Mulligatawny has Anglo-Indian origins
Mulligatawny soup has Anglo-Indian origins attributed to servants for the English Raj in India. Curry powder and ginger give the soup a pungent flavor while chicken and freshly diced apple provide a contrast in texture. There are also vegetarian versions using almonds instead of meat.
Authentic curry powder is a blend of freshly ground spices and herbs such as cardamom, chilies, cinnamon, cloves, coriander and cumin; it's made fresh every day. Commercial curry powder comes in two forms: standard and the hotter Madras.
I mentioned mulligatawny soup when I interviewed Indian author Madhur Jaffrey on my radio program and was surprised by the many calls requesting a recipe. I created this tangy, 20-minute version using commercial curry powder and canned light coconut milk.
This soup tastes great the second day. If you have time, make double.
Serve with microwaved white rice, about 3/4 cup cooked rice per person.
Wine suggestion: This spicy dish would go nicely with a slightly off-dry white chenin blanc.
Makes 2 servings.
2 teaspoons butter
1 cup sliced onion
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon flour
1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, chopped (1 tablespoon) or 1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 cups fat-free, low-salt chicken broth
1 cup water
1/2 cup light coconut milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cored and cubed apple
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
4 lemon wedges
HEAT butter over medium-high heat in a large nonstick saucepan.
ADD onion, carrots, celery and chicken and sauté 5 minutes. Add the curry powder, flour and ginger and sauté about 30 seconds.
STIR in chicken broth, water and coconut milk and simmer 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
TO SERVE, spoon rice into 2 large soup bowls and ladle soup on top. Sprinkle with chopped apple and cilantro. Place lemon wedges on side.
Nutrition information: Per serving: 469 calories (21 percent from fat), 10.9 grams fat (5.1 grams saturated, 2.2 grams monounsaturated), 82 milligrams cholesterol, 32.4 grams protein, 62.4 grams carbohydrates, 5.1 grams fiber, 666 milligrams sodium.
Skin stays on in low-calorie potato-celery soup
My old version of potato soup weighed in at more than 220 calories and 12 fat grams per cup -- way too much.
But I wasn't about to give up potato soup, so I went on the hunt for a healthy version and found a good one in a Joan Lunden cookbook.
I made a few alterations to her recipe. I substitute celery for leeks because celery has more fiber. I use more chicken broth and less water.
And I don't peel the potatoes, because that would strip away plenty of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Fiber is good for weight loss because it helps you feel full longer.
Adapted from a recipe in "Joan Lunden's Healthy Cooking." Makes 10 servings.
5 large baking potatoes (about 3 to 3 1/2 pounds), cut into small cubes
2 cups chopped celery (or leeks, white part only)
2 tablespoons butter
2 to 3 cups chicken broth
1 to 2 cups water
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, or to taste
1/2 cup 1 percent milk
1/2 cup light sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch chives, chopped
COMBINE in a large pot, the potatoes with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for 20 to 30 minutes or until tender.
COOK in a large nonstick skillet, the celery in the butter over moderately low heat for 5 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot.
ADD the broth and 1 cup of water. Using a stick blender, puree about 3/4 of the mixture. Some of the potato cubes should be left for texture. Do not overblend or the soup will be gluey. (If you don't have a stick blender, transfer the mixture to a blender in batches.)
ADD the celery, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, milk, sour cream and salt and pepper to taste and heat the soup until it is hot.
STIR in some of the additional water, if necessary, to achieve the consistency you want.
GARNISH each portion with chopped chives.
Nutrition information: Per 1 cup serving: 127 calories, 3.3 fat grams.