Cheat’s Chickpeas – Revithátha Efkoli

One of the ‘new’ ingredients that has come out of vegan cooking is ‘aquafaba’. This is the gloopy liquid that you find in tins of cooked pulses – primarily chickpeas. For years cooks just chucked it away, until it was found to have some of the properties of egg whites! So now this liquid is prized in vegan baking for meringues and, more widely, for making vegan mayonnaise.

I used to find that making revithatha with tinned chickpeas was always a bit disappointing. It was quick to make, of course, but the resulting soup was a bit lacking in … well… ’oomf’. So with the realisation that ‘aquafaba’ was a ‘thing’, I stopped draining the tinned chickpeas, and added the liquid to the pot! Simple ! Obviously, if you have the time and forethought to soak the pulses and cook them for hours, you will have a different plate of food – but never knock a cheat’s recipe ! We all need them sometimes !

2 x 400 gm tinned chickpeas (if you can, use the organic ones) – DO NOT DRAIN

1 onion, chopped into a fine dice

1 clove of garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons olive oil, for sweating the onions

100-150 ml olive oil

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon ‘Kallø’ or ’Marigold’ vegan stock powder or similar

A few whole black peppercorns

A little ground pepper

Salt to taste

This is a ‘cheat’s’ recipe but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need a little care.

The most important step is to ‘sweat’ the onions properly. They mustn’t be fried to a crisp, just wilted gradually over a low heat until soft. Then add the crushed garlic and cook for a further minute or so.

Add the canned chickpeas, including the aquafaba (canning liquid).

Bring to a steady simmer and add the rest of the olive oil, bay leaf, peppercorns, vegan stock powder and seasoning. Depending on how much aquafaba you have from the tins, and also the consistency you prefer, you may need to add a bit more water.

Cook gently for about 30 minutes until you have a nice, slightly thickened consistency.

Enjoy with some good bread and a few pickled hot peppers on the side.

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