Our thoughts turn to pumpkin in the fall, and while its sweet goodness may first come to mind, let’s not overlook how delicious and comforting it is in savoury recipes. Pumpkin goes exotic in this Curried Pumpkin Coconut Chickpea Soup. It’s one of my most popular soup recipes and for good reason. It’s mildly spicy, with a hint of sweetness, and wholly satisfying. I first shared this recipe in 2013 and it’s definitely time to bring it into the spotlight again.
When I was in Calgary a couple of weeks ago visiting my BFF, she took me to the Lazy Loaf and Kettle for lunch. I crafted my own sandwich with multigrain bread, turkey, cranberry sauce and a few other ingredients. It was so fresh and delicious. But it was the soup that really blew me away. I believe it was called Coconut Curry Chickpea, and it was thick and satisfying with tender chickpeas and a lovely initial level of heat that developed to a satisfying kick.
Curried Pumpkin Coconut Chickpea Soup
When I got home, memories of that soup were still dancing in my head, so I was inspired to make a soup that would leave me with the same warm, satisfied feeling. I decided to add pureed pumpkin to the coconut milk base, since I still have most of what I froze last year and it adds a rich, seasonal touch. Besides, pumpkin isn’t just for pie!
When I was building the curry, my first instinct was to use garam masala,but I decided to go with chana masala instead. Chana masala is less spicy, and imparts the tang of mango and pomegranate powders. Although I also added a minced large red chili pepper, the soup had a pleasing mild spiciness with a hint of sweetness. Sometimes I like more kick, but I enjoyed the Curried Pumpkin Coconut Chickpea Soup just like this. In fact, by the time the evening ended, the rest of it had been mysteriously polished off.
I’d say an empty pot is a good indication of when I’ve come up with a winning recipe.
Let’s Make Curried Pumpkin Coconut Chickpea Soup
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp kalonji (nigella seeds)
- 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- 3 tsp chana masala
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove finely chopped
- 1 large red chile pepper seeded and minced
- 1/2 tsp dried curry leaf crushed
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 can (400 mL) coconut milk
- 1-1/2 cups pumpkin puree
- 3/4 cup chopped tomato (I used frozen)
- 1 can (19 oz) chickpeas rinsed
Heat the coconut over medium low heat, then add the kalonji and mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start popping, turn the heat to low and stir in the chana masala and the aromatics. Cook for a few minutes, stirring. (Your kitchen will be smelling so good at this point — make sure your exhaust fan is on and make the neighbours jealous!)
When the onions and garlic have cooked down a bit add the curry leaf, salt, coconut milk and pumpkin puree. Stir until well blended, then add the tomato and chickpeas.
Bring to a low boil, turn the heat to simmer and cook until the chickpeas are tender, about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust the seasonings after 20 minutes or so; if you want to make it spicier, for instance, you could add some dried red chile flakes, and you'll want to allow time for the flavours to meld.
Serve and enjoy a fragrant bowl of exotic fall flavours.
Looking for More About Curries?
Let’s start with one of my favourite lunches, Fragrant Red Lentil Dhal. If you’re looking for a vegan dinner, how about a Curried Chickpea Bowl with Spiced Cashew Cream? And finally, this Curried Cream of Broccoli Soup proves there’s a role for packaged curry powder. I should know, because I’ve been making it for over 30 years.