Place the drained chickpeas in a large pot, cover with cold water by at least 2 inches. Add 2 teaspoons baking soda and stir well. Bring chickpeas to a boil over high heat, and skim off any scum that rises to the surface. Cover the pot and set heat to low. Simmer 30 minutes or until the chickpeas begin to fall apart and are a little mushy. Stir and skim off any chickpea skins floating on top of the water. Repeat this stir/skim step at least four times until most of the skins have been removed. Discard the skins.
While the chickpeas simmer, place the garlic cloves, salt and lemon juice in a food process and process until almost puréed. Transfer the mixture to a small mixing bowl for 10 minutes to give time for the garlic to mellow. After 10 minutes, firmly press the mixture, with a rubber
spatula, through a fine-mesh sieve over a small bowl to release as much liquid as possible. Pour the liquid back into the food processor bowl and discard the solids.
Add the tahini, cumin and red pepper flakes. Pulse 5 times to combine. With the motor running, add ¼ cup ice water, by the tablespoon, and process until smooth. (Note: The mixture may seize up at first, but keep adding water and processing; all will be fine.) Process the tahini mixture (adding extra ice water if needed) until it is smooth, pale and thick (but not too thick).
Add the cooked, drained chickpeas and process until ultra smooth and creamy. (If desired, add more ice water, by the tablespoon.) NOW…purée it even more until it is creamier, smoother, lighter and fluffy(ish).
Season to taste, if needed, with salt, lemon juice and cumin.
Transfer hummus to a shallow serving dish and drizzle with good quality olive oil. Garnish with olive oil, toasted pine nuts, paprika, finely chopped fresh parsley and whole chickpeas (if desired).
Serve with pita chips, tortilla chips, crudités and/or your favorite crackers.