Today’s post was going be these salad wraps I brought to a New Year’s party (they were a big hit and I promise a recipe soon) – but darn it, it is so cold outside and I just couldn’t write about something cold when I’m freezing. My fingers hurt as I type. Believe me, you will quickly realize how drafty your house is when its -20 C and the wind is blowing at 30 km/h, when the “feels like” temp is -38 C. -38! I live in the most Southern part of Canada for a reason. I’m not suppose to have to deal with this. This is official soup weather and I’ve made two in last 3 days. BTW – I tried this lovely vegan split soup from Lemons & Anchovies. It’s a must. Go make it. My slow-cooker is MIA this week, so I made this on the stove until the peas were soft. Perfect.
Talking about soup brings me to Toasted Chickpeas. I like to dress up my soups a little bit. Give them some texture, some bite. Yes, I know, this is not really a recipe. A component. Something to toss onto your next salad – one of my favourite places for them when the temps are more agreeable. But perhaps, given the -20 outside, these are appropriate on top of a bowl of soup today. This carrot and banana soup or this ever popular turnip soup would really love some spicy, toasty chickpeas sprinkled on the top.
Toasted chickpeas are crunchy like croutons, but are far less oil drenched and provide a bit of protein too. Plus they are kinda fun to eat out of hand. Just grab a handful and munch. Snack food. Like nuts.
Here is how you make them:
The chickpeas should be fully cooked but very dry. The best way to do this is to lay rinsed and well drained chickpeas out on a clean kitchen towel and roll them around a bit. Some brands of canned chickpeas, I find a least, are cooked softer then others. You will want a fairly firm cooked chickpea for this. Which might mean you have to open up another can…
Sometime the skins of the chickpeas will come off when you rinse them. Remove any stray skins, but don’t feel you need to skin them all before roasting. Removing the skins from the chickpeas is one of those jobs that just never seems to be completely done. In my opinion it is completely unnecessary. The loose ones will just leave a little bit of shrapnel at the bottom of the serving bowl, which you might find unsightly or maybe you will not care. Either way, it is up to you.
Once the chickpeas are dry, toss them on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Rub them around in the oil to get all the peas coated. Then sprinkle with your favourite seasonings and some salt. Here I used Cowper Curry. My own curry powder mix made from curry type spices I happened to have in small annoying quantities in the spice cabinet. I needed to consolidate so I dumped all them into the same jar. Don’t ask me what is in it, I couldn’t recreate it if I tried. But it’s working for us. Use your favourite curry blend.
Anyway, toss some seasoning on the chickpeas and then stick them in a preheated oven. Roast at 400 degrees for about 30-35 minutes. Stir them around half way through.
That’s it. A crunchy, spicy treat that makes a salad or a vegetable based soup a little more substantial.
I keep leftovers in the fridge for several days. They will lose some of their crunch overtime, but are still nice to grab a handful of whenever you need something to munch on.