Friday, January 7, 2011

Mulligatawny Soup

More cold weather, and the "Mulligatawny Soup" (page 155) turned out to be the perfect warmer-upper. The process consisted of cooking up red lentils, onion, celery, carrot, bell pepper, and hot pepper in broth, along with the curry, and other seasonings, pureeing this mixture in a blender, then returning to the pot and adding uncooked rice, then cooking that for about thirty minutes.  When the rice is done, you add coconut milk, diced apples, and cilantro.  When I add uncooked brown rice to soups, for some reason it doesn't seem to get "done" the way I like it, the way it does when cooking up a pot of just rice, so I opted to cook the rice separately, then add it to the soup.  I also added about twice the amount called for to give the soup some extra body.  I really like this soup! It is bursting with flavor, and sort of reminded me of a thin Dal, another Indian dish I am very fond of.

This soup presented me with a number of challenges, the biggest one being my husband isn't overly fond of curry, or Indian food in general.  I didn't mention to him that this soup did in fact contain curry, and was an Indian dish, hoping that if he tried it with an open mind, he might find he liked it.  And actually, he liked it more than I thought he would, but still couldn't make friends with the curry flavor.  The second challenge was the two tablespoons of oil called for, but that was easy to just omit, and I sautéed the veggies in a little broth instead.  The third challenge was trying to decide whether or not to use the coconut milk called for. Not technically forbidden on the McDougall Plan, it is quite, no, extremely, high in fat, saturated fat, no less, and the recipe called for 12 ounces.  I had heard the idea of using soy or rice or almond milk flavored with a bit of coconut extract in place of coconut milk, and thought this would be a good time to give that a try.  I used about 1/8th teaspoon of extract, plus a drop or two more in 12 ounces of soymilk, and it was actually wonderful!  I could see using this substitution in any number of recipes calling for coconut milk.

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