I confess. I am not a big soup fan. Oh sure, I love a New England Clam Chowder or a bowl of Crab Bisque as much as any proper East Coaster. But most soups just don’t do it for me. But Jeff, he loves soup. All kinds of soups – vegetable, tomato, chicken noodle – as well as stews. As it’s currently 0 degrees Fahrenheit outside, the world seemed to be calling to me to make soup. I prefer creamier soups, but with dairy not an ideal option in our house, I started looking for recipes using coconut milk (which also seems to be a big thing in the real food world). I landed on this Tomato, Chickpea and Coconut Soup recipe. I also thought it was a great looking blog and loved the photos.
So I headed to Guido’s to pick up the ingredients. Lucky for me, during the month of February Westbrae organic beans were on super sale in double size cans, so I stocked up on organic chickpeas, black beans, and kidney beans. I was also happy to spot a $1 off coupon on the Muir Glen 28oz. can of organic diced tomatoes. What to do with all these double sized cans? Make double the soup (and cross your fingers that you like the results!).
This soup was a cinch to make. Coarse chopping of the onion and garlic made for speedy prep. As a relative newby to coconut milk, I didn’t think to shake the can before pouring. I used Thai Kitchen’s organic coconut and lite coconut milks and the full fat version is pretty congealed in the can. Shake, shake, shake! Then pour. For the double batch I used one can of the full fat and about a 1/3 of the can of lite (perhaps I’ll make a smoothie with the leftover milk!). And in lieu of the few pinches of sugar, I added a teaspoon of raw honey.
tomato chickpea & coconut soup
Tomato Chickpea & Coconut Soup
(shared from Love and Lemons)
Yield: serves 4 as a side (RRFR doubled this recipe, as noted above)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
- 1 small yellow onion (or half of a large one), chopped
- 2 big garlic cloves, no need to chop
- 1 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika (or combo of both)
- salt, pepper
- splash of balsamic or sherry vinegar (1 tablespoon or so)
- 1 14-oz. can of diced tomatoes, with their juice
- a few pinches of sugar (optional)
- fresh thyme – leaves from 2-3 sprigs, & extra for garnish
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas (rinsed, drained), plus extra to add at the end
- 1 cup coconut milk, full fat or light
- 1.5 cups water
- optional (for a richer soup): 1/4 cup parmesan cheese or vegan nutritional yeast
- red chile flakes & a drizzle of olive oil for garnish
Heat oil in a medium pot. Add the onion, garlic a few pinches of salt and pepper, and cook until the onion is translucent. Add the paprika(s) and cook until fragrant (30 seconds or so). Add a good splash of balsamic vinegar and stir. Add the tomatoes, sugar and thyme leaves. Stir, then add the chickpeas, coconut milk and water. Cover and gently simmer for 20-30 minutes. Uncover and let cool slightly. Transfer to a blender and puree.
RRFR Note: After cooling and blending in batches, I put the soup back on the stovetop and added red chili pepper flakes while it simmered as we like our food on the spicy side.
I even followed Love and Lemon’s suggestion to serve the soup with a tasty grilled cheese sandwich. I made mine with my homemade honey whole wheat bread (fresh from the bread machine!) buttered with Organic Valley’s unsalted butter, with nice slices of Cabot extra-sharp cheddar (naturally lactose free), and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
It made for a perfect winter meal, and Jeff enjoyed it fresh from a full day of skiing the slopes at beautiful Jiminy Peak – one of several great ski resorts here in the Berkshires, and only 20 minutes from our house!
The double batch of soup made approximately 10 servings. Each serving has 217 calories, 13 g of fat (that’s the coconut milk), 5 g of protein, and 5 g of fiber.