The ultimate recipe for weeknights when you’re fridge is lacking fresh produce – a soup that’s made predominantly of pantry essentials. That’s how it came to be actually: Tuesday nights are always a bit of a scrape together dinner in our house because we get our veggie co-op box on Wednesdays. Sometimes there’s a collection of leftover vegetables that don’t quite go together, and sometimes there’s very little at all! A few weeks ago I was determined to make dinner without a trip to the shops, so I made this – a warming curried tomato soup with a good dose of silky coconut cream, topped with pan-fried garlic chickpeas. Bar the ginger and turmeric, the other ingredients were in my pantry – and even better, it came together in less than 30 min!
A few of my friends teased me at my birthday picnic earlier this year that a “30 minute recipe” is not actually able to be made in 30 minutes (unless you’re some kind of wonder cook)… I’m not sure about Jamie Oliver’s 30 min and even 15 min recipes, but I assure you that this one is a cinch to make and comes together quickly!
I see a lot of recipes for oven baked crispy chickpeas, which are delicious and that I love… But it seemed a bore (and time intensive) to turn on the oven just for the chickpeas, so I decided to panfry them instead. The result? Crispy garlic chickpeas! Not the exact same result as baking them, but considering they only took a fraction of the time and are still a delicious soup topper – I know I’ll be making them again.
Hope this recipe is a help when your fridge is bare and it’s too cold a winter evening to be heading out to the shops. We’ve been enjoying it so much in our house we’ve been having it even when there’s lots of fresh produce around, it’s just so simple to make and delicious – my favourite kind of recipe :)
Curried Tomato and Coconut Soup with Garlic Chickpeas (or: store-cupboard soup)
If fresh turmeric root isn’t in season or at hand, use 1/2 tsp turmeric powder. Fresh ginger can be left out if need be, but you might like to add additional cumin and a little more lemon at the end. The herbs are optional, but they do add a welcome freshness.
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 20 min
Curried Tomato and Coconut Soup with Garlic Chickpeas
4 tbls olive oil
300g | 1 large onion, roughly chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
20g | 5cm piece of fresh ginger, sliced
5g | 2cm piece of fresh turmeric root, sliced or 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp sea salt (+ more to taste)
Black pepper, to taste
800ml | 2 x 400g tins of crushed tomatoes
650ml | 2.5 cups vegetable stock (or water + stock cube)
200g | 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 x 400g tin, drained and rinsed)
Flaky sea salt
1 cup | 270ml tin of full fat coconut cream (or milk)
Fresh mint or coriander, and lemon or lime wedges to serve (optional)
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, fry the onion in 3 tbls of olive oil. Cook until softened and starting to colour – about 5min. Add half the garlic, the ginger and turmeric and cook for a further minute till fragrant – 1 min.
Add the spices, salt and pepper, stir to coat the onions, then add the tomatoes and stock. Crank up the heat to bring it all to a boil, and then lower to a simmer, cooking uncovered for 10 min.
Meanwhile, dry your chickpeas well with a kitchen towel. Heat 1 tbls of olive oil a fry pan (skillet) over high heat, once hot add the chickpeas and fry in a single layer till starting to crisp – 2 min. Stir through the remaining 2 cloves of sliced garlic and cook for another 1-2 min till the garlic is fragrant and starting to brown. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt to taste.
Remove the soup from the heat and use a stick blender to puree it till smooth, or carefully blend it in batches in an upright blender, returning it to the saucepan. Stir through the coconut cream and season to taste.
Serve topped with crispy chickpeas, some fresh herbs and a squeeze of lime or lemon, if you like.
Will keep airtight refrigerated for up to 5 days. Soup base will freeze well prior to the addition of coconut cream.