Sunday, February 12, 2012

Coconut Chickpea & Kale Soup: Fast & Easy Clean Eating for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Finding a healthy soup that can be made in 15 minutes is good. Finding a healthy soup that can be made in 15 minutes and tastes great is even better. This Coconut Chickpea and Kale Soup is from this month's Clean Eating magazine, a favorite source of healthy recipes. I was attracted by the mix of ingredients--all things I like but wouldn't necessarily have thought to put together.

Clean Eating says, "A rich, creamy puree with bold South Asian flavors makes this quick, easy soup taste like it's been simmering on the stove top for hours!"

Coconut Chickpea Soup with Toasted Pita
Clean Eating Magazine, March 2012
(Serves 4)
Hands on Time: 15 minutes / Total Time: 15 minutes

2 (15 oz) cans unsalted chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 cups roughly torn kale leaves, tough stems removed
2 cloves garlic
15 oz low-fat coconut milk (about 1 3/4 cups)
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp raw honey
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
4 whole-wheat pitas, cut into triangles and toasted

In a blender, combine chickpeas, broth kale, garlic, coconut milk, curry powder, cumin, honey, salt and pepper. Puree until completely smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a medium pot and heat on medium-high. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Divide among serving bowls and serve with pitas.

Nutrients per Serving (1 1/2 cups soup and 1 whole-wheat pita): Calories 398, Total Fat 9 g, Sat Fat 6 g, Monounsaturated Fat 0.2 g, Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g, Carbs 64 g, Fiber 12 g, Sugars 5 g, Protein 17 g, Sodium 545 mg, Cholesterol 0 mg.

Clean Eating Nutritional Bonus: Chickpeas to help you relax? Yes! In fact, chickpeas are a good sour of tryptophan, an essential amino acid that your body needs to make protein. High tryptophan foods play a role in lifting your mood, and tryptophan is even used therapeutically to help treat anxiety, depression and sleep disorders.

Notes/Results: Creamy, a little spicy from the curry, this soup has a lot of good flavor. I like the kick from the curry and the smokiness of the ground cumin and how they soften the slight bitterness of the kale. My soup appears darker green than the picture in the magazine. I think it's because I really packed those kale leaves into the measuring cup--in my opinion, the more greens the better. ;-) Even though this is a blended soup, between the chickpeas and the coconut milk, it is very satisfying--especially with the pita to dunk in it. So quick and easy to toss together after a long day, I will definitely make this one again.

There are delicious dishes galore in the Souper Sunday kitchen--let's take a look.

Margo--the other Saucy Cook from is here this week and repurposed her favorite soup when she's sick into a heart healthy Mexican Fusion Chicken Soup. Margo says, "I have a few friends that are concerned about the health of their hearts and I’ve given out the recipe. Not sure if anyone has made the soup yet but those people who have tried it, really liked it. It’s also high-fiber, vitamin packed and a little spicy, I think I’ll change the name from “sick” soup to “optimum health” soup. This is a great thing to store in the fridge and grab when you need something to nosh on that won’t pack on the pounds. Now I’ve decided to start making it while I’m healthy, to keep me healthy." Welcome Margo!

Simona of briciole made a hearty and healthy Savory Cabbage and Kale Soup for Anna inspired by the book, Anna, Heart of a Peasant. She says, "I made a number of changes to adapt it to my taste and ingredients I have available. I used a lovely purple Savoy cabbage, locally grown, and Red Russian kale from my garden. I added a bit of celery and thyme to the garlic, onion and carrot base, used fire-roasted crushed tomatoes instead of puréed tomatoes, omitted the sugar and cut down the lemon juice. Finally, I topped the soup with homemade kefir instead of sour cream."

Janet from The Taste Space made this Iraqi Pomegranate Stew (Shorbat Rumman). She says, "I originally spotted this Iraqi Pomegranate Stew on Julia’s blog. I am always thrilled to find new ways to add pomegranate molasses to my meals, and I was tickled pink when I saw it had many of my other favourite ingredients- beets, spinach, split peas, lime juice, cinnamon, cilantro and even mint! The flavours of stew combine the salty, sweet, and savoury perfectly. It helped that I followed Julia’s recommendation of adding more split peas and rice, and removing the sugar altogether. The pomegranate molasses gives this a nice sweet tang all by its lonesome."

A new face at Souper Sundays this week is Judee from Gluten Free A-Z Blog here with a ruby red Valentine Beet Borscht. She says, "Why not make something good for the heart this Valentine's Day? Love beets? ? Both sets of my Russian grandparents thrived on Borscht (Cold beet soup), and my paternal grandmother lived to the ripe old age of one hundred and seven! Until her death, she was feisty, dignified, happy, and with it. Longevity was prevalent with my Russian ancestors and so was borscht (is there a connection??)" Welcome Judee!

Foodycat made the most of a chicken, turning it into the foundation of several delicious meals. Part of the yummy homemade chicken broth became the base for her hearty and warming (it's a nippy a -8 degrees Celsius at her house right now) Minestrone. She says, "The last of the chicken broth became a pot of minestrone. Carrots, onions, borlotti beans, some smoked Polish sausage, canned tomatoes, macaroni and shredded cabbage joined the broth in a big, cuddly potful that lasted us a couple of days."

Debby from A Feast for the Eyes is here with a satisfying Beef and Barley Slow Cooker Soup and says, "This soup has a very rich red color to it, because of the crushed tomatoes and red wine. The beef is super tender. I felt a little disappointed in that I didn't go with my gut instinct to increase the amount of barley from 1/4 cup to at least 1/2 cup. I really appreciate a higher barley to beef ratio, and I could barely detect in the soup. As for the flavor, I liked it. I'm a lover of all things flavored tomato, but I felt that the crushed tomato overpowered the flavor of the beef. However, my son disagreed with me. He loved this soup."

Sue from Couscous and Consciousness has two dishes to share this week. First up, Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Olives, Lemon & Yoghurt from Tessa Kiros. Sue says, "Tessa suggests other possible toppings - rosemary, cream, a drizzle of chilli oil or truffle oil, maybe even a couple of grilled prawns. I think also a dollop of creme fraiche or mascarpone could be a nice alternative to the yoghurt. This could also be nice for a gathering served in small glasses, with all the toppings set out on the table in individual dishes for your guests to "dress" their soup according to their tastes. Whatever ... no matter how you serve this soup you're going to love it. The colour is sublime, the texture thick and velvety, and the flavour bold and robust."

Sue also made this Fried Zucchini, Pea & Quinoa Salad inspired by an Ottolenghi recipe. She says, "The original recipe combined fried zucchini with edamame, pasta and buffalo mozzarella. However, lacking both edamame and buffalo mozzarella, and not wanting to venture out to the supermarket, I used some frozen peas and feta - both of which I had on hand. I also swapped the pasta out for some quinoa, since I was in the mood for something a little lighter. ... I hope you'll give this salad a try - the quinoa is healthy, nutritious, and has a lovely nutty flavour which marries well with the fried zucchini and feta. A glass of pinot gris on the side and you have the perfect summer meal."

Akheela of Torview is here this week with this colorful Cabbage Salad that she says is very "simple and easy to make." In addition to cabbage, there are onions and carrots and a spicy-sweet-tangy dressing made from vinegar, brown sugar and chile powder. It's a perfectly-hued addition to a healthy Valentine's Day plate.

An appetizer from Mark Bittman's Food Matters inspired Chipotle Squash Salad with Jicama, Goat Cheese, and Avocado for Joanne of Eats Well With Others. She says, "Though these were meant to be served as an appetizer, I couldn't help but de-skewer them and turn them into a salad! Spicy sweet from honey chipotle glaze, with cooling refreshing bites of jicama, goat cheese, and avocado in-between, this salad was exactly what I craved at lunch almost every day last week. And I loved knowing that I was infusing health into my body with every bite."

Finally we have one decadent sandwich creation from Heather of girlichef, Fried Mozzarella Sandwiches. She says, "This sandwich won't win any beauty pageants, but a plate stacked high with wedges of them will be the first thing your kids make a beeline for when they walk in the door after a "hard" day at school. In fact, it's pretty hard for kids of any age to resist melty cheese in a crispy-fried crust, isn't it? It is. I'm gonna admit...they're pretty messy to make. My hands were covered in egg and bread crumbs from trying to hold them together and get everything to adhere before frying. But it was totally worth it. Totally."

Thanks to everyone who joined in this week with their wonderful dishes. If you have a soup, salad, or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo for all of the details.

Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. Oh, chickpeas, kale, and coconut milk - three of my favorite things. Trying them together in a soup is next on my list. It sounds wonderful!
    ...and I love that heart-shaped bowl :D

  2. Thanks for reminding me about the chikpeas: I need to pre-soak some. This kale soup is great, I love kale and anything with it! Beautiful pictures!

  3. delicious looking roundup fabulously done looks wonderful
    healthy looking soup

  4. Oh that coconut, kale, and chickpea soup looks so healthy and delcious. I've got all the ingredients and am ready to try it. Thanks for hosting this wonderful soup and salad hop and including my Valentine Borshct.

  5. I used to hate chickpeas, but have recently changed my mind. They are so healthy and versatile, too. I love kale, so this soup looks fabulous, Deb! Thank you for including my beef and barley soup in your tasty roundup.

  6. I love the bright green color of the soup. And I agree that it is an interesting combination of ingredients. Thanks for the lovely roundup!

  7. Heather's fried cheese sandwiches are killing me. They look amazing!

  8. love the color of this soup! great round-up.

  9. I've been in quite a coconuty mood lately...and I seem to always be up for soup! This one sounds delicious. I love that it's a full meal-in-a-bowl.

  10. This soup looks great, Deb! I have never really paid attention to which amino acids are in my foods, but maybe the tryptophan explains why I love chickpeas so much!

  11. Hi! I'm making this soup tonight for dinner and was looking for a review. Thanks so much! Hope my family likes it as much as you did. :)

  12. such a gorgeous color and so healthy


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