1) If using canned chickpeas, rinse with water and transfer to a saucepan. Add ½ teaspoon baking soda and water to cover chickpeas. Bring to a boil and simmer at a soft boil for 30 - 40 min. Turn heat off and let cool.
2) If using dried chickpeas (really the easiest way for this recipe), add 1 pound dried chickpeas to a crockpot, cover with water at least two inches above the beans, add a strip of kombu seaweed (optional but helps cook faster, makes beans easier to digest, gives smoother consistency and more), cook overnight (about 8 to 9 hours) on high.
3) Drain softened chickpeas. If using the crockpot method, drain off the seaweed into the sink first and then use a strainer to finish the job. Rinse chickpeas.
4) Put chickpeas in a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours before serving. Spread in a shallow serving dish, swirling with back of spoon, pour olive oil in the center, and sprinkle with paprika or better yet, add pomegranate seeds to add a crunchy, sweet treat. Garnishing with parsley or mint is also an option. Serve with whole grain pita bread, and with vegetables like cucumbers and bell red peppers. Refrigerate for up to 4 days then freeze.