Thursday, January 20, 2011

Curried Coconut Soup with Chickpeas

I don’t think I have formally introduced my fur children, though I know I have made mention of them before. This:


is Duke Ellington. And this:


is Thelonious Monk.

I lost my bid to name them after Archbishops of Canterbury. I don’t know what I would do without my cats. They bring so much joy into my life and remind me of God’s sense of humor and God’s blessing on all of creation. They cheer me up when I’m feeling sad, and they always seem to curl up with me when they know I’m feeling lonely.

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have a pet growing up. Going to boarding school and living in the dorms at college were the first (and only) times I had been without an animal for an extended period of time. There is something special about animal companionship. In my mind, there was an unspoken rule that I would never marry someone who couldn’t at least tolerate the presence of animals. People’s love and affection is fickle and fades, but pet companionship is forever.

So, I am dedicating this post to my wonderful cats in honor of Branny’s Charity Souper Bowl. She requested that we blog a soup, and, for each entry, she will donate to the ASPCA.

What better way to honor pets and animals in general than to make a delicious vegan soup without any animal products? This soup was creamy but not heavy, and the addition of rice and chickpeas makes it a hearty and satisfying meal. Between the coconut milk and the curry flavor, this soup had me dreaming of much warmer locales, but then I would have to leave my cats!


Curried Coconut Soup with Chickpeas
source: Epicurious via Bakin’ and Eggs


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 medium onion (about 6 ounces), chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper (about 6 ounces), chopped
  • 1 jalapeño chili, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes, seeded and peeled, fresh or canned
  • 1 teaspoon mild curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup cooked white or brown rice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • Preparation

    In a medium stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and chili; cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add the broth, chickpeas, tomatoes, curry powder, salt, and black pepper; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve warm.