This post was sponsored by USA Pulses & Pulse Canada, who celebrate the chickpeas that make this vegan broccoli soup recipe super creamy. As with all opinions on this site, I only give my endorsement when genuine—and I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about people eating more legumes! Thanks for supporting the companies that make it possible for me to continue providing quality content to you.
This weekend we got a little premature taste of Spring in New York. And the day I spent frolicking around my new neighborhood in 60-degree sunshine was almost enough to erase the memories of the frigid winds coming off the East river, which had my nose in permanent Rudolph mode for the first few days of my new living situation–and made this warming vegan broccoli soup very necessary for emotional and physical survival.
A few weeks ago, when the weather was even less peach-y, I was charged with the task of bringing my friend Anna some homemade food to carry her through the week. She had just given birth to her first child at the end of December, and given the number of amazing meals she’d cooked for friends over the years, a group rallied together to return the favor.
The delivery schedule was handled through a new app called Meal Train. It’s a brilliant concept for those who want to lend a helping hand to loved ones who need nourishment–new mothers, or those recovering from illness or loss. The site let’s the receiver specify dietary restrictions, and gives the givers the ability to sign up for slots to ensure that the burden of organizing doesn’t become even bigger than the burden of cooking in the first place. Add it to the list of ideas I wish I’d thought of!
My scheduled meal fell in the aftermath of Jonas, right as the city was reaching it’s swampy peak. So when I was strategizing a protein-packed, comforting meal for my food-loving friend, this healthy version of creamy broccoli soup came to mind. Sherrie of With Food + Love had recently featured a broccoli soup thickened with white beans. And so I decided to do something similar with chickpeas—using them both to bulk up the soup’s base and add a crispy, crunchy texture to the top.
Baked chickpeas are one of my favorite ways to add a little pizzazz to basic salads and grain dishes. You simply toss them with some oil and spices and roast until fully dehydrated. They’re addictive right out of the oven. But eating them as a snack would require a volume of chickpeas that I just wouldn’t be able to keep up with. So instead I try to exhibit some self control and use them just as an accent, like in this soup.
You could easily take this technique (veg + legumes) to make a vegan version of classic broccoli cheddar soup. A little nutritional yeast added to the broth would give it that cheesy flair, and a little more sprinkled on the chickpeas would give you that parmesan crouton effect for the topping. Instead though, I went with an Indian flavor profile. I love how a little Madras curry powder goes a long way in kicking up creamy vegetable soups. And it gave the crispy roasted broccoli I used for the top a similarly addictive quality to the chickpeas.
Even if you’re not hopping on a meal train for a friend in need, this is a perfect Meatless Monday recipe to make for yourself for the week ahead. If you’re the type of person who’s wary of asking for help (you’re not alone, even if it’s bogus) it’s also one of the easiest recipes to throw together without much effort.
Also, did you know that the UN declared 2016 the official International Year of Pulses? I’m psyched that lowly legumes are finally enjoying their time in the global limelight. And I’m using it as an excuse to fill my shelves with more lentils, beans, chickpeas and the like.
If you’re a fan of this recipe (and pulses in general), I encourage you take the Pulse Pledge with me! All you have to do is eat pulses once a week for ten weeks. This is a great way of reducing your intake of animal products as I did last year during my VB6 challenge. Sign up here and you’ll receive resources and recipes (like this one) in your inbox.
Also, if you end up making this vegan broccoli soup with crispy curried chickpeas make sure to tag it with #PulsePledge. I’m planning on dedicating the month of April to strategies for spring cleaning your pantry, so stay tuned for even more recipes to make the most of the random contents of your cans and jars (especially pulses)!
From one healthy hedonist, to another,
This creamy vegan broccoli soup is thickened with chickpeas and spiced with curry powder. It's an easy, healthy cheese-free weeknight meal!
- 1 pound broccoli (about 2 medium heads), florets separated, stems roughly chopped
- Two 15-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, divided
- 2 teaspoons Madras curry powder, divided
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric, divided
- Sea salt
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- One 15-ounce can full fat coconut milk
- 4 cups vegetable stock or water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Take about a cup of the broccoli florets and cut them into smaller bite-sized pieces. In a medium mixing bowl, toss the finely chopped florets with 1 cup chickpeas, 2 tablespoons coconut oil, 1 teaspoon curry powder, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. (If the coconut oil is solid, zap the bowl for 10 seconds in the microwave so it will evenly distribute. Arrange the chickpea mixture on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast in the oven until the chickpeas are crispy but not hard, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot. Saute the onion over medium-high heat until translucent, 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and the remaining curry powder and turmeric. Cook for one minute more, until very fragrant. Pour in the coconut milk, scraping up any brown bits that may have formed on the bottom of the pot, followed by the stock, remaining chickpeas and broccoli, and 2 teaspoons salt.
- Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the broccoli is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice.
- Puree the soup using an immersion or stand blender until smooth and creamy. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or lemon juice as necessary.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the crispy curried chickpeas and broccoli.
This post was sponsored by USA Pulses & Pulse Canada. As with all opinions on this site, I only give my endorsement when genuine—and I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about people eating more legumes!