Indian Mulligatawny Soup

Course : Curry
Serves: 1
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2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
2 stalks celery -- chopped
1 medium carrot -- peeled and chopped
1 large onion -- peeled and chopped
1 medium chile pepper -- seeded and deveined*
4 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup lentils
1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 cup coconut milk* or whipping cream
1 cup cooked rice (Basmati), up to 2
1/2 cup shredded cooked chicken**
1/2 cup tart raw apple -- chopped fine

Preparation / Directions:

* (your choice: banana, poblano, jalapeno, habanero--whatever you can stand) ** (you can cook raw chicken in the stock at the start if you don't have leftover chicken lying around), up to 1 cup Garnish: spoonful of extra cream or coconut milk--and minced cilantro or parsley. Sauté‚ the celery, carrots, onion, and pepper in the butter at a low heat until the onion is translucent. Pour in the stock, add the lentils (and chicken, if it's raw), and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. While the soup is simmering, get the rice cooked (if it isn't already); likewise with the chicken. Then shred the chicken and chopped the apples finely. You don't need to skin the apples. When the soup is done, puree, solids first, in a blender. Return to pot. When ready to serve, bring the soup to a simmer and add the coconut milk or cream. Take the pot to the table, as well as individual bowls of warm rice (heated in the microwave, if necessary), shredded chicken, finely chopped apple, coconut milk (or cream), and minced cilantro (or parsley). To serve, have big individual serving bowls at the ready. Spoon rice into each bowl (flat soup bowls are nice here)--then pile on a big spoonful of chicken and a spoonful of apple. Ladle the soup on top, then drip coconut milk/cream into the center and swirl--and sprinkling with fresh cilantro and pars

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