Sandra’s Taste of Britain – August 2011

“Beautiful soup! Who cares for fish, game or any other dish? Who would not give all else for two pennyworth only of beautiful soup?”  

        – Lewis Carroll

I AGREE, I just love soups any time. In the Victorian times on, it was always served as a first course, I think in the hopes of filling up the eater so they wouldn’t need so much of the main course! In the summer, I often like to have a soup and salad or sandwich supper. Chilled soups are lovely also.

I was trying to think of something different for this month, and in reviewing my recipes came across Mulligatawny Soup, which I used to love. The word means pepper water, and came into the English language from Tamil, India, in the eighteenth century. Milakutanni, milaku meaning pepper, and tanni water. This became popular via members of the army and colonial services during the 19th century. My paternal grandparents served in India, and handed down the family versions of true curry meals … which my mother learned to make very well. I remember being told that curry or anything hot and spicy, is affective in the hot weather to actually cool one down. True curry of course really shouldn’t be really spicy, but be a blend of spices more fragrant than hot. My version tends not to be too spicy as we don’t care for it that way, but of course as in any dish you can tweak it up a bit

In my research, chicken is the favoured protein, but also lamb, beef or veal is used. Also some recipes include chilies and tomatoes. This recipe takes a bit long and made up ahead, but by using the whole chicken the broth will have much more flavour. I also have finished it off with my crock pot, letting it slowly finish cooking takes longer, but worth the wait … also is convenient as it can be left to serve later

I prefer to use chicken but also beef broth to give it a bit of substance. I hope you like my version

Mulligatawny Soup

1½ lbs chicken ( whole)
4 cups beef broth
1 sliced onion
1 sliced carrot
1 sliced celery stalk
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter
1 chopped onion
1 green apple, peeled, cored and chopped up
1 Tbsp curry powder
2 Tbsp flour
1 Bay leaf
1/4 tsp all spice
1/4 cup cream or yogurt

Place chicken in large pan. Add beef broth, onion, carrot, celery and salt, and simmer one hour. Remove chicken, discard skin and bones, and cut up into small pieces, or shred it, put aside. Strain the broth and chill for 4-5 hours, then scoop off any fat which will have risen to the top.

Heat the butter in a heavy saucepan, cook chopped onions and apple about three minutes. Add mixed flour and curry powders and cook one minute stirring all the time, keeping it smooth; gradually add the broth, bay leaf and all spice. Cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes. Add the chicken pieces, simmer for 15 minutes and stir in the cream or yogurt.

(This was usually served with a bowl of rice.)

Yield about 4-6

(I welcome comments, requests and recipes and can be reached at My apologies for last month, my address was incorrect)



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