Recipe by CarolineOYum
An easy, tasty and highly nutritious vegetarian version of this historic English soup based on Indian cuisine. Loved by vegans. This recipe combines the making of a good vegetable stock (onions, celery, carrots, leeks, garlic, herbs, without straining out all the goodness) with an aromatic Indian dhal, made with red and brown lentils. Lentils contribute a high quality protein and lovely thickness, while the twist of adding spinach (palak) gives this soup texture and added nourishment. Garam masala is simply an Indian spice blend - I prefer to use "medium" supermarket versions, which add all the flavours and not too much heat. But choose "hot" if you enjoy a spicier soup. You'll need a large pot, a chopping board and sharp knife, a wooden spoon, a grater and maybe a citrus squeezer (though you can squeeze the lemon juice by hand if you watch for the pips) and a hand blender. This is an excellent one-pot meal. You'll want to make a large quantity and keep some for tomorrow.
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, or other vegetable oil such as sunflower
- 3 tablespoons garam masala, the most important ingredient
- 1 large onion, peeled and finely diced
- 2 celery ribs, finely chopped, including leaves
- 1 large carrot, peeled and finely diced
- 1 leek, finely sliced (optional)
- 8 garlic cloves, minced, crushed or finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 2 teaspoons white pepper
- 2 tablespoons coriander leaves (fresh cilantro)
- 2 cups split red lentils, about 400g, dried
- 1⁄4 cup brown lentils, about 50g, dried
- 3 liters boiling water, more if necessary
- 1⁄2 lemon
- 200 g spinach (or Swiss chard)
Directions See How It's Made
- Heat the oil and garam masala in a large pot over medium-high heat and add the onion, stirring often with a wooden spoon.
- About 2 minutes later add the celery, carrot and leek. Keep stirring while the vegetables soften.
- About 8 minutes later add the garlic, turmeric and white pepper.
- A couple of minutes later (by now your kitchen will smell delicious) add the coriander, red lentils, brown lentils and boiling water. Salt lightly.
- At the same time squeeze in the juice of half a lemon, and zest some lemon rind into the pot with a grater.
- Give it a good mix and cover pot with lid. Allow to simmer, adjusting heat downwards and stirring occasionally.
- After about 30 minutes, roughly blend the Mulligatawny in the pot with a hand blender. The split red lentils will already be soft and creamy, so just blend until most of the brown lentils are incorporated. Leave a bit of texture in the dhal.
- Stir, check the consistency and taste, and add more hot water and salt if you need to.
- Add the chopped spinach to the pot, give it a good stir, replace the lid and turn heat to low. Let the spinach wilt in the dhal for the next 10 minutes or so.
- Enjoy your Mulligatawny Palak!