This vegan chickpea coconut curry soup warms you from the inside out, offering a delightful blend of vegetable broth, creamy texture, gentle spiciness, and wholesome ingredients. It's quick to prepare and uses ingredients that are easy to find. Plus, it's versatile so that you can adjust the spice level and vegetables to your liking.
This steaming bowl of chickpea curry soup is soothing and satisfying, made in one pot with easy-to-find ingredients. Actually, you probably already have the ingredients in your kitchen! It's great for a weeknight dinner and impressive enough to serve guests. Plus, it stores well, so you can make a big batch and enjoy leftovers throughout the week.
What is chickpea curry soup?
Chickpea curry soup is a scrumptious and filling dish that comes from South Asian cuisine, especially India. It goes by different names, such as "chana masala" or just "chickpea curry." It's made by simmering chickpeas in a flavorful and fragrant tomato-based sauce spiced with a blend of cumin, coriander, and turmeric. This curry soup is often served with rice or flatbreads like naan, making it a hearty and satisfying meal. It's a dish I consistently crave when dining at Indian restaurants, yet it's incredibly simple to recreate in the comfort of your own home.
Chickpea curry soup has gained popularity worldwide thanks to its delicious flavors and incredible versatility. It's a go-to choice for vegetarians and vegans looking for a meatless alternative, and you can find mouthwatering versions of this dish in various cuisines across the globe.
Why you'll love this soup
Chickpea coconut curry soup is a delicious dish, and that should be enough, but here are several other reasons why you might love it:
- Chickpeas are a fantastic source of plant-based protein, making this soup delicious and nutritious. It's a great option for omnivores and vegans and everyone in between!
- Depending on how much coconut cream you add, this chickpea curry soup can have a creamy and velvety texture that's oh-so-comforting.
- You can make chickpea curry soup to suit your taste. Adjust the level of spiciness, add your favorite vegetables, or even experiment with different types of curry blends to create a personalized version.
- This soup includes healthy ingredients like chickpeas, vegetables, and spices known for their health benefits. Turmeric, for example, is praised for its anti-inflammatory properties.
- Chickpea curry soup is filling thanks to chickpeas' protein and fiber. It's a meal that can keep you satisfied for hours.
- This curry soup recipe is easy to prepare. You can make a big batch and enjoy it as leftovers for a few days.
- Chickpea curry soup can be a main course or a side dish.
To kick off this delicious recipe blog post, let's start with a mouthwatering snapshot of all the ingredients you'll need and a handy list of these easy-to-find ingredients. See the recipe card for quantities.
- canned chickpeas (or 3 cups of homemade)
- coconut cream or full-fat canned coconut milk
- vegetable broth
- minced garlic
- fresh ginger (or 1 ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger)
- curry powder
- ground cumin
- ground coriander
- ground paprika
- cayenne pepper (adjust for heat)
- black pepper
- bell pepper (any color)
- spinach or kale
Doesn't take much to make a delicious soup!
- Large pot or Dutch oven
- Wooden spoon
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Knife and chopping board
Here is a visual photo guide for making delicious chickpea curry soup, so you can visually savor every aromatic moment of its creation! Your house is going to smell so delicious!
Over medium heat, sauté onions, garlic, and ginger in oil or water until translucent.
Add curry powder, cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, and cayenne pepper; toast briefly.
Add carrots and bell pepper; cook for 5 minutes.
Mix in chickpeas, vegetable broth, and tomato and bring to a boil. Return to simmer and add the coconut milk. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Stir in spinach or kale; simmer for 5 more minutes. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with cilantro, lime, and optional vegan yogurt or cashew cream. See serving suggestions for other options.
Add the full-fat coconut milk after reducing the soup to a simmer or when you add the spinach. I find that if I add it when I add the other liquid ingredients and boil it, the coconut milk separates and makes the soup look grainy or discolored. Still tastes great, though!
Chickpea curry soup is more broth than cream. Add more coconut milk or plain vegan yogurt if you want it creamier. Alternatively, partially blend the soup with an immersion blender to get a thicker soup.
Variations and Substitutions
Add tofu when you add the liquid ingredients for an extra protein boost and a delicious texture.
Don't limit yourself to just onion, garlic, and ginger. Experiment with leeks, shallots, or scallions for different aromatic notes.
Feel free to swap or add vegetables based on what's in season or your personal preferences. Sweet potatoes, zucchini, or peas can all work well.
Spinach and kale are great, but you can also use Swiss chard, collard greens, or even bok choy.
Adding tomato paste to the soup can enhance its flavor with a tangy depth. When sautéing the vegetables, add the tomato paste and continue cooking until it transforms into a rich brick-red color, usually taking around 3-5 minutes.
Add rice noodles to this soup.
Add crushed red pepper flakes for additional heat.
I like to serve this soup with a little cilantro as a garnish and a hearty crusty bread. Here are some other ideas.
- Lime Wedges: Serve with wedges of fresh lime on the side. A squeeze of lime juice just before eating can brighten up the flavors if you're reheating.
- Toasted Nuts or Coconut Shreds: Sprinkle some toasted almonds, cashews, or coconut shreds on top for a delightful crunch.
- Roasted Crispy Chickpeas: Here is an easy way to make roasted chickpea croutons in the air fryer.
- Naan Bread: Soft, warm naan bread is perfect for scooping soup. You can even toast it for a bit of extra texture.
- Rice: Steamed basmati or jasmine rice is a classic pairing. Brown rice is also great for adding heartiness to the meal.
- Vegan Yogurt: A dollop of plain vegan Greek yogurt adds creaminess and a cooling contrast to the spicy flavors.
- Sliced Avocado: Avocado slices or chunks make for a creamy, rich addition that complements the soup's spices.
- Hot Sauce: For those who love extra heat, offer a selection of hot sauces on the table for custom spicing.
Can the coconut milk separate?
While still delicious, the coconut milk can separate and make the soup look a little grainy or discolored. This might happen due to a few factors:
- Quality of Coconut Milk: The quality of the coconut milk you use can make a big difference. Look for canned, full-fat coconut milk with no additives. Sometimes, lower-quality coconut milk may separate more easily. I recommend this brand of coconut milk/cream.
- Temperature: This is actually the biggest culprit. Coconut milk can separate when exposed to high temperatures or boiling. To avoid this, add the coconut cream when you bring the soup down to a simmer or add it with the greens.
- Acidity: If your soup is too acidic, it can cause the coconut milk to curdle or separate. Adding the lime juice and coconut milk at the same time to the soup can be a culprit. Add the lime after you've combined the coconut milk with the soup.
- Stirring: Over-stirring or stirring too vigorously can also cause coconut milk to break apart. Stir gently when you add it to the soup.
- Shelf Life: Check the expiration date on your coconut milk. Using expired coconut milk can lead to separation issues.
FAQs for Chickpea Coconut Curry Soup
Yes, this soup reheats well. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and gently reheat it on the stove or in the microwave.
This soup freezes nicely. Allow it to cool, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container. Thaw and reheat when you're ready to enjoy it.
Yes, you can. Light coconut milk will result in a lighter, less creamy soup, but it's a healthier option if you're watching your calorie intake.
When stored properly, it should stay fresh for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
For the Base:
- 2 cans (15 oz each) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 can (13.5 oz) full - fat coconut milk or cream
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-inch piece of fresh ginger minced or 1 ¼ teaspoons ground ginger
For the Spices:
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon ground paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust for heat)
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
For the Veggies:
- 2 large carrots, sliced
- 1 bell pepper, diced; any color
- 1 cup spinach or kale, roughly chopped
- juice of 1 lime
- fresh cilantro, chopped
- toasted coconut shreds
- a dollop of vegan yogurt or cashew cream
- roasted chickpea croutons
- Sauté the Base: Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil (or water for an oil-free version) over medium heat in a large pot. Add the diced onion and sauté until translucent. Throw in the minced garlic and ginger, stirring for about a minute until fragrant.
- Add the Spices: Sprinkle in curry powder, cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Give it a good stir, coating the onions, garlic, and ginger. Toasting the spices like this helps to unlock their full potential.
- Veggies in the Mix: Add the carrots and bell pepper to the pot. Stir to combine them with the spice mixture. Allow them to cook for about 5 minutes to start softening.
- Chickpeas and Liquids: Add the drained and rinsed chickpeas, vegetable broth, and tomatoes. Stir well to incorporate all the flavors. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil.
- Simmer and Stir: Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and add the coconut milk. Let the soup simmer for about 20 minutes. This allows all the flavors to meld together and the veggies to become tender.
- Final Touches: Stir in the chopped spinach and lime juice. Simmer for another 5 minutes until the spinach is wilted and incorporated. Then, taste the soup and adjust the salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve and Enjoy: Ladle the soup into bowls and top with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro, roasted chickpea croutons, toasted coconut shreds, and maybe a dollop of vegan yogurt for extra creaminess. See serving suggestions in the post for other alternatives.
This soup is more broth than cream. Add more coconut cream or plain vegan yogurt if you want it creamier. Alternatively, partially blend the soup with an immersion blender to get a thicker soup.
Please note that the provided nutritional information is an estimation. For precise measurements, consider using a reliable app such as Cronometer.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Soups and Stews
- Method: Stove
- Cuisine: Indian-Inspired
- Diet: Vegan
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 201
- Sugar: 4.1 g
- Sodium: 901 mg
- Fat: 8.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 26.8 g
- Protein: 7.4 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: chickpeas, coconut milk, soup, healthy, versitile, quick