Hummus: The winter warmer you never knew you needed

By Corrie Heale

A dried chickpea is a thing of wonder and mystery.

A small hard little bullet that requires soaking and boiling until it finally becomes edible. Sounds like a lot of effort to me. I’m the kind of gal who likes to shmoosh up a can of ready prepared chickpeas in 5 minutes and call it hummus – isn’t that what canned chickpeas are for?

That being said, I have it on good authority that soaking and cooking dried chickpeas makes a vast improvement over my tinned version so was intrigued enough to try it for myself. Soaking the chickpeas overnight is the only step that makes the process lengthy but other than that, the task was relatively effortless and well worth it.

My hummus was silky smooth, buttery and creamier than any I have ever made. Sprinkled with smoked paprika and drizzled with lashings of extra virgin olive oil, I serve mine warm straight out the pot shovelled on top a hot pita bread. Who said hummus was just for summer crudités?

Authentic warm hummus

Makes approx 600g / Hands on time 15 mins / Total time 1 hr 20 mins + soaking overnight /V VnGfDf

You’ll need:

Food processor or hand blender 250g dried chickpeas 1tsp sea salt flakes ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the hummus:

2 garlic cloves 2 tbs tahini Juice of half a lemon 2 tbs water (more if you like a looser texture) 1tsp sea salt flakes

To serve:

Smoked paprika, chopped parsley and a good quality extra virgin olive oil

1. Add the dried chickpeas to a large bowl and cover with twice the volume of cold water (filtered if you have it). leave to soak for at least 12 hours – I tend to do this overnight.

2. Drain and rinse the chickpeas well before transferring to a large saucepan. Cover again with twice the volume of cold tap or filtered water and add 1 tsp of salt and ½ a tsp of bicarbonate of soda and stir well.

3. Place over a high heat and bring to a furious boil for 10 mins. Skimming off any foam that maybe produced. Turn the heat down to simmer and continue to cook the chickpeas for 50 mins. Your chickpeas should be soft enough to squish between your fingers. If they’re still little hard, continue to cook them until they are soft.

4. Drain the chickpeas over a large bowl to reserve the water and leave to cool in a colander for 10-15 mins. Tip the warm chickpeas into a food processor or large bowl (if using a hand blender) and add the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, salt and 2 tbs of the reserved water. Blitz until you have your desired texture. If you like your hummus extra smooth, add additional chickpea water and blend for longer until you get your desired textured.

5. Spoon into a bowl and serve warm topped with chopped fresh parsley, a dusting of smoked paprika and a good glug of good quality extra virgin olive oil.

Fancy making more of a meal out of it? Try my warm hummus bowl recipe topped with roasted rosemary vegetables. Using a large roasting tin, add a mixture of surplus veg, toss in rapeseed oil, sprinkle with smoked paprika and season well with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 20-25 mins at 200°C/180°C fan. Spoon the hummus generously into two bowls and top with the roasted vegetables, along with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve with toasted pita.

Corrie Heale

Freelance food writer / vegetarian food blogger and recipe writer. @corrieheale

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