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Chickpea Hotpot

At Halloween I cooked this dish to celebrate our harvest and use any warming ingredients I could find around the kitchen. It is also proof that one does not always need a recipe to follow from start to finish to make a meal. When I started cooking I did not know what the end result would be or where the meal would come from. Here is the result!


  • 400 g drained chickpeas
  • 400 g tin Cannelini or Broad Beans or you can soak dried beans beforehand and cook them like us
  • 3 medium white onion peeled and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves skinned and rough chopped
  • 200 g ripe tomatoes
  • 3 leeks trimmed cut and washed
  • seasoning
  • olive or rape seed oil dried herbs and spices (whatever is available


  • Begin frying your onions (we luckily had delicious fresh onions from cousin Eoin’s garden) with a good glug of oil over a low heat in wok or wide pan with high enough sides.
  • When they are sweated softly, after about five minutes add the chunky garlic, never too small or it would get lost at this early stage.
  • Add the leeks cut and washed, thank you again Eoin (one can get so used to supermarket leeks one forgets you have to wash the real versions to remove real soil, yes real soil, remember that!).
  • Next, add your beans drained and rinsed if from a tin. Slow-cooked tomatoes work exceptionally with beans, I had a bag of organic tomatoes grown by a friend and recently given to us. 
  • Wash and halve each tomato so the centre eye is removable from the top of each tomato half with a knife. Rough chop because these are going to break down with slow cooking. Bring the pan to the bubble and let it cook away contentedly from 15 minutes. 
  • Season and add some mustard seeds, a touch of dried coriander and cumin powder from the cupboard, or whatever one can find.
  • A dollop of our pesto on top of these hotpots in the centre always goes a long way to contributing umami flavour to the end result.