Recipe: Chickpeas with Thyme Gravy

When compared to the way winter usually goes here in upstate NY, we’ve been pretty lucky this year.  No major snowstorms, no stretches of extreme cold requiring more layers than the Michelin man, and no ice to speak of.  Winter has, however, visited us a day or two here and there just to remind us that it could be-and very well might be, at some point-a lot worse.

One of those days arrived last week with a temperature of 0°F in the morning, warming up to all of 5 around the time that I normally venture out to walk the dog.  Needless to say, I didn’t go anywhere without at least three layers on both top and bottom, with multiple pairs of socks and gloves figuring into the equation.  Days like that warrant comfort food of the most traditional kind, so it was more than appropriate that I threw together this recipe the night before the cold hit.

This was inspired by a recent brunch at X’s to O’s which featured chickpea gravy and biscuits as the main attraction.  I don’t know how she made hers (which was awesome), but I used a bit of flour to thicken mine, toasting it in the pan beforehand sort of like a roux.  The amount of broth you use depends on how thick or thin you like your gravy, and of course you can serve it over anything you prefer.  I went with whole wheat drop biscuits from a recipe in 1,000 Vegan Recipes, mixed kale and collards, and roasted sweet potatoes and beets.  I think it would also be good over baked potatoes, with mashed potatoes, or any kind of biscuit or roll that strikes your fancy.  It’s winter-get comfortable.

Chickpeas with Thyme Gravy
serves 2-4

1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped small
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp flour
1tsp dried thyme
1-2cups veg broth
1 15.5oz can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
salt & pepper to taste

1) In a large skillet or saute pan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and garlic, cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

2) Add the flour and cook, stirring, until browned, 2-5 minutes.  Add the thyme, chickpeas, and 1 cup of broth; stir well to combine.

3) Bring the mixture a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10-15 minutes to thicken.  Add more broth as necessary if the gravy becomes too thick.  Season to taste with salt & pepper.  Serve hot.

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