Monday, September 13, 2010

Mulligatawny Soup

I had never heard of this delectable dish until I had it at a restaurant in the 1000 Islands area – sadly the soup was the only thing I enjoyed at that particular eatery. Lucky for me and mine, it is just in time for Fall - the time of great soups.

This soup comes to us here from the British who adopted it from India. What we enjoy here as mulligatawny soup is somewhat anglicized for our tastes. The original would translate as “pepper water” and as the name implies, it is quite spicy. This toned down version offers a curry soup that is very tasty and just the right amount of heat. The recipe I used was found in "The Joy of Cooking".  I should mention that in my opinion, this cook book should be on every gift registry for any and all weddings of young couples.  It is also the perfect gift for those who are moving out of a parent's house for the first time.  I say this because this book was my go-to book when I first started stretching my cooking experiences.  If I saw a cooking term that I did not know, I just looked it up there and kept on cooking.

As with many recipes, I tend to add more of things.  In this one, I added more onions, extra curry powder, a tad more thyme and I doubled the cooked rice.  I also added the juice from 1/4 of a lemon.  I of course served this with a fresh baked baguette smeared with butter of course...not margarine. Salad would also make a great addition to this to complete the meal.

I absolutely love the qualities home made soup can bring to my home in the Fall and Winter.  The construction of soup is a meditative process for me.  You bring the ingredients together - then chop, slice and possibly puree a group of vegetables and anything else that will make its way to your soup kettle. 

Before we continue, let's say a word or two about soup kettles.  The best choices for stockpot and soup pot material are stainless steel with an aluminum core (or aluminum disc on the bottom) or anodized aluminum.  Often you will see pots or kettles with no heavy bottom.  These are great for...well, nothing that I can think of.  No matter what you try to simmer or make in them will burn to the center at the bottom of the kettle.  A nice heavy bottom pot or kettle will distribute the heat evenly and prevent the burning and sticking on the bottom of it.

Now, back to the qualities of soups.  In the colder months, nothing welcomes your family home like the aroma of a great homemade soup.  Same goes for your guests - when they come to your house for dinner you will see them take a deep breath and a smile will appear on their little cold, hungry faces.  Trust me, the aroma of mulligatawny soup will melt the chill off of your family and friends like a warm summer breeze.  It's magic really.  Okay, so let's get to the recipe.  I had hoped to show you a video of me putting this together, but I ran out of time today and only ended up with a picture of the finished product. Best laid plans yes?  So here it is - enjoy and adapt as you please.  Let me know how you made it your own!  I'd love to hear from you.


Sauté lightly, but do not brown:
    1/2 cup diced onion
    1 diced carrot
    2 diced ribs celery
    1/4 cup butter

Stir in:
    1 1/2 Tablespoons flour
    2 teaspoons curry powder
Stir and cook them about 3 minutes.

Pour in and simmer 15 minutes:
    4 cups chicken or lamb broth
    1 bay leaf

Add and simmer 15 minutes longer:
    1/4 cup diced tart apples
    1/2 cup boiled rice
    1/2 cup diced cooked lamb
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon pepper
    1/8 teaspoon thyme
    1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind

Immediately before serving, stir in:
    1/2 coconut milk and bring back to temperature and serve.


tracymmo said...

The chefs I've worked with agree about The Joy of Cooking. And as a former bookseller, I concur that it's a great gift, especially for people starting out on their own. Though, weirdly, I've yet to get my own. Must remedy that!

Anonymous said...

That is a crap mulligatawny soup. Narry a lentil or chili to be found.. And you start it out with a french mirepoix? ha!

Larry Smoot said...

Hi "Anonymous". I know two things. One - you don't read since I said it was "somewhat anglicized". Second - you are afraid of using your real name. Anonymous, really?

Cooking is a journey with detours. While it is fun to make something in an authentic way it is equally enjoyable to take that detour and see what you find. To just say something is "crap" because it is not the way you happen to like it narrows your view on food and the world. I would guess that the fair at your table is consistent,unchanging and a bit of a bore. Thanks for playing. Bye now.