Monday, November 17, 2008

oh so easy mulligatawny soup

freshly chopped cilantro the final touch.....

secrets to my mulligatawny soup: blended yellow + red lentils, ginger root, fresh tomatoes, extra virgin coconut oil, black mustard seeds and......

The temperament of this soup has a rustic appeal. Perfect with potato stuffed roti or toasted flat bread with hints of olive oil, garlic + freshly minced cilantro slathered about. I like to make this soup often and it makes a common place in our home as a quick comforting meal that satiates without the fuss. Slightly nutty, very savory + smoky, with hints of spice of ginger, garlic it is robust + opulent as the broth is drenched with chopped zucchini, celery, carrots, tomatoes, parsley + cilantro.

I love making this soup in the cold weather because it's like serving the fruits of the sun in a bowl on a drab wintry day.

mulligatawny as defined in the Tamil language literally means *pepper water*

spooning up my efforts: simmered with chopped curry leaves and lime leaves would be a delight as well......

I have to admit this is not the traditional method. I have taken out the initial step of *tempering* the spices in oil. Instead, the blender works swell and so does the slow simmer. I do promise this will make a sure fire hit to even non-lentil lovers. Kinda like my beet salad, even if you don't like beets. Poor beets have a bad rap since many of our earliest memories stem from aluminum ridden beets from the can.....we were forced to eat: *Eat Your Beets*! Anyways, about this soup: it is my tried and true oh so easy recipe that is nourishing, yummy and healing to the bod + senses. At least way easier than some of Emeril's recipes.......oooh though they are quite yummy. This recipe is definitely shorter.

Also, perfect to ease the chill.

It has been colder than usual......oh forbid, last night there was a pre-frost warning so I hauled in a surviving potted plant that I have not neglected. It's a white orchid that is massively blooming and to my amazement has survived my brown thumb.

My experience with soup made out of lentils has always been a mass of brown murky chunky lentils in a bland broth. Perhaps with a ham hock leg sticking out with overt douses of smoke liquid that left little to desire to my spoiled palate.

Later, I discovered mulligatawny soup at our neighborhood Indian restaurant and found myself smitten.....totally.

Nowhere to be seen were the gooey eewy brown bad mush muddy lentils.

They were lovingly replaced by a brocade of bright yellow dal(lentils) and a sunny shades of orange-red dal as well. Then I also found myself at the Indian market immersed with decadent shades of dal that reminded me of the brightness of the sun.

New found *inventory* always makes me happy.

Screw the brown lentils......cheers to sun-kissed lentils to brighten any drab Fall/Winter day.

TasteMemory's oh so easy mulligatawny soup
recipe written by me, Ingar B.

3/4 cup yellow lentils(moong dal), soak in cool water 1 hour
1/2 cup red lentils(masoor dal), soak in cool water 1 hour
3 garlic cloves
1" knob fresh ginger root, peeled
2 whole tomatoes
2 cups filtered water

After soaking yellow + red lentils together in water, rinse well + drain. Combine about half the lentils in a blender with the garlic cloves, ginger root, tomatoes + additional water. Put aside the remaining lentils in stock pot. Blend ingredients until smooth. Add to stock pot with remaining lentils and combine with:

1/4 cup good olive oil
3-4 cups filtered water
4 dried chiles

Combine these ingredients well as the oil + water will help prevent the lentils from burning. Bring to medium simmer while stirring often so lentils do not stick and burn. Then add:

4 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 zucchini, coursely chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped with seeds
1/2 small white onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil, it's thick like butter
Splash of agave nectar
1 1/2 teasp. Garam Masala
1 teasp. black mustard seeds
sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Bring to medium-high simmer and stir often to combine ingredients well, avoid lentils from burning + clumping. Then reduce heat to medium-low for approximately 30to 45 minutes, stirring occassionally until vegetables are tender.

Must try: 1/2 cup or more freshly chopped cilantro

Serve in soup bowls and top with generous portions of chopped cilantro.

Delicious with a lively salad and/or your choice of naan.

Vegetarian/Vegan. Dairy-free.

If you have easy access to fresh curry and/or lime that's an added delight.


Manasi said...

This looks wonderful..perfect for a winter evening. I love lentil soups, whats not to like!? I gulp the humble dhal by bowlful too :)

Melita said...

Hi Ingar! I see I have missed a lot in my absence! Must catch up!

The soup really looks amazing! I love veggies, and lentils, and it seems to have some ingredients I haven't used before.
Jotting it down, you never know when I might just make it!

Gera@SweetsFoodsBlog said...

Hi Ingar!

Lovely soup Indian style...after reading the description and recipe, I agree it's very savory and ideal for cold days!
I'm in spring and it's very cold indeed...bizarre if this continue I'll give it a try! Delicious with these veggies and spices!!

Gera .:. sweetsfoods

Shari said...

Your ingredients sound amazing. Gingerroot, coconut oil, cilantro are all of my flavors in one bowl!

Alina said...

Looks delicious! I found your blog as I searched for The French Pantry restaurant. I am a blogger here in Jacksonville as well. It is fun to find a fellow Florida blogger!

Unknown said...

complimenti per il blog! รจ molto carino

RecipeGirl said...

This is an incredibly pretty soup too. Great recipe!

noobcook said...

There are so many colours and favours ... what a great looking soup :)

jenny said...

thanks for your comment on enticing monasteries, Taste Memory-- there's so much to explore on the topic of monastic food. I hope to write some more about that soon.


Nicole said...

It does look beautiful and sounds tasty. I love the topping of cilantro.

Unknown said...

i am loving all the beautiful colors of this, the more color, the healthier eh?

taste memory said...

Hello everyone....I'll look forward to getting back with you once I return from out of town feasting + cheer! Thanks for stopping by and look forward to catching up with your holiday and/or decadent food posts ;-)

taste memory said...

Manasi ~ lentils all the way!

Medeni ~ hey there! Good to hear from you. You have been missed....look forward to catching up on your blog posts to. I see you are as busy as ever ;-)

Gera ~ hey, thanks for stopping by. this soup is so easy to make + yes the spices will kick in so warmth for that chilly spring you're having. welcome to a new spring for you!

Shari@Whisk ~ they are the best flavors/tropical + savory!

Alina ~ hello + welcome! Thanks for stopping by. Will hav to check out your blog too ;-)

vale ~ thank you for your kind comment....u hav beautiful blog as well ~

Recipe Girl ~ thanks so much! as always nice to hear from you....

noobcook ~ yes; this one definitely photographs well. just made a soup today with purple yams - came out a bit murky ;-(

jenny ~ hi there - look forward to it...

Nicole ~ yes; definitly cilantro to spike it up a bit!

mochacholata ~ hi Rita! tried the purple yams other day.....yummy + sweet ;-)

Anonymous said...

Ingar, the pictures make me drool! I love your description of it as fruits of the sun in a bowl, that makes it sound even better. I have a bunch of orchids I inherited from my dear mother that somehow seem to thrive with neglect... How wonderful eh?