Monday, December 14, 2009

Mulligatawny Soup

Mulligatawny soup is a new soup for us. And we've decided we really like it!

Made it yesterday for a late lunch and served it with a delicious pecan corn bread. It was a welcome change from the heavy holiday party food we'd been having.

This spiced soup dates from the days of the British Raj and was introduced to the West by nabobs returning from India in the 18th and 19th centuries. The name comes from a Tamil word, milakutanni, which means "pepper water."

There are numerous variations of it. Most seem to have chicken, but this one has veggies only. And yogurt instead of coconut milk. Some have lentils and lamb.  Others add cashews and/or pistachios. Some serve it over rice. I hear that the Australians even put bacon and tomatoes in theirs.  And the famous NYC "Seinfeld" soup nazi has a popular version.

This soup has a real kick to it, so watch out. (Or substitute sweet curry to make it mild.)

Mulligatawny Soup
from Classic Home Cooking by Mary Berry & Marlena Spieler, page 28
Serves 4 - 6

3 T. butter
1/2 onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, diced
1 small apple (I used 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce)
1 small carrot, diced
1 small green pepper, cored, seeded and diced
3 - 5 garlic cloves, crushed
3 T. flour
2 -3 t. curry powder (I used hot)
1/4 t. each ground ginger, cinnamon, and turmeric
5 cups (1.25 liters) chicken or vegetable stock
13 oz.(400g)canned garbanzo beans, drained and lightly mashed
13 oz.(400g) canned diced or chopped tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 T. chopped parsley
1 T. lemon juice
3/4 c. (175g) plain yogurt
chopped parsley for garnish

Melt the butter in a pan, add the chopped onion, and cook gently on medium for a few minutes until soft but not browned.

Add the celery (I used the leaves, too), apple (I waited to add the applesauce all the other veggies were soft so it wouldn't burn but would add the key apple flavor), carrot, green pepper, and garlic.

Cook stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes.

Add the flour, curry powder, ginger, cinnamon, and turmeric and cook for 2 minutes.

Stir in the stock, smashed garbanzo beans, tomatoes, and bay leaf and bring to a boil.

Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

Remove the bay leaf and discard. Add the chopped parsley and lemon juice to the pan.

Combine a little of the soup with the yogurt, then stir it back into the hot soup.

Serve the soup immediately, garnishing if you feel like it. (I didn't.)

If you have a favorite version of Mulligatawny Soup you'd like to share, please do.  Or tell us where you first discovered it.  I wish we had learned about it sooner!

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