North African Chickpea & Kale Soup

24 Sep

A non-vegan friend posted this vegan soup on her Facebook wall, and I commented that it sounded good, though I’d probably non-vegan it by using chicken broth (I don’t have any other kind of broth generally on hand, I wasn’t attempting to be particularly vengeful about taking the veganness out of it). We commented back and forth a little, then a “friend” of hers chimed in to say that the soup has all the nutritional value it needs as a vegan dish, and chicken broth would only serve to “add cholesterol and cruelty”. One of my pet peeves on Facebook is when people stick their noses into conversations they’re not involved in and don’t belong in to say how much is wrong with the people’s actions in the thread being discussed. I wanted to be really rude, and I probably just should have said nothing, but I couldn’t help making it a joke, saying “Mmm, tasty cruelty.”

BTW, the soup was really tasty.


  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced or diced
  • [I added a stalk of two of celery]
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon chilli powder or cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • generous pinch saffron, lightly crushed [didn’t have this]
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas (or 2 cans, drained and rinsed)
  • [I added a can of corn]
  • 8 cups vegetable broth (or water plus bouillon)
  • 1 large bunch kale, thick center ribs removed and chopped (at least 8 cups) [I used a bag of prepped kale from Trader Joe’s]
  • about 2 cups water
  • salt to taste


  1. Spray a large saucepan with olive oil spray and heat it. Add the onion and carrot and cook over medium-high heat until the onion begins to brown (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the spices, including bay leaves and cinnamon stick, and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add the chickpeas and stir to coat them with the spices. Pour in the 8 cups of vegetable stock, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Add the chopped kale and stir. If necessary add water to cover the kale and cook until it is tender, about 10-25 minutes, depending on how cooked you like your kale. Check frequently to see if it is becoming dry and add water as needed. Add salt to taste and serve.

–Recipe courtesy FatFree Vegan Kitchen.

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Posted by on September 24, 2012 in Uncategorized


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