Mulligatawny Soup


2 litres water
1 free-range chicken
1 bouquet garni with thyme, coriander and parsley
60g butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, with leaves, finely chopped
1 Golden Delicious apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1 red jalapeño, deseeded and chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
10ml grated fresh ginger
2 ripe, red tomatoes, skinned and deseeded
15ml curry powder
5ml ground cumin
5ml paprika
2.5ml ground cinnamon
5ml turmeric
6 cardamom pods, shelled and ground
125g raw red lentils
125ml coconut milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
100ml good olive oil
5ml chilli powder
150g steaming, well seasoned basmati rice
75g cashews, roasted and lightly chopped
fresh coriander for garnishing
This English soup of Indian origin is a spicy chicken consommé to which chicken meat and rice are added. It is also delicious as a vegetarian soup, in which case use olive oil instead of butter, cook with vegetable stock and omit the chicken.


1.Pour the water into a large casserole dish, add the chicken with the bouquet garni and bring to a slow simmer. Cover and cook for 90 minutes or until the meat is completely tender. Remove the chicken from the pot and pour the stock through a sieve, reserving for later use. Allow the chicken to cool down slightly, then debone.
2.Meanwhile, melt the butter in another good-sized casserole dish. Add the onion and carrots and sauté until the onion has softened. Add the celery, apple, jalapeño, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, curry powder, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, turmeric, and cardamom. Gently stir all the ingredients together. Infuse the flavours over a medium heat and add the lentils. Pour the reserved chicken stock over and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer, covered, for at least 45 minutes or until the lentils are cooked. Add a little more water if you think it is necessary.
3.Using an immersion blender, pureé about half of the ingredients; it is lovely to leave some of the bits and pieces whole as it adds body to the soup. Pour in the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Taste the soup and season.
4.While that is simmering, heat the olive oil in a pan and toss the shredded chicken lightly through to heat. Taste and season with salt and a light dusting of chilli powder.
5.Add dollops of the steaming rice to shallow soup plates, top with the seasoned chicken and spoon large soup ladles of the mulligatawny broth around the rice and chicken.
6.Garnish with a generous amount of cashews and coriander.

Serve with both a spoon and fork!

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