Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Curried Sweet Potato and Chickpea Soup

Curried Sweet Potato and Chickpea Soup

Hearty, healthy, tasty – perfect for a quick weeknight dinner

Autumn is soup weather! Yeah, we always say that, don’t we? Doesn’t make it any less true though.

For this soup, we combine peak-season sweet potatoes with chickpeas and warming curry spices. Then we add red bell pepper and sweet green peas for an extra pop of flavor and color.

Looks good, tastes better. Our kind of food.

Curried Sweet Potato and Chickpea Soup

Recipe: Curried Sweet Potato and Chickpea Soup

Despite the long list of ingredients, this recipe is quick to make. Many of the components are just spices that flavor the dish. (See Notes for more on the spices.)

Ingredient quantities (and the ingredients themselves) are somewhat flexible in this recipe – so feel free to tinker with it to suit your taste. In particular, do note that the recipe as written makes for a fairly thick soup (almost a stew). You might want to add more liquid if you prefer a “soupier” consistency.

Prep time plus cooking time for this dish is 30 to 40 minutes.

The recipe yields 6 to 8 main-course servings. Leftovers can be frozen for a month or two.

BTW, this soup alone is enough to make a meal for us. But you might want to add a salad or some bread.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into dice of about 1 inch
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil (we use extra-virgin olive oil, but use what you like)
  • salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon kosher salt for us; see Notes)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • 1½ pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into dice of about 1 inch or a bit less
  • 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed if you like (see Notes)
  • ~5 cups chicken stock (or more to taste; see Notes)
  • 1 cup frozen green peas (or more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala

Procedure

  1. Prep the onion and red bell pepper. Place a soup pot or Dutch oven on medium stovetop heat. When hot, add the oil. When it’s heated (it’ll shimmer), add the diced onion and red bell pepper. Add salt to taste, then stir to combine. Sauté until the onion is translucent but not brown – 5 minutes or so.
  2. Meanwhile, peel the garlic and add it to a mini food processor. Peel the ginger (see Notes) and add it to the mini food processor. Whirl a few times to mince.
  3. Add the minced garlic/ginger mixture to the cooking pot and sauté for 1 minute. Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander, cardamom, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine, then sauté for about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the diced sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then let it simmer until the sweet potatoes are cooked through (20 minutes or so).
  5. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Add the frozen peas and simmer for about 3 minutes, until the peas are cooked through.
  6. Almost ready to serve: Stir in the garam masala, then ladle the soup into bowls. Enjoy!

Curried Sweet Potato and Chickpea Soup

 Notes

  • We sometimes make this soup without the peas and instead stir in spinach (or another hearty green) at the end. We simmer until the greens are just cooked through (a few minutes for spinach, longer for other greens).
  • We often make this soup with chicken stock, but it’s equally good with vegetable stock, or even just water. That would make it perfect for Meatless Monday!
  • Peeling the ginger is optional, particularly when using a mini food processor (though we often do so).
  • If you don’t have a mini food processor, you can just mince the garlic and ginger by hand. 
  • We’re using canned chickpeas in this recipe. But you could use cooked, dried chickpeas if you prefer. 
  • Draining is optional when using canned chickpeas (the canning liquid actually tastes good – which is not the case with most canned beans). 
  • You can substitute dried lentils for the chickpeas. Just add about ¾ cup lentils (pick over and rinse them first). Cook until the lentils are soft. Lentils usually are ready to go in 20 to 30 minutes (depending on the type of lentil), so you won’t have to adjust the total simmering time much, if at all. Lentils absorb liquid when cooking, though, so we suggest adding another cup or two of stock.
  • We use red bell pepper in this dish because we like both the flavor and the color. But you can substitute orange or yellow pepper if you prefer.
  • “Curry” tends to connote a South Asian dish that contains assertive flavors like turmeric, cumin, coriander, cardamom, and spicy peppers. We generally use a combination of those, along with ginger, garlic, and garam masala. 
  • If you don’t want to add all the spices separately, you could just use a commercial curry powder – there are some tasty brands available.
  • Even if you go the commercial curry powder route, though, we still recommend using fresh garlic and ginger, plus garam masala.
  • Garam masala is a mixture that typically contains several “warming” spices. The appeal of garam masala is as much about its enticing aroma as the flavor pop it provides. That’s why we add it to the dish right before serving – so the aroma is fresh and concentrated. 
  • Although garam masala contains some of the same spices you’ll find in curry powder blends, the flavor is quite different (and the two are not interchangeable). Garam masala provides finishing flavor rather than base flavor.
  • 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 recommend. But always season to your taste, not ours. 

Curried Sweet Potato and Chickpea Soup

Warm Welcome

“Love soup this time of year,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “Takes the chill off.”

“Yup, warms our cockles,” I said. “Whatever cockles are.”

“They’re molluscs, similar to clams,” said Mrs K R. “Though the word also refers to heart ventricles.”

“How did that happen?” I said. “Did the cockles eat someone’s heart out?”

“It’s probably from Latin, my little bivalve,” said Mrs K R. “Some people think it derives from cochlea, which means snail.”

“Well, that clears everything up,” I said. “Not.”

“Apparently, somebody thought the heart’s ventricle fibers looked like a snail shell,” said Mrs K R.

Right, well . . . at least this is a hearty soup. So I guess it’s all good.

You may also enjoy reading about:

62 comments:

  1. Indeed it’s time to think about soup! I consider soup a constant improvisation. I’m always using the ingredients you mention, in some combination or other. Forever delicious.
    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mae, "constant improvisation" is a pretty good description of how we typically make soup, too. It's rare that we make a soup exactly the same two times in a row (although there are exceptions to this). Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  2. Hearty, healthy, and a tasty a combination of flavors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Pam, it's good stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  3. This is soup season and this one looks so good. All the comforting fall flavors

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Pat and Dahn, we love soup at any time of the year, but it's particularly nice right now. :-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  4. We are always up for new soups, and this one checks so many boxes for us, including more ways to use chickpeas. This looks delicious—thanks, John!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Terry, we love chickpeas in anything curry related. :-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  5. It looks warming, tasty and comforting...awesome for any time of the day, I dare say!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Angie, we actually sometimes have leftover soup for breakfast. :-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  6. Oooh yes! Hearty soups are the best! I don't like to be left hungry after eating soup.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Laura, nor do we! :-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  7. Inviting offering just a tad different from my 'usual' ways ! Spinach instead of peas for me and want to taste your cumin/coriander ratio as I have more-or-less kept to the 1:3 one ! One pot > about three days of easy lunches ere we get higher than the current 30 C :) !!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Eha, we really like coriander, so we use more than many people. Tastes good -- hope you like. :-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  8. You are speaking my language with the cumin and coriander. I use them so often and go through them so quickly that I always keep 2 of each, unopened as a backup.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anne, we keep backups too! :-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  9. Replies
    1. Hi Denise, good, too. :-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  10. i love these flavours. capsicum is a fave veg., and i love chickpeas immensely. fab soup KR. and fab photos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sherry, chickpeas are wonderful any way you use them, aren't they? Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  11. I love your soups and stews - you always combine so many wonderful flavors to take something simple to exquisite! It has finally gotten cold in the desert and soups are on their way!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi David, we like soup any time, but we eat it MUCH more often during the chilly/cold months. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  12. Beautiful. Warming. I love the seasonings. And it’s so pretty!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mimi, we want our food to be good, yes, but we also want it to be colorful. We LOVE colors. :-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  13. Love the vivid colors in that soup, not to mention all of my favorite spices. This is a must make soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lea Ann, you do need to make this! :-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  14. What a great vegetarian, high protein soup. I do love those curry spices. This look yummy John.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi MJ, curry spices are great! :-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  15. What a beautiful bowl of soup! This goes on my to-be-made-soon list, perfect for autumn Soup Weather!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jean, this will definitely warm you up. :-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  16. This sounds delicious, John! I'm such a fan of garam masala, that I'd probably go that route ... AND this is such a great destination for bits tha things in the veg bin that one might want to use up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jeff, soup is often a great way to use all those things in the refrigerator! :-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  17. It looks good and definitely tastes better with all those colorful vegetables, chickpeas and garam masala. Our kind of food. Which cardamom did you use, green or brown?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Balvinder, brown cardamom. Would have used green, except we were out of it. :-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  18. This soup is so nourishing and warming with all of those warming spices for a cool fall day. The ingredient list may be long but it is just spices and aromatics that we already have. Great recipe for meal prep Sunday for lunches and dinners throughout the week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bobbi, we always make a big batch of soup and freeze most of it for later meals. So convenient! :-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  19. This soup looks terrific; great combination of flavours and splendid colours! Loving the addition of ginger and cardamom. It's definitely hearty, healthy, and tasty :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ben, love flavor and color in food! :-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  20. Replies
    1. Hi R, truly yummy! :-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  21. John,
    This is my kind of soup! Love it and happen to everything in my kitchen that's needed. You are so right about soup season. I'm ready.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Judee, we're always ready for soup season! :-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  22. I was just thinking that it's about that time to start making big pots of veggie-laden soups again. Your recipe has perfect timing. Can't wait to try it. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Carolyn, it's always time for soup. :-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  23. This time of year I'm up for all the soups all the time and curry is a favorite flavor nuance too. Sounds like I need to add this one to the rotation! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Judy, we're having soup at least once a week. Love the stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  24. Deliziosa questa zuppa, molto invitante!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Speedy, this is SO good! :-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  25. How awesome you made your own curry blend! I really need to try that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Laura, we go back and forth between making our own and using a commercial one. Even when we use a commercial one we often add a bit more coriander and turmeric, just because. :-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  26. Ooh, I've been in the mood for soup with the nip in the air. This flavor profile sounds so yummy!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Liz, we love soup at this time of the year. In fact, we're having some tonight. :-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  27. Another well-timed winner, temperatures are plummeting and soup has been on my mind more often. I’m loving the colours and warming spices I’m this recipe.
    Éva http://kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Eva, warming spices are so nice at this time of the year! :-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  28. That definitely sounds tasty and hearty. Nice to see you make your own curry powder

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Raymund, very tasty. :-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  29. John it's not really officially soup season here, but this kind of soup looks very appropriate for a late evening meal here when it is cooler. So much colour, nutrition and flavour, looks like a real winner. I like this different style of soup where the vegetables are all still in tact and saying, look at me, I'm delicious and warming. Thanks for a great recipe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Pauline, we really like veggie heavy soups like this. :-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  30. Replies
    1. Hi Izaa, we do too! :-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  31. Replies
    1. Hi Shirley, it's really good! :-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete