Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Chicken mulligatawny soup

I've always been a fan of an Anglo-Indian creation...coronation chicken, tikka masala, mulligatawny soup. This soup is a popular choice in the tinned soup market...right up there with minestrone, oxtail and dare I say it, cream of tomato. But I suppose I'd class it in the same league as Royal Game soup (by the well known brand, Baxters). The more discerning choice, for the sophisticated soup admirer. The fresh soup brands in cartons like to display an large array of "sophisticated soups", Tuscan bean, chipotle pulled pork, carrot and coriander and mulligatawny are often available.
Before I ramble about tinned soup and other products....(I could go on), the point I'm trying to make is we seem to be fond of this hearty textured, earthy spiced "meal in itself" broth-come-stew. 

Rather like a minestrone with the addition of a few Asian ingredients - ginger, coriander and turmeric. This is a brilliant way to use up "stuff", whether it be half a nearly dried up onion, or sprouting potato, a slightly soft pepper (that you chopped a bit off for a salad yesterday). The options here are unlimited, and that's the beauty if this dish, use up whatever you have. The spices and key fresh ingredients are what bring it all together. 

Yes..you know me, I've trawled through recipe books and the internet for the perfect recipe, from Madha Jaffrey to the Hairy Bikers. I had in my mind how I wanted it to taste. Occasionally I'll pop into the Sainsburys café and have their chicken mulligatawny, it has the right spice level, texture and depth of flavour I was looking to recreate. Most recipes I looked at had similar spice blends and the basis of most soups - the holy trinity, Mirepiox...good old onion, celery and carrot (by the way, without fail, I always have these in my fridge).

Having had a lovely roast chicken on Sunday I wanted to do something a bit different with the leftovers. A warm spiced seasonal soup seemed the perfect idea. And this means lots of leftovers for lunches and like most stews the flavours intensify and amalgamate, you can freeze this even. 

Here's the recipe
A good lug of olive oil
1 finely chopped onion 
1 stick celery finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 medium sized potato, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
A thumb sized pieced of ginger, finely grated
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
Finely chopped stalks of a fresh bunch of coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp medium curry powder (I used Sharwoods)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 oz red lentils 
2 pints chicken stock
1 tbsp mango chutney
A good pinch of salt and grinding of pepper
1 tin of chopped tomatoes 
Chicken stripped of carcass  
A handful of fresh coriander 
A dollop of natural yoghurt 

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