Spiced Chickpea Soup

By Elizabeth Kurtz

Don’t skip this soup! It’s divine! I teach it often, and to my students’ surprise, they love it! I know, these are ingredients that are new, and chickpea soup sounds strange, but it’s really, really delicious. The chickpeas are creamy and a great canvas for the wonderful flavors in garam masala. This Indian spice blend is available in national markets with a hechsher but also easy to make at home (recipe below). This soup freezes well too,  and can be made a day or two in advance. Thank you, Jeff Nathan, for the original recipe for this soup.
3 tablespoons canola oil
½ cup diced onion
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1½ teaspoons garam masala (available in major markets or homemade, recipe below)
1½ teaspoons dried ground ginger
2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
½ cup apple juice
1 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk
1 quart (4 cups) chicken or vegetable stock
½ cup cilantro or parsley, plus additional for garnish
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Heat oil in an 8-10 quart soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
2. Add garlic, garam masala and ginger, and stir for 1-2 minutes. Add chickpeas, tomatoes, apple juice, coconut milk and stock.
3. Bring soup to a boil, then lower to simmer and cook, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and add cilantro. With an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. If soup is too thick, thin with some additional stock.

Serve warm. Garnish with fresh herbs if desired.

Serves 8-10

Garam Masala
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1½ teaspoons coriander
1½ teaspoons cardamom
1½ teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon nutmeg

Mix all ingredients in a resealable glass container or bag. Shake well. Store in a dry place.

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