Thursday, January 7, 2010

Mulligatawny Soup

-->It's winter. You want soup. For a bit of variety, try this Mulligatawny Soup. The Tamil words milagu tannir mean "pepper-water"; accordingly, this soup is flavorful, but not overly spiced.
With this dish it is essential to get everything together before you begin cooking: vegetable broth or chicken stock at-the-ready, veggies washed and chopped, and spices measured out and ready in a dish. Once you turn on the burner, things go quickly.

Note: If you don't have a specific measuring spoon for 1/2 tablespoon, just remember that there are three teaspoons to a tablespoon and do the math!


2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 Tbs. peeled, finely chopped fresh ginger
1/4 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, chopped
1/2 Tbs. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. tumeric
1/4 tsp. ground fennel
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1-1/2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
4 -5 cups stock (vegetable if you want a vegetarian dish; I use chicken stock).
4 Tbs. lentils (red if you've got 'em; green are fine)
1 small (8 ounce) sweet potato, peeled and diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 small (8 ounce) turnip, peeled and diced
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
1-1/4 tsp. salt
Lime wedges for serving.


In a large pot over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and jalapeno and cook for 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Reduce the heat if necessary; the onion should be lightly brown and the ingredients fragrant.

Lower the heat to medium, and stir in the coriander, cumin, turmeric, and fennel. Cook for about 45 seconds, stirring constantly. Add in the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Carefully pour in broth. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

Add the lentils, sweet potato, carrots, and turnip. Lower the heat to simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 45 minutes.

Remove from heat. Using an immersion / stick blender ( here is an example: Cuisinart CSB-76 Smart Stick Hand Blender) puree the soup until it is smooth.

Add the coconut milk and salt to the soup and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently for 3-5 minutes, allowing the flavors to blend together. If the soup is too thick, add a bit more stock.

Serve with lime wedges.

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