All images: Zsolt Sandor / MothershipUK
This lightly spiced dish has a delicate, distinctive flavour. We created it for the vegan brunch we hosted after the Jane Tomlinson Leeds 10k in July. All of our guests had bravely (foolishly?!) sweated their way round the course on a sweltering day. The least we could do was help them start repairing their hard working muscles with a tasty hit of protein
We had 10 guests but we quadrupled the quantities below and made enough for 16, just in case people were feeling particularly hungry. Good thing too – there wasn’t a single chickpea left in the house when brunch was over! It was hugely popular, with people going back for seconds and even thirds. It’s vegan but has such a rich flavour that one friend insisted we must, simply must, have used butter. We didn’t, of course, but the combination of mild, piquant spices gives this dish a depth of flavour that adds up to much, much more than the sum of its parts.
Spiced Leek and Chickpeas
1 leek, sliced
400g new potatoes, roughly chopped
1 tin (400g) chickpeas
1 red chili (or ¼ teaspoon chili flakes)
1cm cinnamon stick, crumbled
300ml vegetable stock
Large handful fresh oregano, roughly chopped
Handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
Olive oil for frying
1 Saute the leek and new potatoes in about a tablespoon of olive oil for 10 minutes, until the leek is softened and glistening.
2 Add the chili and cinnamon stick and stir well. Cook for 2 minutes.
3 Add the drained chickpeas and 200ml of vegetable stock (keep some in reserve – you don’t want the dish to be runny so add it later only if you really need to).
4 Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add a little more stock if necessary to keep it moist but don’t let it get soupy.
5 While this is simmering, gently fry the cumin seeds in a little olive oil.
6 Add the oregano, coriander and cumin seeds to the leek and chickpea mix, stirring well.
7 Simmer until the potatoes are done but still slightly al dente. Use a potato masher to break up some of the chickpeas and potatoes (this will thicken the mixture a little more and make it easy to serve).
8 Serve sprinkled with a little fresh oregano and coriander.
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