Onion Attaaaack!! And Chickpea and Swiss Chard Stew

I cannot remember the last time I have used such strong onions.  I think these totally take the cake, because when they were cooking I had to ask M to stir them, and even then I was crying and had to leave the kitchen for a couple minutes.  There's got to be something illegal with onions that strong.  The odd thing was that I had no problem chopping them, only when they were cooking.  Go figure.  Life lesson: never question vegetables about their motives for making you cry, just deal with it and have a tissue box handy.
This is a recipe that I haven't made in over a year, but it's quite good.  The odd thing is though, it's not nearly as flavourful as my memory tells me it was.  I guess my tastes have just changed.  Although it wasn't outstanding the first night, this is one of those stews that get loads better with time.  And it's quite easy to make, too.  I have always used red chard, but I bet that green would be OK too.  I wonder if there is a taste difference? 
I was very grateful to have this dish around, because I had it for lunch five days straight with another sweet potato casserole that I made.  A very warming lunch, to say the least.

Chickpea Stew

Serves 4-6

Adapted from the Vegetarian Bible

Generous 2 ½ cups dried chickpeas, soaked and simmered for 50 minutes, until tender (save some of the cooking water)
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 bunch red swiss chard, stems removed and cut into ribbons
2 large sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped
28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 tbsp Better Than Bullion Vegetarian Beef Flavouring
1 cup water
Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste

Mash 2/3 of the chickpeas with a masher, or whatever happens to be available, adding water (preferably cooking water), to get the desired consistency.
Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat with a bit of water. Sauté the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the swiss chard and rosemary, and cook for 3-4 more minutes. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer until ready to serve.

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