Friday, January 7, 2011

Simple, Delicious Mulligatawny Soup

by Darla

I love Indian food. I only recently discovered that fact. Growing up as The Picky Eater in my family, it has taken me a long time to move past my food prejudices, and anything even remotely foreign was a huge prejudice for me. About a three years ago, though, the Hubster took me to an Indian restaurant. He’d been dying to go and I felt bad that the only thing really holding him back was me.

The only thing I regret about going to that restaurant is that we didn’t go sooner! I was very, very skeptical when I ordered my food, but the man taking our order assured me that I would like it (how he knew, I couldn’t tell you). He was absolutely right! I loved it! To be honest with you, I can’t even remember exactly what I ordered, but since then I have been exploring Indian recipes and loving every minute of it!

One of the first recipes I ever came across was for Mulligatawny soup. The first time I ever tried it, it was delicious! But the recipe was long and complicated, and it called for tons of ingredients. I really wanted something that still packed a great flavor punch, but didn’t require half of the supermarket and a whole day to make. What I’ve come up with is a mash up of various recipes that are out there. It’s a basic recipe that has all of the standard ingredients that you’ll typically find in Mulligatawny. It’s also easily “tweakable.” If you like a milder curry flavor, add less. Want some green veggies? Add some spinach (about a cup, packed) or peas (about half cup)! Otherwise, this soup stands wonderfully on it’s own.

All you need to make it is unsalted butter, carrots, celery, salt, pepper, all-purpose flour, rice, finely chopped green apple, finely chopped onion or onion powder, dried thyme, and curry (I prefer red curry, but a lot of recipes call for garam masala…I don’t like it as much in this particular recipe), as well as chicken stock.

When I don’t have time to make homemade chicken stock, this is my go to “bouillon.” It’s a paste that adds tons of fantastic flavor a little teaspoon at a time. It’s a little pricier than bouillon cubes or granules, but it’s definitely worth it. The majority of those cubes just taste salty to me, but this adds a much richer flavor, without tons of saltiness.

My mise en place! The hubster is an excellent sous chef! He takes care of getting all of the ingredients prepped for me. Isn’t he the best?

In a large stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, apple, carrots, and celery, and saute until beginning to soften, about 7 minutes. Stir in the flour and curry powder. In a slow, steady stream add 2 cups of the chicken broth, stirring to create a paste. Slowly add the remaining broth, stirring thoroughly to incorporate the paste.

Bring the soup up to a simmer, then add the chicken, salt, pepper, and thyme. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the rice, and simmer the mixture over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the rice is done, about 20 minutes. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

This is, without a doubt, my favorite soup. It just has so much going for it: great flavor, totally easy to make, and it’s ready in no time!

If the soup is a little too spicy for you, or some one else, it’s perfect with a little bit of cream added to cut the spice. Start out with a teaspoon at a time, so you don’t water down the flavors.

The spice in this is less about heat and more about flavor, but it may still be too much for sensitive tongues. I prefer mine plain, with lots of curry, but creamy condiments are a convenient heat tamer. Another option is sour cream, which I actually prefer over cream, because it brings even more flavor and depth to the soup.

This soup is rich and hearty, with perfect seasonings, and just a touch of mild sweetness! It’s fantastic with naan or even a chunk of crusty bread, or perfect all by itself. Everyone I’ve ever served this to loves it and always asks for seconds! Good thing it’s so quick and simple to make! Enjoy!

Mulligatawny
Makes 8 to 10 servings
Ingredients

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter (margarine for dairy free)
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 green apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
3 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (GF or brown rice flour for gluten free)
1 to 3 tablespoons curry powder ( I prefer more)
8 cups chicken broth
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup white rice

In a large stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, apple, carrots, and celery, and saute until beginning to soften, about 7 minutes. Stir in the flour and curry powder. In a slow, steady stream add 2 cups of the chicken broth, stirring to create a paste. Slowly add the remaining broth, stirring thoroughly to incorporate the paste.

Bring the soup up to a simmer, then add the chicken, salt, pepper, and thyme. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the rice, and simmer the mixture over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the rice is done, about 20 minutes. Add more salt and pepper to taste. If the soup is too spicy, stir in heavy cream, 1 teaspoon at a time, to taste.

Recipe by Darla

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Blog is the New Black January 7, 2011 at 8:44 am

I was a picky eater, also. I don't typically like Indian, but this looks wonderful.

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2 buttersweetmelody January 7, 2011 at 11:13 am

I love indian and spicy food! more if it has cream added in ;)
I wanted to thank you for updating this site so much! I know sometimes it can be difficult to keep it up but you manage to do it wiht great pictures and recipes. Thank you!

-Amalia http://buttersweetmelody.wordpress.com

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3 Maria January 8, 2011 at 12:39 pm

I am on a soup kick lately! Love your photos and styling. Fabulous!

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4 Sheri C. January 10, 2011 at 12:06 pm

I am a really picky eater to this day. I am trying to get better, but there's a lot of food that no matter how much i try to eat them, i just don't like. Cooked vegetables and most spices fall firmly in this list. I also normally don't like soups in general. But since you said you were a picky eater, I thought I would give it a shot. My boyfriend made it for dinner last night, and i actually liked it! Thank you so much! It's nice to find a new dish that I am able to eat.

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5 Karyl January 10, 2011 at 9:00 pm

We made this for dinner tonight and it was amazingly good. Thank you so much for the recipe!

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6 Valerie January 24, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Yuummm-o!! I made this over the weekend – minus celery and rice plus lots more chicken! So good and so easy!! Thanks for sharing!

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7 Fawx January 29, 2011 at 4:17 pm

This recipe.
While I flubbed some of the ingredients (bought frozen veggies because: cheap) and undercooked the rice, this soup turned out absolutely divine. Thanks so much for the recipe! I’ma go nom another bowl <3

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8 Sam October 20, 2011 at 1:29 am

Just made this sans onions, gluten and dairy free plus potatoes. Epic eats! Thank you for the recipe!

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