In a large saucepan, heat the oil over low heat. Add the garlic and fry until golden, 1 minute. Add pepper flakes, parsley, chickpeas, salt, pepper to taste and 6 cups of water. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium, cover, and simmer 20 minutes. Remove half the chickpeas and mash. Return the mashed chickpeas to the saucepan and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with bread.
This recipe is so versatile. It is great as a soup alongside a hunk of bread or even with cooked pasta added at the end. You can drain excess water and serve the chickpeas as a side dish rather than a soup.