Gingered Chickpeas & Kale Soup

by Kiran on November 2, 2012 · 64 comments

in Sides, Soups, Vegetarian

Hey there! I’m “hey-ing” all the way from LA. And if you need to know why I’m here, I’ll tell you.

There’s nothing to hide.

I’ve joined the Husband on his business trip. So, I’m all cooped up in the hotel room, away from my kitchen and daily chores.


No cooking and cleaning for 2 weeks! In my world, that’s a great deal and is considered as vacation.

I hope you had your share of sugary Halloween! There weren’t any trick or treating this year for us. But I did get a shock of my life when I visited our local library a few days ago to return some books and DVD.

The librarian at our local library made an effort to scare the eff out of people on Halloween — including me — who has a weak heart and was so engrossed in her thoughts, preparing for this trip.

Thank goodness there weren’t any fainting incident. And this is no exaggeration.

So, if you ever plan to sneak up on me, just be warned.

After all the sweets and recovering from being pranked, all I needed to comfort my bruised ego was a huge bowl of hot gingered chickpeas and kale soup.

Being pranked definitely gives a huge bolt not only to the ego, but to creative juices, which was definitely overflowing.

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  • 1 lb chickpeas, cooked and drained
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 small bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • pinch of saffron (or turmeric powder)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 big handfuls of fresh kale, chopped


  1. Heat a huge pot on medium. Once heated, add olive oil.
  2. Throw in chopped onions and carrots. Cook until tender, which would take about 5 minutes.
  3. Add star anise, ginger, cumin + cinnamon powder, bay leaves and saffron. Cook for a minute just to develop flavors from all spices.
  4. Add cooked and drained chickpeas with salt and vegetable broth. Stir and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover and simmer on low for 15 minutes.
  5. Discard whole star anise and bay leaves from broth. Add handfuls of fresh chopped kale. Stir and allow kale to wilt for 5 minutes on simmer before serving.
  6. Optional: add red pepper flakes if you need a “zing” 😉


And just for your info — this soup was consumed days ago. Not today, because we are fasting. I just had to put it out there because some of you may question us later 😉

While we would be in LA for 2 weeks, we would be visiting San Francisco next weekend as well. If you (LA & SFO peeps) want to meet up for eats or coffee, send me an email and I’ll organize something 🙂

Were you pranked during Halloween, or are you one of those people who enjoys pranking the eff out of people?


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1 Brian @ A Thought For Food November 2, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Oooooh! LA! How fun!

This kale soup looks so comforting right now! I’m cold and all I want is a bowl of this!

2 Kiran November 7, 2012 at 6:24 PM

Brian — thank you! And I hope you are doing well now 🙂

3 Vijitha November 2, 2012 at 3:51 PM

That looks so comforting. Gorgeous clicks!

Have fun in LA. I used to travel with my husband and tag behind him for every biz trip but with my son’s arrival, I feel handling him is lot easier at home. I am sure my son wouldn’t like to be in a hotel room for a long time.
Vijitha recently posted..Healthy Halloween Treat – Spider Web Cookies

4 Kiran November 7, 2012 at 6:26 PM

Vijitha — thank you so much, my friend! You are so right about hotel rooms. It’s fine for a day or two. Now it’s just too much! 😀

5 michelle @ The Village Cook November 2, 2012 at 3:52 PM

Oh… such stunning photography! Making my belly grrrrowl! Have fun with your many adventures!
michelle @ The Village Cook recently chili cheese dip

6 Kiran November 7, 2012 at 6:41 PM

Michelle — thanks love 🙂

7 Lana November 2, 2012 at 4:44 PM

Lovely soup! Even though it’s really not even chilly here in SoCal, I don’t let the weather prevent me from indulging in comforting food:) We eat soup almost every day and I usually have all the ingredients for this one on hand (except for saffron:)
Looking forward to meeting you in LA!
Lana recently posted..RIce: A True Story

8 Kiran November 7, 2012 at 6:43 PM

Lana — thanks dear! I’ve been having issues connecting to my email and replying. Perhaps we can meet at my hotel lobby or at the nearest Starbucks for coffee? 🙂

ps: You can always sub saffron with turmeric powder for this recipe 🙂

9 Rosa November 2, 2012 at 5:15 PM

No cooking and cleaning, yay! A vacation for me too…

That kale soup looks really healthy and tasty. Nice flavors!



10 Kiran November 7, 2012 at 6:44 PM

Rosa — thanks dear, it is truly a vacation without cooking and cleaning 🙂

11 Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb November 3, 2012 at 6:33 AM

mhm love all the flavors here. I am not a chickpea fan usually, but I think so I d love your soup. =D
Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb recently posted..Comment on French Onion Soup by FiSh

12 Kiran November 7, 2012 at 6:48 PM

Helene — thank you so much! You made my day 🙂

13 Sophie November 3, 2012 at 7:22 AM

Oooh,..How your soup is looking freaking delicious! I am not freaked out easily.:)

That soup must ve very fragrant with all of those yummie spices in there: so good , so tempting looking too!

Have a great trip away & enjoy yourself !!!
Sophie recently posted..Travelling Sophie: Berlin part 1!

14 Kiran November 7, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Sophie — thanks a lot my dear 🙂

15 Nik@ABrownTable November 3, 2012 at 7:27 AM

The soup looks delicious and I love the ginger in it. Have fun in LA.
Nik@ABrownTable recently posted..lemon and poppy seed rice cookies

16 Charul @ Tadka Masala November 3, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Wow for amazing pics and amazing vacation both!
Now for lucky me, I dont have to do all the cleaning chores in the house but I love hotel beds. No kidding! I love the soft and sinking beds and there is something about just lazing around in those. Aah, love love love!
And about the ginger soup, right now its the time to eat all Diwali sweets, yay!! But I am gonna need this recipe very soon. 😛
Charul @ Tadka Masala recently posted..Tikki Chole

17 Kiran November 7, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Charul — thank you so much! And lucky you with all the maids around 😉

18 Kathryn November 3, 2012 at 1:10 PM

This soup sounds so delicious and just packed with amazing flavour!
Kathryn recently posted..october in a photo a day

19 Kiran November 7, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Kathryn — thank you so much my dear 🙂

20 Choc Chip Uru November 3, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Oooh relax my friend and enjoy that mini vacation 🙂
I love this warming soup, perfect to detox after candy binge!

Choc Chip Uru
Choc Chip Uru recently posted..HALLOWEEN!

21 carolinaheartstrings November 3, 2012 at 4:54 PM

The soup looks delicious! Have a great time in LA.

22 Kiran November 7, 2012 at 7:28 PM

CHS — thank you my friend 🙂

23 Mary @ Fit and Fed November 3, 2012 at 8:29 PM

I use chickpeas so much in my cooking, this looks like something my family would love. The little bunch of sprouts on top makes a pretty garnish. Enjoy Los Angeles, once you are done with your fast I hope you have a chance to get out and enjoy the restaurants. For something totally different, maybe try Planet Raw.
Mary @ Fit and Fed recently posted..Review: Non-Dairy Yogurts

24 Kiran November 7, 2012 at 7:46 PM

Mary — thanks dear, the fast was only for 1 day. Phew! 😀 I would love to give Planet Raw a try, thanks for suggesting!

25 Raymund November 4, 2012 at 3:12 AM

You continue to inspire me with your photography!
Raymund recently posted..Cheese Ice Cream

26 Parsley Sage November 4, 2012 at 8:02 AM

This makes me giggle! She scared you into some pretty spectacular inspiration 🙂 That’s hilarious. And your soup looks absolutely stunning (when does it not over here?!) I hope you have a fun and safe and totally relaxing trip!
Parsley Sage recently posted..Chef’s corner: Basil basics

27 Kiran November 7, 2012 at 7:47 PM

Parsley Sage — Yup, they did 😀 And thank you so much for the compliments!!

28 Simply Life November 4, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Hope you are enjoying your time in LA! That is one place I’d like to visit!

29 Kiran November 7, 2012 at 7:54 PM

Gina — thank you!! It’s a huge and bustling place for sure 🙂

30 Carolyn Chan November 5, 2012 at 12:58 AM

I hate being pranked – and I spook really easily too…

That soup looks awesome – I wish I could get kale here in Singapore, I keep reading all these great recipes with kale and I can’t do them boohoo

Enjoy your vacation – I’d love to go to SF, heard it’s awesome !
Carolyn Chan recently posted..Fresh egg pasta

31 Kiran November 8, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Carolyn — I get startled too easily too. You can always sub kale with any greens 🙂

32 Asmita November 5, 2012 at 10:27 AM

Have a lovely vacation! Your soup looks delicious!
Asmita recently posted..Chocolate Pudding

33 Kiran November 8, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Asmita — thank you so much!!

34 fabiola@notjustbaked November 5, 2012 at 1:27 PM

I am loving kale in my soups, it adds such a nice green flavor, and so healthy.
fabiola@notjustbaked recently posted..Creamy Stove Top Spicy Mac and Cheese

35 Kiran November 8, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Fabiola — I love the slight bitterness it gives to the overall flavors 🙂

36 Julia November 5, 2012 at 4:28 PM

Great new way to use Kale. I am a big fan of chickpeas too so this will be perfect. Enjoy your vacation!
Julia recently posted..Case of the Mondays?

37 Kiran November 8, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Julia — thank you and I hope it’s a little warm where you are right now for a comforting bowl of soup!

38 Cass @foodmyfriend November 5, 2012 at 8:53 PM

Everything you do is so beautiful! Enjoy your time off lovely lady.
Cass @foodmyfriend recently posted..Orange and Poppyseed Syrup Cake with Meringue Butter Cream Frosting

39 Kiran November 10, 2012 at 2:06 AM

Cass — thank you, lady 😉

40 Thai Cat November 5, 2012 at 9:34 PM

Great recipe, photographs and I love the layout of this site. Congrats!
Thai Cat recently posted..Hello world!

41 Kiran November 10, 2012 at 2:07 AM

Thai Cat — thank you so so much 🙂

42 Kitchen Belleicious November 5, 2012 at 10:07 PM

the soup looks delicious and comforting. I love the ginger aspect
Kitchen Belleicious recently posted..Chai Latte Caramel Bars

43 Kiran November 10, 2012 at 2:07 AM

Jessica — me too!

44 Gayatri November 6, 2012 at 12:30 AM

I never get pranked or prank people – I don’t know why. I should start doing it next year.

That soup looks delicious. Perfect for fall.

45 Kiran November 10, 2012 at 2:22 AM

G — don’t prank anyone yaar. It can cause a lot of anxiety. Not to you, but the person being pranked by you 😀

46 Katerina November 6, 2012 at 4:36 AM

These would be vacations for me too Kiran. Enjoy as much as you can your getaway! The soup looks fantastic!
Katerina recently posted..Green Salad with Pomegranate Seeds and Vinaigrette

47 Kiran November 10, 2012 at 2:24 AM

Katerina — thanks so much, my friend 🙂

48 Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies November 6, 2012 at 7:39 PM

I love tagging along with my husband on business trips too. Cheap vacation! 😀 As always, your photos are just stunning. I love kale in a soup. Hope you enjoy the rest of your trip!
Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies recently posted..How To Roast Garlic + Roasted Garlic Grilled Cheese Recipe

49 Kiran November 10, 2012 at 2:30 AM

Kiersten — thank you so much. And I know what you meant by “tagging” along. It’s just so fun that way 🙂

50 Laura (Tutti Dolci) November 7, 2012 at 11:27 PM

This soup looks like pure comfort – love all the spices!
Laura (Tutti Dolci) recently posted..chocolate chip & cranberry muffins

51 Kiran November 10, 2012 at 2:31 AM

Laura — thank you and I can’t wait to read about your EU vacation adventures!

52 amy @ fearless homemaker November 8, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Ooh, soup is one of my absolute favorite thing is this version looks just lovely. I especially love soup with ginger in it – especially when i’m feeling under the weather. even thought i’m not feeling anything but great today, i could still go for a big ol’ bowl of this soup!
amy @ fearless homemaker recently posted..Raspberry Puff Pastry Turnovers

53 Kiran November 10, 2012 at 2:33 AM

Amy — I agree with you about the use of ginger. Love it in soups!

54 Jen L | Tartine and Apron Strings November 9, 2012 at 1:49 AM

I think I sound like a broken record when I come here!!! All I can do is swoon and drool at your wonderful recipes and beautiful styling! I am a big fan, Kiran!
Jen L | Tartine and Apron Strings recently posted..Spiced Apple and Brown Butter Muffins

55 Kiran November 10, 2012 at 2:49 AM

Jen — you are way too sweet, my friend. Thank you so much.

But have you seen your recipes? They are so so beautifully styled and photographed. I’m a huge fan too 🙂

56 Angie November 9, 2012 at 9:59 AM

This looks so good! Perfect for this cooler weather!
Angie recently posted..Cinnamon Roll Pops

57 Kiran November 10, 2012 at 2:50 AM

Angie — thank you so much!

58 Nami | Just One Cookbook November 9, 2012 at 6:12 PM

Hi Kiran, now that I started to use IG and see what you eat everyday, I’ve been enjoying your healthy meal! 🙂 This soup looks so good! Light but full of flavor and nutrients! I can start and end a day with this soup!
Nami | Just One Cookbook recently posted..Chicken Katsu チキンカツ

59 Kiran November 10, 2012 at 2:52 AM

Hi Nami — thank you so much, my dear friend 🙂 Your comments always brighten my day (or night) 😀

Now that we are traveling, it’s a little difficult to eat healthy foods all the time, but we try 🙂

60 Lou February 21, 2013 at 10:33 AM

I made this last night and its mind blowing delish. Definately a favorite now. Thanks for sharing

61 Kiran February 21, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Lou — thanks a lot for trying the recipe! I’m so glad you liked it! 🙂

62 Lea Anna February 24, 2015 at 7:06 PM

I have a pot simmering now. I cook it without the anise because I cannot find it. In my house this soup have become The Soup as in “we are having The Soup tonight”. It is really really good. I’ll be making it for years to come. Thank you.

63 Kiran February 24, 2015 at 7:50 PM

Hi Lea — your comment made me so very happy 🙂 Thank you for reporting back and I’m so glad this soup will be a family favorite for a very long time!

ps: you can easily find anise in your local Indian grocery stores. Omitting it also wouldn’t make the soup less delicious 🙂

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