1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius).
2. Place all veggies in separate areas on a baking sheet lined with Gefen Parchment Paper. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Roast for half an hour, until the veggies sweat and soften somewhat. Add the garlic cloves and roast for five to six minutes more, until fragrant. Cool for a few minutes.
3. Transfer the vegetables to a five-quart pot. Add water, chicken soup mix, chickpeas, kosher salt to taste, crushed red pepper flakes, bay leaves, and thyme. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for approximately one hour.
4. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Remove bay leaves, then blend soup with an immersion blender. Add coconut milk and stir. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
5. Serve with mini croutons, small kneidlach, or pastrami croutons. (To make pastrami croutons, sauté tiny squares of pastrami in a little olive oil until crispy. Garnish each bowl with a spoonful.)
What to do with the leftover coconut milk? Use it in cakes, smoothies, other soups, or just freeze for later use. Make sure to mark the container!
I love buying fresh thyme (bug free) in the shuk and using it in various dishes, but invariably it dries out before I use it up. When that happens, I put it in a bag or small jar in my spice cabinet and use the crushed leaves instead of store-bought dried thyme. You can’t compare the taste.