Happy Soup Dance!

The Prairie Soup Company is located a few blocks away from the newspaper. It has the best soup in the world. We’re talking Seinfeld soup nazi soup.

It is that good.

Baked potato. Chicken tortilla. Cheeseburger. Carrot ginger. Everything is fantastic!

The mulligatawny is to die for.

I tried mulligatawny for the first time in October. It was the daily special and the small sample I tried sold me on getting a cup for lunch. Served over rice, the curry sauce with chicken and potato was so incredible, I did the annoying “Mmm” sound the entire time I ate it.

I have the mulligatawny every time it is available and it is fantastic every time. In fact, my friend Cecelia and I came up with a happy soup dance for the days it was on the menu. We even performed the dance walking to the restaurant one day, much to Cecelia’s husband’s embarrassment.

I googled mulligatawny and there are a million recipes out there, each one a little different from the last, but only one sounds similar to my happy soup dance. I found it in this book.

I made the soup for dinner tonight and served it over a bed of jasmine rice. While it isn’t a complete match (this recipe does not have potatoes in it), it’s close enough to make this recipe a keeper.

I also made homemade dinner rolls.

Happy soup tummy. I’d dance if I wasn’t so full now.


Serves 4; Prep 20 minutes; Cook 45 minutes; Freeze up to 3 months

  • 2 1/2 tbsp butter     
  • 1 large onion, chopped     
  • 2 inches fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped     
  • 1 apple, diced with peel     
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 celery rib, sliced     
  • 1 heaped tbsp mild curry powder     
  •  1 tbsp flour
  • 4 tomatoes, coarsely chopped     
  • 2 tsp tomato puree     
  • 2 cups hot chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves     
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper     
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 7 oz cooked chicken meat, chopped (I used a cup)     
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime

Melt the butter in the large pan and soften the onion, ginger and garlic for 10 minutes, without coloring. Add the apple, carrot and celery to the pan and continue cooking, covered for 5 minutes.

Stir in the curry powder and cook for 1 minute, stirring all the time. Sprinkle in the flour and continue cooking for another 20 seconds.

Add the tomatoes and tomato puree, followed by the chicken stock. Add the bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring, then reduce the heat and simmer, half-covered, for 20 minutes.

Remove the bay leaf and blend until smooth, using a stick blender or liquidizer (of which I have neither, so I poured it into a blender — it worked just fine). Sieve the soup to remove any fibers and skin. (Again, I didn’t do because I had peeled the apple and was fine with the soup after blending.) Reheat, stir in the coconut milk or half-and-half and add the diced chicken. Sharpen with a squeeze of lime and add the chopped cilantro.

How good does that look?


Makes 16; Prep 20 minutes, plus rising; Cook 20 minutes; Freeze up to 6 months

  • 3 2/3 cups bread flour     
  • 1 envelope instant yeast     
  • 2 tsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp salt     
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp tepid water

Combine the flour, yeast, brown sugar and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the water. Stir to make a soft dough. Knead well on a lightly floured work surface for about 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Place in an oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let it stand in a warm place for 1 hour, until doubled.

Punch down the dough. Divide into 16 pieces and shape into balls. Arrange 2 inches apart on tow lightly oiled baking sheets. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it stand until puffy, about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 20 minutes or until they are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

They weren't the prettiest rolls in the world, but they were good.

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