Green Mulligatawny Soup

Makes 8 first-course or 4 main-course servings.

• 1/4 cup vegetable oil
• 3 cups chopped onions (about 1 pound)
• 5 garlic cloves, chopped
• 1 1/2 tablespoons garam masala
• 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
• 1 teaspoon turmeric
• 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 2 bay leaves
• 2 cups dried red lentils
• 8 cups vegetable stock
• 1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
• 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 2 cups cooked basmati rice
• Lemon wedges

To make the soup:
Heat vegetable oil in a heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until golden brown, stirring frequently about 15 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 2 minutes.

Add garam masala and next 4 ingredients; stir 1 minute.
Add lentils; stir until coated. Add stock.

Bring soup to boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer until lentils are very tender about 20 minutes. Discard bay leaves.

Working in batches, puree soup in a blender until smooth. Return to pot. Stir in coconut milk, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide rice among bowls. Pour soup over. Garnish with lemon wedges; serve.

adapted from:

Black Bean Chipotle Soup

adapted from The Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special (Serves 6)

• 1/4 c. olive oil
• 2 c. chopped onions
• 4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
• 2 c. peeled and diced carrots
• 1 1/2 t. ground cumin
• 1 c. chopped celery
• 1 c. chopped green bell pepper
• 3 c. cooked black beans (or 2 15-oz cans, undrained)
• 1 T. Hot Chipotle Salsa (our favorite is La Preferida you can buy it a Reyna’s in the Strip District, Pgh)
• 2 c. peeled, chopped fresh or undrained canned tomatoes
• 1/2 c. orange juice
• 1/2 c. water

sour cream (optional)
chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
hot sauce (our favorite is Melinda’s Habanero Hot Sauce)

To make the soup:
Warm the oil. Saute the onions and garlic in the oil for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent. Add the carrots and cumin and cook on medium heat, stirring often, for a few minutes. Add the celery and bell pepper, lower the heat, cover and
cook for about 10 minutes. Add the beans, chipotle, tomatoes, orange juice, and water and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes. (If you are using fresh tomatoes, peel and simmer an extra five minutes.) If you’re not using canned beans, add 1/2 cup of bean cooking liquid or additional water. Serve with sour cream and fresh cilantro.

Spiced Chocolate Soup

Serves 4

• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
• Pinch of salt
• 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
• 7 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
• 3 cups milk
• 1 tablespoon Szechuan peppercorns, crushed

To make the caramel whipped cream:
1. Place a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Sprinkle 5 tablespoons of sugar into the pan, a little at a time; adding more as the sugar melts. When the sugar has melted and turned a deep golden brown, carefully add the butter, salt, and 1 cup of the heavy cream. Increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve. Remove from heat and let cool. Transfer to a bowl, refrigerate, covered, at least 6 hours or preferably overnight.

2. Transfer the chilled cream mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk until medium peaks form. Remove bowl from mixer, and refrigerate.

To make the soup:
1. Place chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Bring the milk and the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the crushed peppercorns, and remove from heat. Cover, and let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes to infuse.

2. Strain the milk mixture through a fine sieve into a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Pour over the chocolate, and stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Strain
through a fine sieve into a medium bowl.

To serve:
Ladle the soup into 4 warm bowls. Serve topped with a dollop of the caramel whipped cream.

Fire Soup with Cucumber Raita

South Indian, Makes 4 servings
Preparation Time: 30 Minutes

• 3 cups of peeled, diced tomatoes
• 1 onion, chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, crushed
• 4 green chilies, chopped
• 1 tbsp jaggery**
• 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
• 10 fresh curry leaves** (this is absolutely necessary and worth the trip to get the leaves)
• 1 red chili, broken into two
• 1 tsp coriander seeds – roasted & powdered
• 1 tsp cumin seeds – roasted & powdered
• 2 tsp peppercorns – roasted & powdered
• 1⁄2 tbsps oil
• 4 cups of vegetable stock

How to make the soup:
1. Boil the tomatoes and jaggery in 4 cups of water.
2. Heat the oil.
3. Splutter the mustard seeds.
5. Add the curry leaves, red chili, asafoetida powder, and onion and fry for a minute.
6. Add the ground spices, green chilies and garlic and toss in the pan for another minute.
6. Pour it over the tomatoes and simmer for 20 minutes.
7. Serve hot.

To make the raita:
1. peel, seed, and slice 1 cucumber into thin small triangle pieces.
2. Empty a 16-ounce container of yogurt into a serving bowl, add 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/8 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of roasted ground cumin seed.
3. Stir and chill. serve as a side with the Fire Soup.

**the noted ingredients are essential to this soup and are most easily found in an ethnic Indian grocer. If you are in Pittsburgh, there is a very helpful store on Craig Street beside Luca Restaurant. Kohli’s Indian Imports – 319 S Craig St, Pittsburgh, 15213 – (412) 621-1800

adapted from:

Potato Cheese