Coconut curry carrot chickpea soup comes together easily with two shortcuts — baby carrots and Indian simmer sauce. This naturally vegan soup combines comfort and spice in one satisfying bowlful.
Both carrots and chickpeas are compatible with coconut milk and curry spices — spices that you don’t have to mix and measure, thanks to amazing Indian simmer sauce.
Indian simmer sauce as a soup starter
Look for Indian simmer sauces in the international foods aisles in supermarkets and natural foods stores. Relatively new on the market, these have been a game-changer for me, since I’m too lazy to do what needs to be done to achieve the complex flavors of curry — something that can’t be achieved by merely dumping curry powder into a dish.
Varieties come in a range of vegan options from mild to spicy. Some of them include dairy, so check labels. Some that are most always vegan include Rogan Josh, Goan coconut, Kashmir curry, Jalfrezi, and Madras curry.
Some of the key ingredients in the vegan sauces are coconut milk, tomato, ginger, garlic, and of course, lots of spices. Whatever you add these sauces to will take on the rich, complex flavors that can otherwise only be experienced at fine Indian restaurants. I just love them as an easy soup starter!
Here are more authentic-tasting recipes using Indian simmer sauce.
What to serve with carrot chickpea soup
- Serve with fresh bread or flatbread and pair with an interesting salad. I find that salads incorporating a fruit provide a fresh-tasting, nice contrast.
- Try a soup-and-salad meal with Spinach and Mango Salad with Cranberries and Cashews or Fruity Red Cabbage Salad.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 16-ounce bag baby carrots
- Two 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh or squeeze-bottle ginger
- 12-ounce jar Indian simmer sauce (see note)
- 15-ounce can light coconut milk
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 to 2 cups water, or as needed
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Chopped parsley or cilantro for garnish
- Lime slices for garnish
- Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and sauté over low heat until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until both are golden.
- Add the carrots and just enough water to cover them. Bring to a slow boil, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until tender.
- Stir in the chickpeas (reserve a small amount for garnish, if you’d like) and the ginger.
- Transfer the mixture, along with all the liquid, to a blender (do so in batches if your blender is on the smaller side). Process to a smooth consistency and return the puree to the soup pot. Or, simply insert an immersion blender into the soup pot and process until smooth, or leave a little texture.
- Stir in the simmer sauce, coconut milk, lime juice, and enough water to give the soup a medium-thick consistency.
- Return to a rapid simmer, then season with salt and pepper. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes longer over very low heat.
- If time allows, let the soup stand off the heat for about an hour, then return to low heat until until well heated through; adjust consistency and seasonings if need be, as this soup thickens as it stands. But if you can’t wait, serve at once.
- Garnish each serving with a few chickpeas, if you reserved them, and some chopped parsley or cilantro.
Look for a dairy-free variety of simmer sauce in the international foods aisle of well-stocked supermarkets or natural foods stores. Some dairy-free varieties include Rogan Josh, Goan Coconut, Kashmir Curry, Jalfrezi, and Madras Curry (the latter is quite spicy!)
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