Thursday, May 27, 2010

Carrot and Chickpea Soup with Coconut Milk

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Soups are great for the on-the-go lifestyle. I think Campbell's figured that out much earlier than I did. That's probably why it's making millions and my blog has generated a whopping 53 cents. I haven't figured out what to do with my new found fortune. Maybe something flashy, like shiny quarters (TWO) and a few (THREE) brand new copper pennies. Anyways, I digress...

I don't mean that people should go and get one of those soups in a bottle or a can. VB bought portable handheld gazpacho (see how ridiculous that sounds?) on impulse several months ago and it was absolutely disgusting. I couldn't get that horrible taste out of my mouth for hours. Soups are still good for busy people who like real (not canned) food. I find it pretty easy and quick to whip up some delicious soup after work. I can chop some veggies and toss them in a pot and let them simmer while I do other things. It's not much harder than buying gazpacho from Big Lots, but it tastes infinitely better.

Last night, I made this vaguely Indian-inspired carrot soup with coconut milk (emphasis on "vaguely"). So easy and delicious -- sweet, creamy with a little spicy finish. For this soup, you'll need:
  • 1 big (or 2 medium) leek, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 cups of carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 of a 15-ounce can of chickpeas
  • 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 3 cups of vegetable stock
  • salt to taste
Start by sweating sliced leek in olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, ginger, coriander, turmeric and cayenne pepper. Cook until fragrant, about a minute or two. Add carrots, chickpeas and vegetable stock. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer for 20 minutes until the carrots are soft. Stir in coconut milk and season with salt. Cook for another 5 minutes. Use a stand mixer or a hand blender to puree the mixture until smooth.

The soup has a nice mild sweet flavor, but just as you think you've tasted all the soup has to offer, the heat from the cayenne pepper kicks in and adds another layer of interest. Serve with bread for dipping or just a spoon.

Guaranteed to beat any handheld soup device that you can find at Big Lots or you get all the proceeds from this blog!!!

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