Chickpea Sousé

Chickpea sooSAY,  You Say?

These beans marry parsley, garlic, fennel seed, and red wine into another state of deliciousness

The flavor is deep and subtle—like nothing I’ve tasted before. With a load of red wine I honored the name of a W.C. Fields movie character—Edgar Sousé—who was “soused” most the time. I happened upon a recipe in an Italian cookbook entitled “Drunken Pork Chops!” 

It’s in my top three bean dishes in thirty years of cookery. There is awesomeness in the following planned-overs! A veritable launching pad to build clever and quick meals later in the week.

RECIPE: Serves 4-5

Exchange for navy, northern, cannellini, even a blend of beans. Or cook 1 pound of dry beans from scratch.

  • chickpeas, cooked – 6 cups,  (3 cans)
  • olive oil – 4 TBS, divided
  • garlic – 1 TBS, (3 cloves), minced
  • parsley – 1 cup, (1 bunch), chopped fine, then measured
  • fennel seeds – 1 TBS, toasted, slightly ground
  • hearty burgundy – 3/4 cup or dry red wine
  • sea salt – 1 tsp. or to taste
  • pepper – 1/8 tsp. or to taste


  1. In a medium pot, add 2 TBS of oil, then sauté the garlic until it just begins to turn golden—about 1 minute. Add the parsley, sauté one minute more.
  2. Add the fennel seed, beans, salt, and wine bring to a simmer. 
  3. Reduce flame and simmer, covered for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the remaining olive oil, and pepper. Stir well, and simmer for 2 minutes. Taste for any further correction.


Chickpea-Mushroom Sousé To create an entrée dish, separately sauté chopped portobello or shiitake mushrooms in olive oil with a good shake of blackening seasoning. Add to the beans at Step 4.

Chickpea-Sausage Sousé To create an entrée add some bite-sized pieces of browned sausage at step 3.


Sousé & Polenta You will think you are dining in a 5-star ristorante! Leftover polenta can be molded and sliced. Plan on making polenta then pour leftovers into a shallow pan and refrigerate. It will harden for this dish later in the week.   —Recipe by B. Hettig

I spooned leftover polenta into cupcake forms as a planned-over!
  • chickpea sousé – 2 cups as planned-over
  • spaghetti sauce -1 cup or more to sauce
  • polenta, planned-over – 3-4 slices, broiled
  • parsley – 1 TBS. chopped as garnish
  • parmesan cheese to pass at the table
  1. Reheat the beans thinned with some sauce.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the broiler. Set rack at 4 inches to the broiler. Lightly oil a baking pan and brush a little oil on the polenta. Broil for a few minutes, then turn and again oil the top. Broil for a few minutes.
  3. Place the polenta on a shallow bowl or plate. Cover with beans.
  4. Sprinkle on the parsley and serve with parmesan to pass.

Sousé Has-Beans Paté This is Italian hummus supreme!

Put planned-over beans into a food processor, add the following to kick up the heat and bring on the flavor.  —Recipe by B. Hettig

  • chickpea sousé – 1 cup, as planned-over
  • horse radish – 1 tsp. or to taste
  • balsamic vinegar – 1 tsp. or red-wine vinegar
  1. Add all to a food processor and blend. Add just enough water to create a paté consistency. 

© 2020, Bill Hettig

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