FROM COOKING FOR ARTISTS BY MINA STONE
1 16 ounce bag of dried chickpeas
1 tbsp baking soda
2 yellow onions, peeled and left whole
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
4 tbsp all-purpose flour or see note for flourless version below
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
juice of 1-2 lemons
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 bunch of chopped leafy greens such as spinach, swiss chard, escarole, kale, dandelion, mustard or collard greens
Soak the dried chickpeas in plenty of water overnight, or at least six hours. When you are ready to make the stew, drain the chickpeas in a colander and rinse them well. Leaving them in the colander, dust the chickpeas with the baking soda (which serves as a tenderizer and then toss to incorporate, using your hands. Let the chickpeas sit for thirty minutes and then rinse very well, 3 or 4 times, in order to remove all the baking soda. Place the chickpeas in a large, heavy pot filled with enough water to cover them by two inches. Add the whole onions, the bay leaves, and a generous pinch of salt. Bring the stew to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low and cover. After about twenty minutes, the chickpeas will start to give off a white froth. Skim this two or three times, and then don't worry about it, After you've skimmed the stew a few times add two sprigs of fresh rosemary and simmer until the chickpeas are very tender, about another forty minutes. Remove the onions and the rosemary sprigs. To thicken the stew, place four tablespoons of flour in a mixing bowl and whisk it with a half a cup of olive oil. Slowly drizzle in two cups of broth from the stew, whisking to remove any lumps. Bring the stew to a low simmer. Add the flour mixture back to the pot, stirring well for about three minutes until the stew is thick and velvety. Taste for seasoning and add more salt (you will most likely need to add another generous pinch or two) and freshly ground pepper. In the last ten minutes of cooking, add two cups of cleaned and coarsely chopped greens. of your choice.
Note: for a flourless version, omit the four tablespoons of flour and in a separate bowl combine one cup of the cooked chickpeas with one cup of broth. Using an immersion blender, puree to a smooth consistency and add back into the soup. Simmer until it thickens a bit, about ten to fifteen minutes more. Puree another cup of chickpeas and broth if you like an even thicker consistency.
To serve, ladle into bowls and drizzle with olive oil and fresh lemon juice. This dish is best served on the day you make it.