Served with Cheese and Onion Bread
I hope you had a happy and fulfilling Father’s Day. Ours started wet, with lots of rain, and less of sunshine. The best thing was probably just breakfast in bed. I didn’t get up until well past 9.00am. It was gloomy and rainy. Who wants to get up on a gloomy and rainy day?
I am fond of chickpeas as an ingredient for soup, rice, batter and numerous other things. I think the form I eat most is the dried roasted chickpeas with lots spices. It’s a great, healthy and quick snack to make. But I also love Falafel, a deep fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas or from fava beans or a combination of both. It can be baked too, although baking alters the texture and flavour. Someone described them as Fried chickpea nuggets, but you can make them in any shape you want. The popular shape is ball-shaped or donut shaped. Most of the recipes I have seen call for dried uncooked chickpeas, soaked overnight, patted dry, ground in a blender and mixed with spices (cumin and ground coriander seeds), herbs (mostly parsley and/or cilantro), garlic, scallions, chilli, leavening agent (baking soda or baking powder) and some flour (wheat), to act as a binding agent.
Falafel is popular in the Middle East as a fast food, and also commonly sold in street corners. It can be served as a main course. The fried balls are stuffed in pita bread with some lettuce, tomato and tahini sauce. It can also be served on a salad with hummus and tahini sauce. It’s also great for making vegetarian burgers.
Today I want to share a recipe for Spicy Chickpea Soup With Coconut Milk, served with onion and cheese bread. Red onions give the best flavour and colour. Most of the time I add ham too. You know, by now, that I love meaty things and always find an excuse to add meat to everything. I think fried crisp bacon shredded into pieces would be a great addition, too, instead of ham. I really enjoyed eating this soup. It was well worth the trouble taken and the coconut milk and the Parmigiano Reggiano added an extra punch of flavour.
Return the blended chickpeas to the pot, stir and heat gently until piping hot, then stir in sour cream or cream and cilantro or parsley or green onions if using- (if preferred you can stir in some cheese too). Adjust seasoning and serve, immediately.
Spicy Chickpea Soup with Coconut Milk
Preparation Time: 15 minutes; Cooking time: 60 minutes; Serves: 4-6
- I large onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- ¼-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 5 cups chickpeas, drained (I used 796ml (28 Fl oz) can + 540ml (19 Fl oz) can chickpeas = 5 cups)
- ½ cup crushed tomato or 1x 540ml (19fl.oz) can chopped (diced) tomatoes (I prefer the crushed tomato, it gives better result or you can use any of the pasta sauces like Primo, Classico, Hunts, or Ragu)
- 750ml (3 cups, 25fl oz) vegetable broth (stock) [non-vegetarians can use chicken stock (broth)]
- 250ml (I cup) coconut milk (if preferred you can use 2 cups stock (broth) and 2 cups coconut milk)
- 2 tablespoons sour cream or cream ( I used sour cream)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro or flat parsley or finely sliced green onions (optional)
- Shaved or grated Parmigiano-Reggiano to garnish, or cheddar if preferred.
- Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté 5 minutes until soft.
- Add the spices (curry powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne, if using) and fry for one minute.
- Add the chickpeas and crushed tomatoes (or chopped (diced) tomatoes if using), 3 cups stock and coconut milk, season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until chickpeas are tender, about 30-45 minutes.
- Remove from heat, let cool slightly and blend ⅓ of chickpeas, until smooth. Return the blended chickpeas to the pot, stir to combine and heat gently until piping hot, then stir in sour cream or cream and cilantro or parsley or green onions if using- (if preferred you can stir in some cheese too). Adjust seasoning and serve, immediately. Garnish with grated or shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano. If the soup is too thick, add more stock or coconut milk.
Points to Note:
- You can fry the onions, add spices and crushed tomatoes and set aside until you are ready to finish off the cooking and serve the soup immediately. If you leave the soup to stand too long it tends to thicken and absorb the stock.
- you can use more coconut milk if preferred or omit it and just add stock (broth), however, it tastes better with coconut milk.
- You can add vegetables of you choice to the soup, or some meat or sausages if preferred. I just like mine plain without any additions.
- I served the soup with this bread. It was very tasty. Hope you find it tasty, too.
- I made this soup again, and used Primo “thick and zesty tomato and onion pasta sauce” instead of crushed tomatoes, the soup tasted very nice)
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