Soak salt cod in water to cover for 24 hours, changing the water 2 or 3 times. Drain chick-peas. Place in a 5 quart pot with a tightly fitted lid. Add water to cover, 1/2 head garlic, bay leaf, onion and salt to taste. Cover, bring to a boil and simmer until chick-peas are tender about 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Drain the salt cod. Add cod to chick-peas during last 1/2 hour of cooking time. In a skillet, heat oil and fry bread and 1 clove of garlic until golden. Puree in blender with saffron and 1 cup of cooking liquid from soup. Add to soup. Remove garlic head and bay leaf. Set aside some whole chick-peas and cod for garnish. Puree remainder of soup in small batches. Return to stove and heat to simmer. Correct seasoning. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with whole chick-peas, flakes of salt cod, spinach and croutons.
Gumbos, Soups, Chowders
Cajun Country -- New Iberia, Louisiana