Turmeric Chickpea Soup With Charred Brussels Sprouts

March 12, 2020
12 Ratings
Photo by Luisa Brimble
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 35 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Turmeric is a spice that has worked its way more and more onto my plate, and into my heart. It’s a big flavor, with a smokiness and pungency that is hard to quell. When I use turmeric, I go all in. I commit to the big flavor and counterbalance it with a hint of sweetness. In this soup, the sweetness of falling apart chickpeas and coconut milk balances beautifully with the earthy aromatics of turmeric. Top it all off with the mustard notes of charred Brussels sprouts and a generous handful of scallions and cilantro, if you like.

From "Family: New Vegetarian Comfort Food to Nourish Every Day © 2019 by Hetty McKinnon." Photography © 2019 by Luisa Brimble. Published by Prestel. —Hetty McKinnon

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 g) dried chickpeas or 27 ounces (750 g) cooked chickpeas (about 3 drained cans), rinsed
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric (or 2 tablespoons freshly grated turmeric root)
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 4 cups (1 liter) vegetable stock
  • 1 2 ⁄ 3 cups (400 ml) coconut milk (1 can)
  • 9 ounces (250 g) Brussels sprouts, each cut into 6 wedges
  • 1 handful chopped scallions and cilantro leaves (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, toasted with sea salt and black pepper
  1. If you are using dried chickpeas, place them in a bowl and add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches (5 cm). Leave them to soak overnight, then drain when ready to use.
  2. Add a drizzle of olive oil to a large pot over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, turmeric, thyme, and a pinch of salt and cook for 3–4 minutes, until the onion is soft. Add the chickpeas, along with the vegetable stock, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1 1⁄2–2 hours, until the chickpeas are very soft and falling apart—if you are using canned chickpeas, simmer for 30 minutes only. Discard the thyme sprig and stir in the coconut milk.
  3. While the chickpeas are cooking, make the charred Brussels sprouts. Heat a frying pan over a high heat, add a big drizzle of olive oil, and add the Brussels sprouts to the pan. Season with sea salt and black pepper and cook for 2–3 minutes on each side, until the sprouts are charred and slightly crispy all over. Set aside.
  4. Using a hand-held blender or food processor, purée the soup, working in batches if necessary and adding a few tablespoons of water if too thick, until the soup is smooth and silky. Season well with sea salt.
  5. To serve, ladle the soup into serving bowls and top with the charred Brussels sprouts, scallions, and cilantro, if using. Sprinkle each bowl with pumpkin seeds.
  6. Substitutes: Instead of the Brussels sprouts, feel free to use broccoli rabe, broccoli, cauliflower instead.
  7. Tip: This soup can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container in the fridge—without the Brussels sprouts and herbs—for 2 days. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Marissa Jane
    Marissa Jane
  • Judith Lagacé
    Judith Lagacé
  • Shanka-doo
  • kwbentley

9 Reviews

Marissa J. March 28, 2023
This soup was a total hit. I oven roasted my quartered Brussels sprouts (tossed with EVOO, garlic, and salt & pepper) for 20 min at 450. I added paprika for kick, as well as salt and pepper. Also toasted some cubed French bread tossed with EVOO in my air fryer and added croutons for fun on top. Ignored the cilantro and green onion. Fried up a slice of French bread in EVOO as a dipper. It was splendid!! Heated up the following evening and it was just as good. Going to try to freeze the rest and see what happens.
Marissa J. March 28, 2023
To clarify, I added the paprika to the onions and garlic as they cooked with the turmeric.
Judith L. April 23, 2020
I’m i’m love with this soup. I added some crushed chilli flakes with the turmeric. I went with roasted broccoli rabe instead of brussels sprouts <3
Shanka-doo April 8, 2020
I made this with what i had: charred broccoli (oven, not stovetop) and chicken stock (didn't have vegetable stock at hand).
It was delicious and I look forward making it for us or friends many more times!
kwbentley March 29, 2020
This is super easy to make but I found it bland. Some spicy chili peppers give it some kick and, I think, makes it a little more interesting flavor-wise
maxers March 24, 2020
This was easy to make, but had a strange flavor with all the turmeric. I would not make again.
Nancy March 24, 2020
I made this. It was delish!!!
T March 19, 2020
Added some Fenugreek spice!
Ayreena I. March 12, 2020