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Mulligatawny soup transports you to India
Mulligatawny soup has Anglo-Indian origins attributed to servants for the English Raj in India. Curry powder and ginger give the soup a pungent flavor, while chicken and freshly diced apple provide a contrast in texture. There are also vegetarian versions using almonds instead of meat.
Authentic curry powder is a blend of freshly ground spices and herbs, such as cardamom, chilies, cinnamon, cloves, coriander and cumin; it's made fresh every day. Commercial curry powder comes in two forms: standard and the hotter Madras.
I mentioned mulligatawny soup when I interviewed Indian author Madhur Jaffrey on my radio program and was surprised by the many calls requesting a recipe. I created this tangy, 20-minute version using commercial curry powder and canned light coconut milk.
This soup tastes great the second day. If you have time, make double.
Serve with microwaved white rice, about 3⁄4 cup cooked rice per person.
Wine suggestion: This spicy dish would go nicely with a slightly off-dry white chenin blanc.
Tips: Curry powder can be found in the spices section of the supermarket. It loses its freshness after two to three months.
2 teaspoons butter
1 cup sliced onion
1⁄2 cup sliced carrots
1⁄2 cup sliced celery
1⁄2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into 1-inch pieces
1⁄2 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon flour
1⁄2-inch piece fresh ginger, chopped (1 tablespoon) or 1 teaspoon ground ginger
1-1⁄2 cups fat-free, low-salt chicken broth
1 cup water
1⁄2 cup light coconut milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cored and cubed apple
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, optional
4 lemon wedges
Heat butter over medium-high heat in a large nonstick saucepan. Add onion, carrots, celery and chicken and sauté five minutes. Add the curry powder, flour and ginger and sauté about 30 seconds. Stir in chicken broth, water and coconut milk and simmer 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
To serve, spoon rice into two large soup bowls and ladle soup on top. Sprinkle with chopped apple and cilantro. Place lemon wedges on side. Makes two servings.
Linda Gassenheimer is the author of 14 cookbooks including her newest, "The Flavors of the Florida Keys" and "Mix 'n Match Meals in Minutes for People with Diabetes." Visit Linda on her Web page at DinnerInMinutes.com or e-mail her at Linda@DinnerInMinutes.com.