April 7, 2010
The Hungry Papa and I recently ordered a delicious chick pea soup at a favorite restaurant. Chickpea soup. How come I’d never thought of that?!
I don’t remember much about the flavor of the soup other than it was delicious. But the idea of chickpea soup stuck with me. Then inspiration hit out of nowhere: coconut + chickpeas + lemongrass. Wait. Actually, my inspiration was coconut + chickpeas. I tweeted that and then someone (sorry that I can’t remember who) threw lemongrass in the mix. Brilliant! Crowd sourcing in action!
This soup is rich and silky. Pure luxury. I topped it with a tangle of fried shallots for texture and toasted smoked paprika in the left over oil. Droplets of the smokey, bright red oil added a nice layer of flavor that brought the whole thing together. All this in about 35 minutes. Can’t ask for more than that!
Coconut Chickpea Soup with Lemongrass, serves 2-3 as a main, 3-4 as a starter
(can be served to kids 8+ mos)
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 1/4 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground coriander
3 Tbsp chopped fresh lemongrass*
1 15.5 oz can chickpeas
2 tsp salt
1 c coconut milk
1 c chicken (or vegetable) broth
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice**
1. Heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high flame. Add onions, curry powder, coriander and lemongrass. Saute until the onions are soft and the herbs and spices fragrant, 5-7 minutes. Add chickpeas and salt; cook for another 5 minutes.
2. Add coconut milk and broth. Allow the liquid to just barely come to a boil before lowering the heat to medium. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
3. Take off heat and and blend until as smooth as possible. Strain to remove the lemongrass fibers and chickpea skins. If you’ve got them, use a chinois and pestle. Otherwise, a strainer and spatula work just fine!
4. Stir fresh lemon juice into the soup and top with fried shallots, croutons or anything else that suits your fancy. Serve!
*Note: Cut the lower bulb off of the lemongrass stalk and remove the tough, outer leaves. Chop thin slices off of the main stalk (the yellow section). The green part can be thrown whole into curries and soups—including this one—for extra flavor. Just fish it out before pureeing.
**Note: Some recommend holding off on citrus until 12+ mos. You can always separate out your little one’s portion before step 4.