#JanStewary: A Vegan Chickpea and Roasted Cauliflower Curry Soup
Before we jump into this Soup Saturday recipe, I wanted to respond to some of you that have taken issue with some of the terminologies we’ve been using since we started talking about souping. Some of you were put off by the idea that “clean eating” meant no grains, no gluten, no dairy, etc., and that this gives food groups a sense of morality that feeds into diet culture (i.e. vegetables are “good and clean”, rice and cheese are “bad and dirty”). We hear you. That wasn’t the intention, though my body does feel so much better and I have far less digestive issues when I cut those things from my diet. Do what feels right for YOU and your body.
Alright, all you vegetarians and vegans. Don’t think we’ve forgotten about you, because we haven’t. In fact, two of the EHD staff members are full-time vegetarians and we’d hate for them to feel left out of the soup club. One of the beautiful things about soup is that it is incredibly easy to experiment with. So many of these soup recipes can easily be made vegetarian or vegan with a few easy swaps (vegetable broth instead of chicken stock, beans/potatoes/chickpeas/tofu instead of meat, and cashew or coconut milk instead of cream to name a few). And vice versa, if you’d rather get your protein the caveman way, shredded chicken, turkey meatballs, or steak cubes are an easy add to any vegetarian or vegan recipe. Seasoned turkey meatballs were a caveman specialty, right?
Now that I’ve (once again) convinced you that soup is the world’s most perfect food, let’s get on with this week’s #SoupSaturday recipe. Today, we’re sharing our very first, totally vegan soup—a hearty, filling, and delicious roasted cauliflower curry. We made this soup as a vegetarian option while we were up at our recent EHD staff retreat and it got 4 thumbs up from our veggie-only staffers. This soup is inspired by and adapted from this recipe from Cotter Crunch, but adapted to fit our soup preferences. We’ve added red peppers to give it a little more crunch, chickpeas to make it super filling and get in some protein, swapped spinach for kale, and used a bag of riced cauliflower to eliminate the use of a food processor.
WHAT YOU NEED
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 6 carrots, diced
- 1 bag riced cauliflower (non-frozen)
- 1 bag spinach
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic (about 1/2 a head if using raw)
Herbs & Spices
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper (more or less depending on how spicy you like it)
- 3 tablespoons curry powder
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Oils & Canned Goods
- 3 tablespoons avocado oil (olive oil also works)
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 can coconut milk
- 1 can chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
HOW TO COOK IT
- Preheat your oven to 350F.
- Start by mixing your riced cauliflower in a bowl along with 2 tablespoons of oil, the curry powder, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, and salt.
- Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil, and spread the cauliflower and spices mixture onto the cookie sheet. Roast for 20 minutes, stirring at the 10-minute mark to make sure everything is toasting but not burning. When done, remove from oven and set aside.
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat, and add onions and garlic. Cook onions until translucent (about 3-4 minutes).
- Add the carrots, red peppers and dried chili pepper. Cook 3-4 minutes mixing occasionally.
- Next, add the vegetable broth, coconut milk, chickpeas, and riced cauliflower.
- Bring to a boil; reduce heat and bring to a simmer. Covered, the soup can simmer for however long you’d like, but let it simmer for at least 15 minutes (so the chickpeas and veggies can soften).
- A few minutes before serving (5 or so), add the entire bag of spinach, stir in, and allow to wilt in soup for a few minutes.
- Season with salt to taste and serve (top with a dollop of dairy-free yogurt or coconut cream if you’re feeling fancy)
This soup is rich, spicy, creamy and VERY filling. The chickpeas add just enough “oomph” to keep vegetarian/vegan bellies full, while adding a decent dose of protein. It’s the perfect bowl of soup for a cold winter day, especially if you like your food on the spicier side.
When it comes to cooking my soups, I’ve been using both a tall stockpot and a dutch oven. Stockpots are thinner, taller, and made to cook stocks and broths (think lots of liquid while also fitting an entire chicken carcass…or pasta). I use my stockpot when I’m making a new batch of bone broth. Dutch ovens, on the other hand, are often made from cast iron, have thicker bottoms, heavy lids, and are made to evenly heat thicker soups and stews without burning them (they’re also great for cooking things other than soups and can usually slide into the oven depending on the handle materials).
Don’t feel like you MUST have one of each to be a successful souper! Broths can be simmered in Dutch ovens, just like stews can easily be prepared in a stockpot. But whether you’re looking for one, do-everything, budget pot or you’re ready to take the plunge into the world of serious souping, here are some of our favorite stockpots and Dutch ovens at three different price points.