Chickpeas with Orange, Rosemary and Leeks


This dish was inspired by one of the answers in our Christmas series when we asked what you eat after the indulgences of December. Spyros from Parissi mentioned chickpeas with orange, rosemary and leeks and when I found myself with a few spare oranges in early January, I knew exactly what to make.

Healthy and warming, it’s filling and easy to make and doesn’t put any pressure on your purse pre payday either. Oranges are in season right now. You can use the zest of a bitter Seville orange from the A&C Deli for an extra citrus kick or of course keep them to make marmalade. It makes a great packed lunch or simple dinner and while it’s vegan and gluten free, you could add some fried breadcrumbs for crunch or a poached egg on top if you prefer.

Chickpeas with orange and rosemary with leeks (serves 2-4 depending on greed)

  • 2 x 400g tins chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
  • 2 large leeks, sliced into half moons
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 large oranges, zested and juiced
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chill flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • 250ml vegetable stock
  • 150g fresh curly kale

I only ever buy my tinned pulses in the Nour Cash and Carry as they stock good quality velvety ones at a decent price, unlike supermarkets that seem to sell pulses that are either mush in a can or hard as rocks. This isn’t the recipe for cooking your own from scratch. Drain two cans of chickpeas and rinse the liquid off them well. It contains a concentration of the sugars that make pulses problematic to digest so a good wash does wonders.

Take the two leeks and peel the very outermost layer off. Use a sharp knife to split the tip open along the natural crease of the leek and then peel it back itself to wash it inside each layer. When clean, split them in half and chop into half moons about the thickness of a pound coin.

Heat the olive oil on a medium heat in a heavy pan or casserole that has a lid and add the leeks. Allow them to soften, stirring occasionally, for about 5-7 minutes until getting some colour. Add the chopped garlic and the drained chickpeas and stir through well. Slosh in the juice and pulp of the oranges, reserving the zest. Put the rosemary in, stalks and all and season well with salt and pepper and the chilli flakes if liked.  Pour the vegetable stock in and put the lid on. Simmer for 30 minutes on a low heat.

Wash the kale well (the Nour are now selling it as does the Farmers Market) and remove the leaves from the inner ribs. Chop or tear roughly so you have largish pieces of just leaves. Stir it into the chickpeas and put the lid back on 2-3 minutes until it just wilts but doesn’t change colour. Remove it from the heat and scatter with the orange zest. Serve warm.

Miss South also blogs at and her recipes are available in Slow Cooked by Ebury Press. She edited and contributed to Recipes From Brixton Village by Kitchen Press, also available at 20 Storey in Market Row and Cornercopia in Brixton Village.