Power Recipe No. 9: African Curried Coconut Soup With Chickpeas
A friend cooked this for me as a birthday present. I had two bowls then asked for the recipe. I cooked a vat of it. After eating a bowlful, I took flight.
Yield: Makes 4 servings
Black-eyed peas can replace the chickpeas, if desired. For a lighter soup, the rice can be omitted.
2 tablespoons oil (I use water to sauté my onions)
1 medium onion (about 6 ounces), chopped
1 medium red bell pepper (about 6 ounces), chopped
1 jalapeno chili, seeded and finely chopped (you can use less) –
(Always wear rubber gloves when chopping jalapeno chilies because if you rub your eyes and there is any jalapeno oil on your hands, it will burn like crazy)
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 cups veggie broth
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup chopped tomatoes, seeded and peeled, fresh or canned
1 teaspoon mild curry powder
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste (I add after cooking so pepper doesn’t turn bitter)
1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
¾ cup cooked brown rice (use leftover)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
Shredded coconut (unsweetened)
In a medium stockpot, heat the oil (water) over medium heat. Add the onions, bell peppers (I add my bell pepper late in the cooking so they don’t turn to mush), and jalapeno chili; cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add curry powder, stir for 30 seconds.
Add the broth, chickpeas, tomatoes, salt (and pepper); bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce the heat and simmer gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. (I usually cook longer and let the beans soften for a few hours)
Add the remaining ingredients (cooked rice, cilantro, coconut milk) and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve hot and with 3 condiment bowls with coconut, raisins, and chutney, if desired.