Chickpea and autumn vegetable casserole

Serves 4

Chickpeas are a great meaty convenience food to keep in the larder, either dried or canned. Chickpeas do vary in quality massively so the rule of thumb is generally you get what you pay for. Although this is a great vegetarian dish it can be enjoyed by anyone, even add some meat (such as chorizo) to it if you wish or simply serve it in the middle of the table as a side dish.

24 or so small shallots or baby onions, peeled
8 cloves of garlic, peeled
A few sprigs of thyme
250ml good strength chicken stock
1 small swede, peeled and cut into rough 1cm chunks
2 small carrots, trimmed, peeled and halved lengthways (or use whole Chantenay carrots)
250g chickpeas, cooked
2tbsp chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the shallots in a pan with the garlic, thyme and vegetable stock, season, bring to the boil and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the shallots are tender. Remove the shallots and garlic with a slotted spoon and add the swede and carrots. Simmer until they are tender then add the chickpeas, shallots and garlic and continue simmering for five minutes.

If you wish to thicken the liquid slightly, liquidise a small ladleful and add back to the casserole. Re-season and serve.

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