Spicy Lentil & Coconut soup with Roasted Chickpeas

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Spicy Lentil & Coconut soup with Roasted Chickpeas

I feel the need to tell you that this soup is both vegan AND one of the best soups I have ever eaten. Now, if you are anything like my meat-craving, Afrikaans family, the words “Vegan” and “Dinner” should never be used in the same sentence. My dad and brothers think of vegans as tie-dye-wearing hippies who pray to the trees and have birds as friends. And until I met vegans who weren’t like that, I thought the same. And even though I don’t think I could ever have their dedication when it comes to cutting out animal products, I still like to venture into their area of cooking every now and then as I find it a serious challenge to stick to proper Vegan rules. Cutting out meat isn’t hard, just take a look at the vast amount of recipes in my Vegetarian category. But using no cream, cheese, yoghurt or milk? I find it near impossible.

Spicy Lentil & Coconut soup with Roasted Chickpeas

I didn’t set out to make a vegan soup when I first started making this soup. I just wanted to play with Indian flavours and decided to use lentils as the main ingredient. Only after I had my second helping of this fragrant soup did I realise that I didn’t use any animal products in this soup, which is definitely a first for me. This of course means that it is MUCH healthier but what was the most impressing to me was that I didn’t miss the meat. The cooked lentils are very meaty in texture and flavour and using fresh spices added all the depth and flavour I normally associate with food made with meat/animal products.

Roasted Chickpeas

The roasted chickpeas adds wonderful crunch but to be honest, I prefer eating them as is. They are my absolute favourite new snack and I often have a bowl of them around when I feel like snacking but can’t be bothered to pop some popcorn.

Serve this soup with roti/naan bread and extra chopped chillies and fresh coriander.

Spicy Lentil & Coconut soup with Roasted Chickpeas

Serves 6-8

2 red onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
4 celery spears, finely sliced
2 tsp each smoked paprika, ground cumin, ground coriander, garam masala & turmeric
1 tsp each chilli flakes, cinnamon
500g red lentils
2 x 400g tinned tomatoes
1 tbsp sugar
1-1.5l vegetable stock/water
50ml soy sauce
salt to taste
1x 400ml tin coconut cream
to serve
fresh lime juice
fresh coriander
fresh chopped chillie
for the roasted chickpeas
1x 400g tin chickpeas in water/brine, rinsed
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp each ground cumin, ground coriander, chilli flakes, smoked paprika
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp salt

  1. For the soup, fry the onion, garlic, carrots and celery in canola/sunflower oil until soft and fragrant.
  2. Add the spices and fry for another minute before adding the red lentils, tinned tomatoes and sugar.
  3. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes and add the vegetable stock/water. (It’s important to remember not to add any salt at this stage or else your lentils won’t soften)
  4. Allow the soup to simmer for 30-45 minutes until the lentils are cooked and the soup has thickened slightly.
  5. Add the soy sauce, coconut cream and then season to taste.
  6. Allow to simmer for another 10 minutes and serve with lime cheeks, coriander and chillies.
  7. To make the roasted chickpeas, pre-heat the oven to 220°c.
  8. Mix all the ingredients and place on a non-stick baking tray.
  9. Place in the oven and allow to roast for 15-20 minutes until the chickpeas are crispy.
  10. Serve on their own or as a topping to the soup.
Alida Ryder
Alida Ryder
Being a general food freak has proven to be quite helpful in this career I've found myself in. Author of two cookbooks, photographer, food stylist. Mom to twins. Ex make-up and hair artist obsessed with beautiful clothes and spaces. I love a good G&T and I've been known to spend too much money on shoes.
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  • http://herbivoresheaven.wordpress.com Jenny

    Yum, the chickpeas on top sound amazing! I’m going to file this away for winter.

  • http://www.thespanishwok.blogspot.com/ Debs @ The Spanish Wok

    This sounds amazing, thanks.

    You are welcome to join in my monthly food blogger event THE SOUP KITCHEN, here for entry details and current theme offering a new theme each month. All bloggers are welcome, hope to see you participate soon.

  • http://www.lepetitfour.co.za Lezanne

    Tried it for dinner last night – was great! Super easy and a lovely hearty meat-free Monday meal :)

    • http://www.simply-delicious-food.com Ally_R

      Lezanne, I’m glad you enjoyed it so much!

  • http://allykayler.blogspot.ca/ ally

    fantastic, delicious, perfect recipe!!

    • http://www.simply-delicious-food.com Ally_R

      Thanks Ally!

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  • Flee

    Oh Wow … Those Chickpeas look like little bundles of snackiness, replace popcorn here :-) Thank you

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