February 2, 2009

Mulligatawny Soup Mix Gifts

Unlike every other food blog, I'm not going to write about the Super Bowl - after all, we made dip. And this dip wasn't the most photogenic (believe me, I tried). 'Especially cuz it was a second-half dip, so all the cheap beer had taken its toll, and I couldn't convince the masses to let me get a picture before the shoveling ensued. (Though I was one of the masses, so I didn't try very hard.) But yeah, it was an orange dip. Very good and spicy. You'll just have to take my word for it.

So I'm going to tell you about the soup mix I made for my sister! She suggested I make Mulligatawny for Christmas presents, and I'd never even heard of it before. Now that I've done a little research, it seems that there isn't a traditional version of this soup, since no one really knows where it came from. Mulligatawny means 'pepper water' and it's billed as an Anglo-Indian soup. Some recipes call for coconut milk, which I'll have to try since I looooove coconut milk.

As you can see, it makes a very pretty gift, in pint Ball Mason jars (if you use a bigger container the layers won't be as thick). Bear with me, this is kind of instruction-heavy.

Mulligatawny Soup Mix
from the Washington Post

2 T, 1 t chicken bouillon granules
3 T dried chopped chives or onions
1 T mild to med-hot curry powder
3/4 t ground cardamom
1/2 t dried thyme leaves
1/2 t dried minced garlic or garlic powder
1/4 t ground black pepper
and/or 1/4 t ground hot red pepper
1/3 c finely diced dried apples
1/2 c uncooked white basmati rice
1/3 c dried red lentils
1/4 c dried yellow split peas
1/4 c dried green split peas or lentils
1/3 c dried cranberries or golden raisins
1/2 c roasted, unsalted peanuts, chopped, for garnish

Combine bouillon, chives (onions), curry powder, cardamom, thyme, garlic, and black and red pepper on a sheet of aluminum foil. Use the foil as a funnel to pour spice mix into a one-pint container. Add ingredients in the following order, tapping the jar to even out the layers: apples, rice, red lentils, split peas (green, then yellow), and cranberries. If you have room, add the peanuts (bagged separately) to the top of the jar. If not, attach with a ribbon and the directions to the jar.

Enclose the following instructions with the soup mix. Makes 2 1/2 quarts of soup, serves 10.

Mulligatawny Soup

1 pint soup mix
8 cups hot water
1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 1/2 c chopped fresh or frozen vegetable medley (recommended celery, carrots, cauliflower, bell pepper and onion)
1/2 to 1 c diced cooked chicken or turkey
S&P to taste

Add soup mix (but not peanuts) to 10 cups of hot water over med-high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 25 to 35 minutes. Add tomatoes and their juice, vegetables, and meat.

Cover and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes until vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with peanuts as a garnish.

Bit of a disclaimer: Like I said, I'd never heard of this soup before this Christmas, but I found it when I was in London. I ordered it as take-away on my last night in London (when I couldn't handle eating out AGAIN!). As far as I could tell, the only ingredients in that Mulligatawny soup were lentils and rice. And they'd cooked it with a lemon wedge, which was so good!

I've taken that to mean that you can make this soup however you damn well please. I made it without veggies or fruit and it was great. Add a lemon, make it vegetarian, add some ostrich for all I care. Just make it! (And obviously, if you're just making it for yourself, not as a gift, you can skip the soup mix part, even though it's very pretty.)