Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Banana & Onion Soup?

In a way, yes. But don't click away yet! Serious, this one is worth checking out further. I can't breathe I'm so stuffed from my extra large bowl! Another America's Test Kitchen recipe.

Mulligatawny Soup

Mulligatawny is a pureed vegetable soup that originated in India during the British Raj. The soup is mildly spicy but not hot. The finished soup should be silky and elegant with potent yet balanced spices and aromatics.

Although a few sources say that pureering is optional, the recipe I used suggested that the soup MUST be smooth. It was worth the extra step, very good. I added some chicken to the soup as it cooked, then cooled it and shredded it to add at the end. A dollop of yogurt and a shower of cilantro finish the soup. Traditionally, Mulligatawny is served over basmati rice or red lentils, although it can stand on its own.

Serves 6 to 8 and takes about 30-40 minutes to make, depending on your chopping skills.

4 Medium garlic cloves, 2 peeled and 2 finely minced
1 piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated, about 1 1/2 tablespoons
1/4 Cup water
3 Tablespoons of butter
2 Medium onions, chopped
1 Teaspoon tomato paste
1/2 Cup shredded unsweetened coconut (do not use sweetened coconut)
1 1/2 Tablespoons curry powder
1 Teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 Teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
1/4 Cup all--purpose flour
7 Cups low-sodium chicken broth (see note)
2 Medium Carrots, peeled and chopped coarse
1 Medium Celery rib, chopped coarse
1 Medium very ripe Banana
Salt & Pepper
Yogurt (optional)
Cilantro, minced (optional)

1. Place the 2 peeled whole garlic cloves, 2 Teaspoons of the grated ginger and the water in the blender. Blend until smooth, about 25 seconds; leave this in the blender and move on to the next step, we'll come back to this later.

2. Heat the butter in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat until foaming. Add the onions and tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are softened and beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in the coconut and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the minced garlic (not the stuff in the blender), remaining ginger, curry powder, cumin, cayenne and flour. Stir until evenly combined, about 1 minute. Whisking contantly and vigourously, gradually add the chicken broth.

3. Add the carrots, celery and the whole, peeled banana to the pot. At this point if you want to have chicken in the final soup, add whole, boneless skinless breast now. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

4. Remove the chicken and slice or shred. Puree the soup in batches in the blender with the garlic and ginger until very smooth. My blender took four batches. >>>>DO NOT FILL ALL THE WAY>>>JUST OVER 1/2 WAY IS ENOUGH>>>> You blender will explode and scald you! Wash and dry the pot. Return the pureed soup to the clean pot and season to taste with Salt and Pepper. Warm the soup over medium heat until hot, about 1 minute. Ladle the soup into individual bowls, spoon a dallop of yogurt over each and sprinkle with cilantro, serve immediately.

The soup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Warm over low heat until hot, do not boil.

Note: Of course everyone always says homemade chicken broth is best. Well, it is, but who as time? I feel the best substitute is a low sodium Swanson's Chicken Broth. If you want to make this vegetarian, use vegetable broth. In this case, it might be best to make your own broth, as most canned varieties are a bit metallic tasting. In 8 cups of water, add two coarsely chopped onions, a few stalks of celery, some carrots, some parsley. And whatever other vegetables you might want. Season with salt and pepper, maybe add a bay leaf. Simmer for about 1/2 hour. Strain and you're good to go. If you do not want to take the time or energy, I would suggest Knox brand Vegetable Bouillon cubes. One cube for two cups of water. While you are simmering that water that the bouillon is dissolving in, add some onion. This will freshen up the flavor and make it a bit more "natural" tasting.

And for dessert....some fresh chopped pineapple and fresh sliced kiwi drizzled in lime-ginger syrup and sprinkled with some toasted coconut. Buy some chopped fresh pineapple at the store, two kiwis, peeled and sliced. Two limes, one zested, both juiced. Add the juice, zest and a one inch chunk of ginger into one cup of sugar and one cup of water. Simmer until dissolved. Remove from heat and cool. Remove the ginger chunk, then pour over the fruit. Yum!


1 comment:

Dancer in DC said...

Delicious - perfect for those who enjoy a good curry dish.