Raise your hands if you’ve seen enough of the kitchen lately. Anyone? I am just about at that point – yes, even me!
The holidays are always a blur of delicious food and lots of dirty dishes, and for those of you following the Whole Living 2012 Action Plan (I hope you enjoyed my detox recipes in week 1!), you know that meal prep can be tiring. So if the time has come when you just feel like making a huge pot of something that can last a few days so you don’t have to think about what to make for dinner…again...here is a soup for you.
This Root Vegetable Mulligatawny soup is substantial enough to fill you up---a hearty change from the limited-protein recipes from last week's recipes.
Mulligatawny is a curry-flavored Indian soup that literally means “pepper water”. There are endless variations, and no one right way to make it, but in the end you’ll surely have a thick, rich, golden-hued broth studded with tender vegetables and satisfying legumes. I chose to do a twist on a traditional Mulligatawny soup with the addition of root vegetables. So tasty!
Root vegetables might not have the flashy allure of spring and summer produce, but they're an incredibly flavorful bunch of edibles that deliver the nutrition and nourishment our bodies need during the winter.
I like this kind of cooking: get all the work out of the way in one swoop, and then sit back and enjoy for days on end. Plus, this is one of those dishes that actually tastes better the day after, so it only makes sense to cook up more than you need.
Root Vegetable Mulligatawny
Serves a crowd!
If you do not have all of the spices on hand, just use a couple tablespoons of your favorite curry powder.
1 cup dried red lentils
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
½ tsp. mustard seeds
1 Tbsp. curry leaves (about 15)
½ Tbsp. turmeric
¼ tsp. cayenne
½ Tbsp. coriander
½ tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. minced ginger
2 small onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
6 cups diced mixed root vegetables (carrots, sweet potato, celeriac, parsnips, turnips, daikon, kohlrabi, sunchokes etc.)
1 cup cooked chickpeas (optional)
1 14oz. can diced tomatoes
1 14oz. can coconut milk
2 cups vegetable broth
1 Tbsp. tamarind paste dissolved in ½ cup water (or juice of ½ lemon)
Fresh cilantro, for garnish
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
1. Cover lentils with water to soak while you prepare the rest of the dish.
2. In a large stockpot, heat the oil and add all spices and minced ginger (not the garlic). Stir often so spices do not burn. When the mix smells fragrant, add onions and cook until softened (if the mix becomes too dry, add a little of the tomato liquid and stir well). Add garlic and cook a couple minutes more.
3. Add the chopped vegetables and stir well to coat with spices. Cook for 5 minutes. Add chickpeas, if using, and cook until heated through. Add canned tomatoes and coconut milk.
4. Drain and rinse lentils very well and add them to the pot, along with the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 20-30 minutes until the lentils are soft and the root vegetables tender.
5. Add tamarind (or lemon juice) to the soup. Season to taste.
6. Garnish soup with fresh cilantro and some quality olive oil. Serve hot. Tastes amazing the day after!
Sarah Britton is a holistic nutritionist, vegetarian chef, and the creator of the award-winning blog My New Roots. Sarah is currently a chef at three organic restaurants in Copenhagen, Denmark, where she has earned praise for her creative and adventurous recipes. A Certified Nutritional Practitioner, she is also the founder of New Roots Holistic Nutrition, where she educates others to be an active participant in their own health and healing.