a crusty toasted bread to soak up the soup, and maybe a light, green salad with olive oil and champagne vinegar.

Also can be made a day ahead and the flavors will blend deliciously.

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