“I Can Make My Own Soup!”: The Soup Nazi’s Mulligatawny
There’s really no need to explain this one, right? Everyone knows the Soup Nazi, the most famous minor character from the long reign of “Seinfeld”. And, more importantly for this post, we know that the most famous of his incredible soups was his mulligatawny. When Elaine confronted Mr. Nazi with all his recipes in her possession, it’s obvious that his heart broke the most when she revealed she had his mulligatawny recipe.
I kind of liked the Soup Nazi. I like when people follow rules! Sure, he got a little crazy, but I always thought it was understandable. People can be so annoying! I would love to have his tenacious spirit when I’m in a theatre and see people using their phones; I’d grab those phones so fast, throw them towards the exit and scream “NO SHOW FOR YOU.”
Anyway, didn’t you always wonder if the Soup Nazi’s soup was really worth all of that trouble? I mean, Jerry broke up with Ali Wentworth over it, and she’s really fun on Twitter. For chrissake, it made Newman RUN! He RAN! For SOUP! I don’t even mind running but I don’t think I would run for soup. Vegan ice cream, yes. I’d run for that. But soup? Not when I can make it myself. And now you can too!
This was my very first mulligatawny, so I had to do a bit of research. I learned that the soup was created in the 18th century when British employees of the East India Company were stationed in India. Some sources say the entitled Brits demanded a soup course at meals, and their Indian hosts were like, well we have dal, let’s just add broth and some other randoms and appease these crazy English guys. I’m sure it was something like that. Mulligatawny translates to ‘pepper water’, which sounds gross and sad but it’s actually quite delicious. In fact, this is my new favorite soup for winter. As the temperatures drop and we seem to lose more and more sunlight, this soup will save lives. And the great thing about this vegan version is that instead of ‘NO SOUP FOR YOU’, it’s ‘YES SOUP FOR EVERYONE!’ We can work on that catchphrase.
Notes: vegan, gluten-free, delicious
Can substitute a can of coconut milk to replace the cashew cream and about 1/2C of water, but it will taste more coconutty than the below version. Not necessarily a bad thing.
- 1T olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1T fresh ginger root, minced
- 2T vegan butter, 1T coconut oil
- *spice blend (see below)
- 2C diced carrots (from 6 regular carrots)
- 2C diced celery (from 1 heart)
- 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 45-60 oz. water (meaning, refill the tomato can 3-4 times)
- 1C uncooked brown basmati rice
- 1 1/2C uncooked red lentils
- 1C potato, diced (from 3 small red bliss potatoes)
- 2T lemon
- 1T tamari or soy sauce
- 1C green apple (from 1 medium)
- 1/2C cashew cream
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ t of the following: thyme, paprika, turmeric, cumin, coriander, fennel seeds, salt
- ¼ t of the following: cinnamon, cardamom
- 1T curry powder
1. It makes everything easier to mix your Spice Blend up first. Just measure all the spices into a small bowl, stir together, and then when it’s time you can simply dump the contents into your pot.
2. It also makes things easier to chop your veggies before turning on the stove. Dice or mince (as the above list dictates) the onion, garlic, ginger, celery, carrots and potatoes, and then everything moves smoothly.
3. In a large pot, heat your oil over medium heat and add your onion. Saute for 6 minutes until it looks golden and translucent.
4. Add your ginger and garlic. Stir for about 2 minutes.
5. Add the butter and coconut oil, mix through, and add your Spice Blend. Stir everything and cook for another minute or 2.
6. Dump in your carrots, celery, potatoes, rice, and lentils, then cover it with the can of tomatoes. Refill that can from your tap about 3 times. The liquid should just about cover your ingredients. Use another canful of water if needed.
7. Bring everything to a boil, then cover the pot and lower to a simmer. Let cook until the rice and veggies are soft, about 30 minutes. Check on it a few times to stir and to see if you have enough water; depending on your type of rice, it might need more water to cook.
8. When things are cooked, add your lemon and soy sauce, and remove the bay leaves.
9. Get your immersion blender and pulse the soup a few times. You don’t want to puree it; you want some texture. If you don’t have an immersion blender, blend about 1/3 of the soup (1/2 if you want it creamier) in a blender and add it back to the pot. (If you use the blender, cover it with a dish towel, not with the blender lid, because hot contents explode.)
10. Add in the green apple and the cashew cream, and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes. The longer it sits, the better the flavors come together. Taste for salt and pepper.
This was so delicious! I am really looking forward to making it again and experimenting with ingredients. A lot of variations add chicken at the end, so I bet it would be great to instead add precooked tempeh or baked tofu. It’s an insanely thick soup, but like I said, add more water if you want to or if your rice needs it in order to cook. So good! SOUP FOR YOU!