Curried Coconut and Chickpea Soup

15 Feb

I was not feeling well today, so I decided to stay home from school and rest up rather than push myself and make it a million times worse.  As the day went on, I felt greatly improved, so rather than a simple chicken noodle soup I decided to make a version of this curried coconut and chickpea soup I found over at Bakin’ and Eggs.  It had just enough prep work to get me off my rump and make me feel productive, but not so much that I felt overwhelmed.  If you purchase canned coconut milk, the whole thing would only take about ten minutes of hands on time.

The smell of this simmering on the stove revived my otherwise weak appetite.  The aroma of the curry was absolutely tantalizing.  We both absolutely loved this dish – the flavors were bold, the chickpeas and rice lent a nice heartiness to the soup, and the colors were beautiful and bright.

Curried Coconut and Chickpea Soup

Curried Coconut and Chickpea Soup:

Adapted from Bakin’ and Eggs

2 tbs. olive oil

1 small yellow onion, diced

1 small red bell pepper, diced

1 jalapeño, seeded, ribs removed, and finely minced

2 large garlic cloves, minced

2 cups homemade chicken stock

1 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 medium plum tomato, seeds removed, chopped

1 tbs. tikki masala curry paste

1 tsp. curry powder

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

2-3 cups homemade coconut  milk (see below)

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

3/4 cup brown rice, cooked

2 tbs. fresh curly leaf parsley, roughly chopped

1 lemon, quartered

In a medium stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion, bell pepper, and jalapeño and cook until onion is soft and translucent, 5-7 minutes.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring constantly, 1-2 minutes.  Add curry paste and curry powder and stir into vegetables are well coated.  Add broth, chickpeas, tomatoes, kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.  Increase heat to high and bring to a vigorous boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently, uncovered, about 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, whisk together coconut milk and plain Greek yogurt.  Add coconut milk-yogurt mix and brown rice and cook another 5 minutes until heated through.

Serve with lemon quarters (be sure to squeeze one over your soup!) and parsley.

Homemade Coconut Milk:

1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes¹

1/2 cup 1% milk

3 cups water

Whisk together coconut flakes and milk in a small saucepan.  Bring to a very slow simmer and reduce heat to as low as possible (the liquid should barely simmer).  Maintain as low a simmer as possible for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring water to a boil.

Transfer milk/coconut mixture to a food processor.  Blend in 5 1-2 second pulses or until slightly frothy/foamy.  Using cheesecloth or paper towels, squeeze out as much liquid as possible.  Return coconut flakes to the food processor with hot water and repeat blending.  Squeeze through cheesecloth or paper towels.  Repeat process 4-5 times, yielding 2-3 cups sweetened coconut milk.  Once liquid is clear rather than milky, it’s time to stop.

¹  Note: You can also use unsweetened coconut flakes, but sweetened were what I happened to have on hand.  At the end of the day, I think it worked well with the spice of the other ingredients.

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