This hearty soup is my interpretation of an Anglo-Indian curry soup called Mulligatawny soup, dating back to the colonial days of the British Raj in India. There are many variations of this traditional soup.I have used coconut milk and lentils in this recipe. With the right amount of protein, vegetables and just a touch of Indian spices, this soup is best eaten with steamed white Basmati rice.
2 tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
1 inch fresh ginger, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 carrot, sliced
1 celery rib, sliced
1 tomato, chopped
*1 cup dried red lentils(soaked in water for an hour and drained)
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup coconut milk, unsweetened
1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
juice of 1/2 a lime
1 cup cooked chicken meat, diced
1 or 2 tsp. mild curry powder(the spice content depends on your taste buds)
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Melt the butter in a large pan on medium heat. Add onions, celery and carrots. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, till onions are soft and transluscent. Add garlic, ginger and curry powder, cook, stirring for another minute. Add tomatoes, lentils and chicken stock. Bring it to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 20- 25 minutes, until lentils are soft and cooked. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool and blend the soup in a blender or with an immersion blender.
Just before serving, reheat the soup. Stir in the coconut milk. Add the diced chicken. Add the lime juice and garnish with chopped fresh cilantro.
*The lentils also act as a thickening agent.They can be bought at any Indian grocery store. Also available locally at Trader Joe’s in the Bay area.