Chickpea, Curry, Coconut, Quinoa Soup

You must try this soup.  Like today, or this weekend, or as soon as the temperature gets to 70, okay, maybe 65.

Yesterday I was browsing the epicurious website and stumbled on a soup that I’d bookmarked long ago. I’m on a mission to cook all the recipes I bookmark and rip out of cooking magazines so I decided to give this one a try. I had a lot of odds and ends left over from the chili I made earlier this week so many of the ingredients will seem familiar. I suggest making both in the same week, it makes grocery shopping much easier.

The recipe is adapted from here.

I took some liberties that I will outline below.

Chickpea, Curry, Coconut, Quinoa Soup:

(try saying that 5 times fast)

2 tablespoons peanut oil

1 onion, diced

2 carrots, chopped

1 jalapeno, seeds removed and diced

1 bell pepper, chopped

8 cremini mushrooms

1 tablespoon garlic

1.5 cups cooked chickpeas

2 cups vegetable stock

1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes

2 tablespoon tomato paste

2 teaspoons curry powder

1 can light coconut milk

1-2 teaspoon salt, add until it suits your taste (everyone likes different

2 cups cooked quinoa


In a stockpot, saute onion and carrots in peanut oil until softened. I used peanut oil instead of canola thinking a hint of peanut might go well with these flavors. I was right, if you’ve got peanut oil definitely use it.

Add jalapeno and bell pepper to onion mixture, cook until soft.

Next include mushrooms and garlic, saute for a minute or until garlic is golden brown.

Add chickpeas, veggie stock and tomatoes to pot.  I just started using bouillon cubes instead of buying vegetable stock and I must say it’s a lot easier.

I used these guys.

They are vegan and after much research I determined they are also gluten-free. In case you’re wondering, I wasn’t sure about the yeast extract. Turns out it’s gluten-free most the time, unless it says it’s made specifically out of malt barley. Moral of the story, check your labels!

Anyway, back to the recipe, add tomato paste, curry powder and salt.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes or so.

In the meantime, make your quinoa.

Add coconut milk and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Once soup is done, ladle into a bowl and top with 1/2 cup of quinoa. The quinoa added something really special to this dish. The texture reminded me a little of tomato and rice Campbell soup but with about 10 times less salt and 100 times more flavor.

I mean it, try this recipe. We ate the entire batch last night. Hence the somewhat dark photos. I was planning to take some pictures in the morning light but someone had the last of the soup too fast…not naming names though.

Makes 4 servings.

One side note, if you’re making this for kids, I would omit the jalapeno. It had a kick for sure.

Looking forward to the long weekend. I’m assisting my first yoga class in Boston tomorrow morning and then we’re going to try to make a day trip out of town, location TBD. If you’re in the Boston area let me know if there are some must see spot this time of year. Sunday we’re hoping to find tickets to the Patriots Broncos game (big rivalry in this house) and Monday is my race.

Have a wonderful weekend.

“Lisa, how ’bout some beef?”

I was never much of a meat eater before I became vegetarian. I didn’t really enjoy the taste of meat or fish or eggs for that matter. So I started cutting out meat in college after a rather horrific nightmare about cows. When I’d come home to visit, my papa would always ask the same question in his thick Hungarian accent, “Lisa, how ’bout some beef?” He never really understood how I could give it up so easily. But it felt natural to me.

As time went on I started cutting out more and more.  First beef, then lamb, turkey, chicken. Pork was the long hold out but eventually it no longer appealed to me either. I’m sometimes asked if I ever crave meat and I can honestly say that I don’t. Except for one little thing.

Tuna salad sandwiches.

Maybe it’s because I have such fond memories of them.  My papa made the best tuna salad! He would bring it home from his restaurant on Friday afternoons in a big tub. I remember eating spoonful straight from the container, which thinking back on it now seems sort of gross. But it symbolized the start of the weekend and the ease and freedom of our Friday night dinners.

As I’ve gotten more and more comfortable with vegetarian cuisine I’ve started experimenting with recreating my favorite meals.  Today’s recipe is a spin on tuna salad sandwiches made with chickpeas and cashews.  It takes a lot of liberties when compared to my father’s tuna salad but it’s still delicious in its own right.

Curried Chickpea Salad

Just a note on chickpeas and all other beans before we begin.  I’ve started buying dried beans in bulk instead of in cans.  They are SO much cheaper and you can control the amount you need. They also require little work.

Soak the beans in water for at least 3 hours and then rinse. Transfer to a pot and cover with water. Add salt, bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat for 40 mins. Drain and they’re done.

If that just felt like a lot of work, canned beans work perfectly well here too 🙂

1 cup of chickpeas

1/4 cup soaked cashews. Place cashews in a bowl covered with water for 2 hours. I’m sure almonds or walnuts would work as well but I haven’t tried either personally.

1/2 bell pepper chopped

1 rib celery, chopped

1 1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1  tablespoons honey mustard (or whatever mustard you prefer)

Juice of half a lemon and a teaspoon lemon zest

1/2 tablespoon curry powder

2 tablespoon water

salt to taste

Chop veggies and zest lemon.

Using a food processor combine cashews, vinegar,  mustard, lemon juice, lemon zest, 1 tbsp water and salt,  pulse until smooth.

Add half a cup of chickpeas to the cashew mixture with second tbsp water and pulse again until smooth.

Remove cashew mixture from food processor.  Add remaining chickpeas and pulse a few times. No need to go until smooth, leave much of the texture.

Add cashew mixture and chickpeas to bowl.

Add bell peppers, celery, curry powder and more salt if needed.


Serves 2 if you have to eat it on the tiny store-bought gluten-free bread. Here’s mine, with a side of Oprah of course.

You can also eat it more like a dip.  I had it with tortilla chips yesterday for lunch.