ON COOKING: Mulligatawny is tough to spell but a tasty soup

Chef Dez offers up his version of a classic soup

Email your cooking questions to Chef Dez at dez@chefdez.com.

Email your cooking questions to Chef Dez at dez@chefdez.com.

Soup is great because just one pot is a blank canvas waiting for you to unleash your culinary imagination. One of my all-time favourites is Mulligatawny soup. The name for this curry based soup is derived from the words “milagu” (meaning pepper) and “thanni” (meaning water). It is also a great recipe for using up any leftover cooked chicken from the night before.

When using lentils, salt is typically added at the end of the cooking time as it could slow down the cooking of the lentils, and I have followed that rule here. However, keep in mind that there is typically salt in chicken broth, so leaving the salt to the end probably doesn’t make too much difference in this instance. Happy Cooking…

Mulligatawny Soup

1/4 cup butter

1 medium onion, diced small

2 celery stalks, diced small

1 medium carrot, diced small

6 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons flour

2 teaspoons curry powder

1 teaspoon garam masala

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

4 cups chicken broth/stock

1/4 cup dried green lentils

2 bay leaves

1 apple, peeled and diced

2 cooked chicken breasts, cubed (preferably grilled)

1 – 400ml can of coconut milk

1.5 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Add butter to a pot over medium heat. Once the butter foams, add the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic. Stir to combine and cook for 2 to 3 minutes stirring occasionally until soft.

Add the flour, curry powder, garam masala, and thyme and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes, stirring frequently.

Slowly add the chicken broth and stir to combine while adding to prevent lumps. Add the lentils and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and then simmer over low heat uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the apple, chicken, and coconut milk. Continue to simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes to ensure that the lentils are cooked and to let the flavours come together.

Season with the salt and pepper, discard the bay leaves, and serve immediately.

Makes approximately 8 cups


– Chef Dez is a food columnist and culinary instructor in the Fraser Valley. Visit him at www.chefdez.com. Send questions to dez@chefdez.com or to P.O. Box 2674, Abbotsford, B.C. V2T 6R4