As the sun begins to filter in at an angle in the Northwest and the days become cooler, soups have a renewed suppertime appeal. Hearty classic Indian Mulligatawny soup fits the season. It is an English-Indian creation. The name originated from the Tamil word millagai and thanni when means “pepper-water”. It is a chicken and vegetable soup that is flavored with curry. A hearty version includes lentils, potatoes and apples. Steamed basmati rice is often served on the side.
This hearty soup is classically an Indian chicken comfort stew. Since it is typically stocked full of vegetables and lentils it easily can be converted to a vegetarian or vegan soup. Begin with an easy-to-make vegetable broth to heighten the flavor. In southern India red lentils are used, however using sprouted green lentils will increase the fiber and protein content. Top it all off with yogurt and toasted coconut and you will never miss the chicken!
Enriched Vegetable Broth
1 large onion, small diced (about 12 ounces)
2 small carrots, small diced (about 8 ounces)
2 large celery stalks, small diced (about 8 ounces)
2 medium Roma tomatoes, medium diced (about 12 ounces)
3 slices dried porcini mushrooms, broken into smaller pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoons dry thyme
1 large bay leaf
12 black peppercorns
12 parsley stems cut into small pieces
1 ½ quart filtered water
1 cup dry white wine
1. Place all the ingredients in a non-reactive stock pot. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer. Simmer for forty-five minutes.
2. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Reserve hot or cold refrigerated up to three days.
6 entree servings
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced (⅛ inch dice)
2 medium carrots, peeled, finely diced (⅛ inch dice)
2 celery stalks, finely diced (⅛ inch dice)
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ tablespoon ginger, finely grated (about 2-inch piece)
2 teaspoons curry powder*
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon coriander
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (more if desired)
2 quarts enriched vegetable broth or store-bought 1 quart mushroom broth plus 1 quart vegetable broth
2 cups red potatoes, peeled, ½ inch dice (about 12 ounces)
1 ¼ cup sprouted dry lentils** or red lentils
1 ½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon dry thyme
2 medium Granny Smith apples
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons Greek yogurt
½ cup flaked or shredded unsweetened coconut, toasted in the oven
1. Heat the oil until it shimmers in a large nonreactive Dutch oven (kettle). Add the onion, stir often and sauté until translucent, about three minutes.
2. Add the carrots, celery, garlic and ginger. Cover and cook until translucent, about three minutes.
3. Add the curry powder, cumin, coriander, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir until fragrant for about one minute.
4. Deglaze with the enriched vegetable broth. Add the potatoes, lentils, salt and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for ten minutes.
5. In the meantime, peel, core and cut the apples into a one-half inch dice. Toss with the lemon juice. Add to the soup. Cover and simmer for another eight minutes or until the potatoes and apples are soft. Taste, Think, Transform with salt and/or lemon juice.
6. Ladle into warm soup bowls. Garnish with yogurt and toasted coconut. Serve hot.
*I use Bombay Sweet Curry Powder from Costco
**Organic sprouted lentils boost the lentil’s nutritional profile by increasing vitamins, micronutrients and digestive enzymes. They contain more dietary fiber, calcium, iron and vitamin C than red split lentils.