Wednesday, December 11, 2013

For Cold Weather: A Recipe

A few days ago, my wife and daughter and I had mulligatawny soup at a local Indian restaurant. All three of us liked it. One of my current projects is getting our chest freezer empty enough so that we can defrost it. Included in its contents were several large containers of frozen chicken broth, produced as a side effect of a slow cooked Chinese chicken recipe I am fond of making.

Also, it has been cold out, and the web is a good source of recipes.

This is what I came up with, based mostly on this recipe scaled down to fit in a blender:

Mulligatawny Soup

1/2 cup  lentils                                     
7 cups chicken broth, divided
4-1 inch chunks fresh ginger, peeled                           
1 medium tomato
2 medium carrots,                              
1 celery rib

1 1/2 T butter                                                   
1 T olive oil
1 T garam masala                                       
1/2 T ground cumin
1/2 T ground coriander                                   
1/2 t ground turmeric
1 medium to small onion, coarsely chopped                                  
4 garlic cloves, pressed
3T  flour
1 t tomato paste                                           
~1/2 T salt
~1/2 t pepper
Simmer lentils in 3 cups of chicken broth for about 30 minutes, until soft.

Combine 4 cups of broth, chopped carrots, celery, tomatoes and ginger in a blender or food processor. Blend and set aside.

Melt butter, add olive oil in a sauce pan and sauté spices, onion and garlic, stirring frequently so as not to burn, for about 5 minutes. Stir in flour, cook about 1 minute. Add tomato paste, stir. Add the contents of the blender, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Put the contents of the saucepan plus most of the cooked lentils back in your blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Return to pot along with the remaining lentils and the broth they were cooked in. Season with salt and pepper to taste, bring back to a simmer, turn off, serve.

A tasty spicy soup for cold days.

I should probably add that what I used for pureeing was my new vita-mix, a very high powered blender. My guess is that a food processor would work, but I haven't tried it.


Jonathan Jaech said...

Excellent! Who says economists never do anything useful! Not I, Certainly.

Power Child said...

I'm almost certainly going to try this, but first I have a question about the recipe.

You list as an ingredient "garam masala." This is actually a mix of spices (some of which, like cumin and coriander, are also listed on their own in your recipe) packaged as one, and different brands use different combinations and proportions of spices.

Alternatively, Indian cooks make their own garam masala from scratch, and from what I understand theirs is much more pungent, so that while you might use two or three teaspoons of the store-bought stuff you'll get just as much flavor from half a teaspoon of the homemade, while otherwise leaving a given recipe unchanged.

I presume you're using a store-bought mix, in which case is there one in particular you'd recommend?

David Friedman said...

I'm using the store bought mix that we had. The web page I got the recipe for has instructions for making your own, but I didn't do it. I have no idea if the mix we had is better or worse than other mixes, not having tried them.