Tangy tingle for your tongue in this easy and satisfying starter (or main)
We love to start with soup. Sometimes we stop with it, too.
Especially when the soup is as hearty as this Creamy Curried Carrot and Chickpea Soup. It’s full of luscious cream and nourishing chickpeas. Just combine it with a salad and some bread for a quick and easy dinner.
Curry in a hurry? Just what you need to spice up your weeknight.
Recipe: Creamy Curried Carrot and Chickpea Soup
Curry and carrots? Yeah, their flavors just work so well together.
But you could substitute sweet potatoes if you prefer. Or maybe winter squash, like butternut or acorn.
Prep time for this dish is about 10 minutes. Cooking adds another half hour or so.
This recipe yields about 4 main-course servings, or double that number if you serve it as a starter.
Leftovers keep well for a few days if refrigerated in an airtight container. Or in the freezer for a month or two.
- 1 medium onion
- 1-inch piece of fresh ginger
- 3 garlic cloves (or to taste)
- 1 to 2 jalapeño peppers (to taste)
- 1 red bell pepper (may substitute or orange or yellow)
- ~1 pound of carrots
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt (to taste; see Notes)
- 1 teaspoon dried cumin (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon dried coriander (or to taste)
- ½ teaspoon dried turmeric (or to taste)
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)
- 3 to 4 cups chicken stock (may substitute vegetable stock or water; see Notes)
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons minced cilantro (may substitute parsley)
- Peel the onion and cut it into dice of about ½ inch. Set aside.
- Peel the ginger, chop it roughly, then add it to the bowl of a mini food processor.
- Peel the garlic, chop it roughly, then add it to the bowl of the mini food processor.
- Wash and dry the jalapeño peppers. Cut off the stems, then cut the peppers in half lengthwise. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the seeds and the white membrane (the oil in these carries much of the jalapeño heat). Chop the peppers roughly (reserving a few rounds for garnish, if you wish), then add the chopped peppers to the mini food processor. (Remember to wash your hands with soap and water to remove the spicy jalapeño oil from your skin.) Then whirl the mini food processor for 15 to 20 seconds, until the contents form a paste. Set aside.
- Wash and dry the bell pepper, stem and core it, then cut it into smallish dice. Set aside.
- Wash and dry the carrots. Cut off their tops and scrape off the peels. Then cut the carrots into dice of ½ inch or so. Set aside.
- Place a 4-quart cooking pot or Dutch oven over medium stovetop heat. When it’s hot, add the olive oil. When the oil is heated (about 15 seconds, it’ll shimmer), add the chopped onion and bell pepper. Season to taste with salt, then cook for 5 minutes. Add the paste of ginger, garlic, and jalapeño, then cook for an additional two minutes.
- Add the spices (cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cayenne), then sizzle for 30 seconds.
- Add the chopped carrots and chicken stock to the cooking pot.
- Open the can of chickpeas and drain them in a strainer. Rinse off the gunk they’re stored in, then add the chickpeas to the soup. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes (or until the carrots are soft).
- Use a stick blender to purée the soup if you like (we prefer a chunky texture, so we just give it a few whirls). Add the cream, then bring the soup back to a simmer. Cook for a minute or two, then stir in the chopped cilantro. Stir to combine, then let the mixture cook for another minute. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- Ready to serve! Garnish with jalapeño slices or extra cilantro/parsley, if you like.
- Instead of curry spices (cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne), you probably could use Thai red chili paste (we haven’t tried that, but it sounds like it should work). If you go this route, you may want to substitute coconut milk for cream.
- You could also use curry powder, of course.
- Instead of jalapeño pepper, you could use any green chile pepper with a bit of heat to it.
- We use chicken stock when we make this soup. But if you want a vegetarian dish, you could substitute vegetable stock or water. You lose a bit of flavor, but just a bit.
- Add more stock if you want a thinner soup (if you’re using it as a starter, for example).
- Want a heartier soup? You could add a potato or two. Or maybe some summer squash, like zucchini. Or another can of chickpeas.
- We use kosher salt in cooking. It’s less salty by volume than regular table salt (the crystals are larger and more irregular, so they pack a measure less tightly). If you’re using table salt, start with about half the amount we suggest. But always season to your taste, not ours.
Herb Your Enthusiasm
“Currying flavor again, I see,” said Mrs Kitchen Riffs.
“Only the best for toi, my little chickpea,” I said.
“This dish is luscious indeed,” said Mrs K R. “A great start to our cool-weather soupathon.”
“Merci beaucoup,” I said. “Feel free to pepper me with compliments.”
“Coriander over and ladle up another round?” said Mrs K R.
“Cumin right up,” I said. “Wouldn’t want you to go hungry.”
I’m quite the cilantropist, after all.
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