Curried Vegetable and Chickpea Soup

A warm soup for a cool night.

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Over the past week or so I've been kind of obsessed with soups. On Monday I had soup for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In the past eight days I've been unplugging my crock pot for no more than 12 hours before starting again with a new soup.

But with soups, unlike with almost anything else, I will do a lot of finicking around until I get it exactly right. On Sunday I started with this recipe for Curried Vegetable and Chickpea soup, but I revised as I went, and at the end spent a while seasoning and changing things up before I finally loved it.

So how do you test recipes? Are you ever faithful to the original, or do you feel free to throw other things in willy-nilly, and figure you’ll season and fix as you go?


  1. juice of 1 lime
  2. 1/4 cup honey
  3. 1 Tablespoon molasses
  4. 1 can coconut milk
  5. 8 oz baby spinach
  6. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  7. 5-8 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
  8. 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
  9. 2 (16 oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  10. 2 Tablespoons buillion
  11. 2 cups water
  12. 1 jalapeno chili (or other hot chili), seeded and minced
  13. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  14. 1 Tablespoon ginger, peeled and minced
  15. 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  16. 2 all-purpose potatoes, peeled and diced
  17. 1 Tablespoon salt
  18. 1 Tablespoon curry
  19. 1-2 leeks, cleaned well and roughly chopped
  20. 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  21. 1 large onion, chopped


Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion and leeks with one teaspoon of salt until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and another teaspoon of salt, and sauté until just translucent around the edges.

Stir in the curry, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and chili and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in 1/4 cup of water and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Pour this onion-potato mixture into the bowl of your crock pot.

To the slow-cooker, add the rest of the ingredients. The spinach will probably fill up the crock pot, but don't worry, it will cook down. Make sure the liquid comes at least halfway up the side of the bowl. If it doesn't add water 1 cup at a time. Cover and cook for 4 hours on HIGH. Taste and adjust salt and other seasonings as needed.

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Tamar Fox is an associate editor at She has an MFA in fiction writing from Vanderbilt University, and a BA from the University of Iowa. She has worked as the editor of the religion blog at, and is on the Editorial Board at The Jew and the Carrot. She spent a summer as a fellow at Yeshivat Hadar, and was a Senior Apprentice Artist for four years at Gallery 37 in Chicago.

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