In a large saucepan, sauté onions in olive oil on medium heat. Add celery, carrots, leaks and mix for 2 minutes.
Add chickpeas (previously soaked overnight, or canned) and stir for 1 minute. Add excess hot water (1 inch above chickpea mixture), herbs and salt. Reduce the heat to low, cover and let it cook for 1-1.5 hours - or until chickpeas are of desired consistency. Stir every 15 - 20 minutes. May need to add more hot water during cooking.
If stew is too watery, uncover the saucepan to allow the water to evaporate until desired thickness is achieved.