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  • Writer's pictureMolly

Thai Bean Broth Soup Recipe + Best Ever Chickpeas

Updated: Sep 7, 2021

Alternate titles for this post include:

  • How COVID Turned Me into a Depression Era Home Cook

  • Ode to Bean Water: A Love Letter to Bon Appetite’s Carla Lali Music

  • Don’t Throw the Baby out With the Bean Water!

  • Bean Broth: The Wonderful Fruit Just Got a Whole Lot More Wonderful!

vegan thai soup recipe

While I was able to squeeze in a good vegetable shop before the Bangkok government started enforcing the COVID19 shelter in place order, I probably only made it out with food for about 2 weeks. I intend to rely on grocery delivery going forward, but I haven’t yet found an app that has available delivery slots at any future date! So now more than ever, I’m interested in creative solutions to reducing food waste and making that 2 weeks worth of fruit and veg stretch as far as I can.

So that is to say, I’m actively on the hunt for depression era level money saving tips and tricks for the kitchen. But I didn’t have to look back 90 years to find ways to stretch my buck. Bon Appetit Magazine has been telling me for years to stop throwing out the cooking liquid from my pot of beans and until today, I’ve kind of been ignoring them. Use it as a base for soups and stews, sub it for any broth called for in a recipe, is the advice they give on repeat. I never listened, I think because they never published a proper bean water soup recipe and until culinary school, I’ve lacked experience and confidence in preparing homemade soup. Still, these excuses are a bit silly, because I cook chickpeas about twice week. Lately, I’ve been cooking medium sized batches every 2-4 days and every time, I pour the water down the drain and carry on with my life. But today I thought I would give this “save your bean water thing” a try and oh was I pleasantly surprised!

The chickpea cooking liquid produces a broth so delicious; I may never make a chicken stock again. Of course I’m biased because I lean heavily in the vegetarian direction and if there’s a good vegetarian option, it will be my preference. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been that impressed with the vegetable stocks at the market. I have chef friends who say “don’t ever use a store bought stock, it’s a waste of money, they are ALL bad- just use water.” And, I feel like it’s kind of popular opinion that a vegetable stock is inferior to a chicken stock. I know when I order vegetarian pho I’m always disappointed. So a vegan broth option that is essentially free and incredibly delicious is the answer to my homemade stock prayers! I still intend to try Andy Barighani’s Vegan Umami Broth, but for now, I’m VERY pleased about this FREE chickpea option.

So, like I said, Bon Appetite has basically been badgering me to save my bean water for two plus years. In a recent BA Podcast (Foodcast episode #263) Carla and Adam (hosts of the podcast) made the case that in our current time of sheltering in place, now is as good a time as any to, say it with me: “save that bean water!” This was just the reminder I needed.

Building a soup the Thai way

I’ve only really st