Soup’s on Sundays / Mulligatawny

I knew going into this that Mulligatawny would be a big risk and consequently, I have secretly been dreading it since I purchased ingredients last Monday. You most likely haven’t heard of it before, but if you have, chances are it’s because you’re a Seinfeld fan… Mulligatawny is featured as Kramer’s favorite soup from the infamous Soup Nazi.

Literally translated, Mulligatawny means “pepper water” and is a curry-flavored soup from an Anglo-Indian origin [learned this today on Wikipedia, pretty cool, but the picture they have posted makes the soup look gross]. The first and only time I’ve tasted this soup was while working as a waitress at a private country club. Although skeptical at first, I found that bite after bite made me want more, even if I couldn’t necessarily make up my mind about liking it. In the end, I used this experience as a reference for both the flavor profile and texture I wanted out of this recipe: a golden-yellow color, thick puree in texture and strong curry and cumin flavors balanced by the tartness of apple.

4 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/4 tsp Cumin
3/4 tsp ground Cloves
1 tbsp Curry Powder
1/2 tsp Ginger
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/4 cup unsalted Butter
3 stalks of Celery, with leaves, thinly sliced
2 large Onions, chopped
2 Carrots, diced
1 Leek, white part only, thinly sliced
10 cups of Chicken Stock (preferably homemade)
Salt & Pepper
2/3 cup Long Grain Rice
2 medium Apples (tart), peeled, cored and chopped
1 cup plain Yogurt
2 tbsps Lemon Juice
1 1/2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream, slightly warmed
Parsley (optional garnish)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time:
1 hour

Kitchen Utensils
Cutting board
Large soup pot
Soup spoon
Spoon with straining holes

Let’s get to it. First, melt the butter in the large soup pot on medium heat. Add garlic and spices and mix well. Give the flavors a few minutes to fuse, and then add about three cups of the chicken stock. Throw in the chopped celery, carrots, onion and leek and blend well. You’re going to want to let this simmer for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Next, add the rest of the chicken stock [7 cups remaining] and have yourself a taste. Now’s your opportunity to add the salt and pepper, to taste. I threw in about a teaspoon of salt and maybe a 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper. Add rice. Cover and simmer for another 15 minutes.

Take your apples and yogurt and puree them in a blender. Add this mixture to the soup pot, whisk well and simmer for 10 minutes.

Alright, so there are two ways to do the next step. The best way would be to use a hand-held blender to puree the entire soup, vegetables and all. I, however, do not have a hand-held blender. So instead, I scooped out all remaining vegetables/rice with a straining spoon, put them in the blender, blended, and then returned them to the soup. Regardless of your method of choice, this is an important step to ensure the consistency of the soup is appropriate. If you don’t pay this particular attention, your tasters are going to get flecks of solid food in what should be a smooth, heavy set soup – which is typically a turn off as far as soup is concerned.

Almost done! Add the lemon juice. Whisk in heavy cream. Now’s your chance to taste and adjust your seasonings. Originally, I wasn’t crazy about the taste, but I found that the flavor of the soup changes quite dramatically the longer you leave it on the heat. I turned down the temperature to low-medium and gave it about 20-30 minutes to really settle in. The taste really matured into a cohesive blend of fall-esque spices and the soup thickened, as well. If at this point you still haven’t reached your desired consistency, try adding a thickening powder to the soup a little at a time. Here’s how mine turned out:

Garnish with parsely if you please.

In the end, my tastees described it as: “It tastes like Christmas,” and, “It reminds me of a pumpkin pie.”


~ by wintersm on April 18, 2011.

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