Winter’s here and it’s time for warm jackets, cozy blankets, and hot soup! This Kerala style coconut soup is exactly what you need to comfort your soul on cold, gloomy nights.
The inspiration for this soup is the Kerala style vegetable stew, which is commonly had with Appam. The ingredients for both recipes are similar, but the coconut milk used for this soup is watered down heavily and keeps it light.
Coconut milk imparts a bit of sweetness and is flavored with grated ginger, whole spices like cinnamon, bay leaf, cloves, and peppercorns. It’s delicious, you guys – I kid you not!
Potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, and beans are some good options for this soup, but I typically use whatever vegetables I have at hand. This time I used broccoli, carrots and some colored peppers. I also threw in chicken pieces for some protein.
- 2 cups diced vegetables of your choice (cut into 2-inch pieces)
- 1 cup diced chicken pieces (optional)
- ¼ thick cup coconut milk
- 1 small piece of ginger, grated
- 4 to 5 curry leaves
- 1 small green chili, sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 10 peppercorns
- 3 cloves
- ½ inch cinnamon stick
- 2 tsp coconut oil (or oil of your choice)
- salt to taste
- 2 cups of water
- Heat oil in a saute pan. Add sliced chili and grated ginger. Fry for about 30 seconds to a minute, until the ginger is fragrant.
- Add bay leaf, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon and curry leaves. Again, fry till these ingredients sizzle.
- If using chicken, add the pieces now with a bit of salt. Cook on medium-high heat until they turn white on the outside.
- Next, add all the vegetables along with salt. Cook covered on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes. The vegetables should turn a bit soft. Add a splash of water, if the pan gets dry.
- If you don't want your soup to be very spicy, remove the chili at this point.
- Water down the coconut milk with about 1.5 to 2 cups of water. This depends on how you like the consistency of your soup. I made sure that all the vegetables in the pan were covered with this coconut milk-water mixture.
- Check for salt and cook on medium-low flame until the soup starts to simmer. This should take about 8 to 10 minutes. Since we've added coconut milk, don't cook this on high flame.
- The delicious soup is ready!