Soup weather is officially upon us and just in time, right? There are few eats cheaper than homemade soup, and tonight the starring soup is mulligatawny, an Anglo-Indian chicken soup with lots of veggies and a warming curry kick in every bite. Not only is this soup bright, filling, and incredibly inexpensive, but it is flexible: omit the chicken and swap vegetable broth for stock, and you've got an even cheaper, vegan meal. (Here's looking at you, my vegan sisters.) Can't do spicy? Just dial back the spices to your taste. Too broke for one of those ridiculous, winter-hot-house, two-dollar red peppers? Leave it out, baby.
Are you in? Let's make some mulligatawny magic.
First off, you'll need one peeled, chopped, crispy apple, like a Fuji or Braeburn. Once cooked, the apple will be kind of like potato, easily taking on the curry flavors but also adding a slight sweetness to the finished product. You may be skeptical of fruit in soup, but let's just run with it, OK?
Next, chop up a healthy mess of vegetables: carrots, celery, onion, green pepper, and red pepper. You'll need about 4-5 cups of fruit and vegetables total, so there is certain flexibility according to what you have on hand. Got some mushrooms? Throw those in, too. Not much celery? Just use what you have.
After heating about 2 tablespoons of butter and 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large stock pot or Dutch oven, add your fruit and veggies to the pot. Sauté over medium-high heat for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally and being sure to pat yourself on the back for making something with six(!) different types of fruit and veg. You are a top-drawer, fully actualized human being, no doubt about it.
While the vegetables cook, measure out your dry ingredients: flour, curry, ginger, red pepper flakes, and salt. Once the vegetables are soft, add the dry ingredients to the pot and stir until the spices are fragrant and the flour toasty, about one minute. The vegetables will be coated in a thick, dry, spicy paste. Now, slowly add your assembled liquid ingredients: chicken stock, tomato paste, and mango chutney.
Though BeanPlate is not about purchasing expensive specialty ingredients for the sake of a single recipe, the chutney is mission critical. And you don't have to go to a specialty market; most stores carry some kind of chutney on the mustard/ketchup/pickle aisle. If you want chutney on the cheap, though, go to your local international market. One jar will last in the fridge for ages and has scads of other uses (hint, hint: BeanPlate coming attractions).
But, back to the soup! Bring it to a strong simmer and add about one pound of raw, chopped chicken breast. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about twenty minutes. Now, if you want things to be slightly more decadent, you can finish the soup with a splash or two of cream or half-and-half. If you'd rather keep things squeaky clean (and vegan) don't add any dairy...
...just garnish with chopped flat-leaf parsley and enjoy! Mulligatawny is also delicious topped with a few tablespoons of toasted cashews or almonds, or possibly with a scoop of steamed rice in the center of the bowl. Your Mulligatawny options: they are endless.
This recipe is particularly great the second day and will freeze beautifully, guaranteed. And one final note: chutney sometimes contains whole raisins, so if you (like me) have a loved one who is morally opposed to hot raisins, you can fish the one or two stray raisins out before serving. Or, if you prefer culinary passive aggression, just leave those swollen little babies alone.
Which begs a closing question: hot, cooked raisins: tasty treat or bloated devil fruit? Discuss.
(Click here for print-ready recipe.)
Mulligatawny (Indian Chicken Soup) from BeanPlate
2 T. butter
1/2 T. vegetable oil
1 cup apple, chopped and peeled
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
2 T. flour
2 T. curry (or less, to your taste)
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
28 oz. low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1/3 cup mango chutney
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut in bite-sized pieces
1/3 cup cream or half-and-half (optional)
flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Heat butter and oil in Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Add apple and all vegetables and sauté about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add flour, spices, and salt. Stir well, cooking about one minute, until fragrant and toasted. Add broth, chutney, and tomato paste; bring to a high simmer. Add chicken and simmer until chicken is cooked through, or reduce heat and cook over very low temperature for a few hours. If creamier soup is desired, stir in cream or half-and-half and gently warm through. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.