Ethnic-Inspired Soup

Q: Garam Masala (from the Hindi for "hot mixture") is typically a blend of which four spices?
A: Ground coriander, cumin, ground red (cayenne) pepper, and tumeric.
...A fun fact that I learned from Light & Delish Magazine when I decided to try their recipe for Tomato-Coconut Soup with Spiced Chickpeas. The ingredient list includes garam masala -- a spice that I had heard of but never really known what was in it. Used predominantly in Indian dishes, the word "garam" refers to spice intensity, not heat. There was definitely a kick to this soup, but it wasn't "hot" in the same way as say, a chili pepper. The use of fire-roasted diced tomatoes contributed to the depthness of flavor of the soup as well. Adding coconut milk provided a creamy foil to the heat of the spices and tomatoes, while staying true to the ethnic influences. Spiced chickpeas rounded off the dish, adding a textural element and meatiness to the broth. I am especially fond of Indian spices and I love anything tomato so I found this soup an exquisite treat for the tastebuds.



2 Tbsp peanut or canola oil
1 large onion, diced (1 cup)
3 clove(s) garlic, chopped
2 tsp garam masala
1 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsp crushed garlic
1 can (28-ounce) fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock or broth
1 can(13 1/2-ounce) light coconut milk
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

3 Tbsp flour (I used white whole wheat)
1/2 tsp curry powder (I added a bit more to give it more flavor)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 can (15-ounce) chickpeas, rinsed and drained on paper towels
2 Tbsp canola oil

Sliced scallions, for garnish
Plain yogurt, for garnish

1. Heat oil in a 5-quart soup pot over medium-high heat; add onion and sauté 4 minutes until translucent.
2. Stir in garam masala, ginger, and garlic and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until fragrant.
3. Add tomatoes with their juice and stock and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 25 minutes.
4. To make spiced chickpeas: While soup simmers, place flour, curry, and salt in a large food-storage bag; seal bag and shake to blend. Add chickpeas to bag and toss until coated. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Pour chickpea mixture into a sieve and shake off excess coating. Add to skillet and sauté 6 to 8 minutes, tossing chickpeas frequently until golden brown and crusty. Drain on paper towels.
5. Puree soup using an immersion blender. Stir in coconut milk and salt and place over medium heat until soup is heated through. Ladle into bowls. Spoon spiced chickpeas over each serving and garnish with sliced scallions and a dollop of yogurt.

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