Friday, January 17, 2014

Cold comfort soup

Special guest post by D.

So I have left J. behind for a “writer’s retreat” in northern England for 5 months to see if I can’t make some progress on the ol’ PhD. I have been here about 9 days now and am still getting accustomed to life across the pond. The grocery store takes me twice as long to navigate as so many ingredients are different places and so many things I’m used to finding easily are tough to hunt down (I’m looking at you rice wine vinegar and rice crackers). On the upside, I have discovered “small chunk” Branston pickle (which makes superior cheese and pickle sandwiches) and the produce here is exceptionally good. 

Since I have been feeling a little homesick for the familiar comforts of life back in Toronto, I resorted to tried and true recipes that never let me down. The Best of Bridge Mulligatawny Soup recipe is one from my childhood and is really open to interpretation. This heartwarming soup is an Anglo-Indian concoction that can be made vegetarian or, as I always do, with a bit of leftover chicken. While the Best of Bridge recipe here uses curry powder and dried ginger I have in recent years been using grated fresh ginger and curry paste instead and makes for a much spicier version with bolder flavours. The yogurt gives the soup a velvety consistency, while the lemon elevates everything on your palate while tempering the heat. I had no carrots on hand, but threw in a few parsnips languishing in the fridge that only made for a sweeter counterbalance to the slow burn of the curry – tinker with it as you will.

Mulligatawny Soup (adapted from the Best of Bridge cookbook)

2 Tbsp. butter
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 large potato, peeled and diced
2 large onions, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
4 tsp. curry powder (or 1-2 Tbsps curry paste)
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground ginger (or about ½ - 1 Tbsp. of freshly grated)
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 - 2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
8 cups chicken broth
3 cups cooked, diced chicken or turkey (chickpeas would be great for a vegetarian version)
3 cups cooked rice
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and grated
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 cup plain yogurt

In a large pot, melt butter and saute celery, potato, onion, garlic, carrot and seasonings for 5 minutes. Add broth and simmer 20 minutes. Add chicken, rice, apples and lemon juice. Before serving add yogurt and heat to near boiling. 18 ladles worth. 

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