A hearty stock is the foundation of every great holiday menu. And if you’re vegan, you can’t do better than the rich, golden broth from a pot of chickpeas.
Buying a vegan roast is very much like playing tofu roulette. Your options ping-pong between "legitimately tasty" and "old boots with a whiff of sage". If you're sick of the usual faux-meat options, I have great news: You can totally make your own.
There’s a reason that chicken and turkey stock are the default options for holiday cooking: both are definitely savoury and delicious, but more neutral than something like beef or pork stock. Chickpea broth is the same deal. You might think it’ll make everything taste like chickpeas, but you’d be wrong—if anything, it tastes surprisingly chicken-y. It’s got all the body you could want too, thanks to the starches in the chickpeas themselves. And with its gorgeous, golden hue, chickpea broth even looks just like good chicken stock. Have you ever bought a box of veggie stock that was murky brown or bright, carroty orange—and tasted like nothing at all? Chickpea broth would never do that to you.
Stocking up on chickpea broth before the big day is as easy as making a big ol’ pot of dried chickpeas. An overnight soak is completely optional, but if you choose to soak, cook the beans right in that soaking water for the richest possible broth. (The bean experts at Rancho Gordo stand by this technique, and so do I.) Season them however you like—the classic combo of carrot, celery, onion, garlic, and bay leaf is hard to beat for a hearty holiday meal—and add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil per cup of dried beans, then cook until tender. I usually cook mine on the stove because I like to fuss over them, but an Instant Pot or slow cooker will work just as well.
When your chickpeas are done, strain them and reserve every last drop of that sweet, sweet bean juice. Season the broth taste and store in the fridge for 2 weeks, or indefinitely in the freezer. As for the chickpeas, use them however you’d like. Even if they don’t make an appearance on your holiday feast table, you’ll have quick dinners sorted for at least a couple of days.