Although many mulligatawny recipes call for chicken broth, this gift-mix version can be readied with vegetable bouillon granules and will make a savory meal for vegetarians. Recipients need add only a can of tomatoes and a few chopped fresh or frozen vegetables to complete the dish if no meat is on hand or desired.
Layer the soup mix ingredients in a jar or canister made of clear glass, acrylic or plastic, with a capacity of 1 pint. Remember to provide recipe directions along with the mix.
Make Ahead: The soup mix can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 month (and up to 2 months if refrigerated). The soup usually thickens upon refrigeration; thin it with water before reheating. Cover and refrigerate the cooked soup for 3 to 4 days. The cooked soup can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
Yield: Makes enough mix for a generous 2 1/2 quarts soup
- For the soup mix
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules (may substitute vegetable bouillon granules)
- 3 tablespoons chopped dried chives (may substitute dried minced onions)
- 1 tablespoon mild to medium-hot curry powder
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (may substitute ground allspice)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried minced garlic (may substitute garlic powder; do not use garlic salt)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, preferably fresh, coarsely ground, and/or up to 1/4 teaspoon ground hot red pepper
- 1/3 cup finely diced dried apples
- 1/2 cup uncooked white basmati rice (may substitute other long-grain white rice)
- 1/3 cup dried red lentils
- 1/4 cup dried yellow split peas
- 1/4 cup dried green split peas (may substitute dried green lentils)
- 1/3 cup dried sweetened cranberries (may substitute seedless golden raisins or dark raisins)
- 1/2 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped, for garnish (may substitute cashews or almonds)
- For the soup
- 1 pint soup mix
- 10 cups hot water, plus more as needed
- 1 14- to 15-ounce can diced tomatoes (may substitute diced tomatoes with green chili pepper or green bell pepper)
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh or frozen vegetable medley, such as celery, carrots, cauliflower, bell pepper and onion
- 1/2 to 1 cup diced cooked chicken or turkey (optional)
- Freshly ground black pepper
To make the soup mix: Combine the bouillon granules, chives, curry powder, cardamom, thyme, garlic and peppers on a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil.
Use the foil as a funnel to pour the mixture into a 1-pint jar or similar-size canister. Rap the jar on the counter as you work to even out the following layers of ingredients, added in this order: apples, rice, red lentils, split peas and cranberries.
Pack the nuts separately in a small plastic bag and close tightly. Tuck them into the jar, or if the jar is full, tie the bag of nuts around the jar neck. If the jar will be shipped, pack any headroom with crumpled wax paper. Close the jar tightly. Provide a sheet or card with the following recipe directions to go with the jar or use our <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/artsandliving/foodanddining/graphics/MulligatawnySoup.pdf" target="_blank">printable version</a> (PDF).
Mulligatawny Soup: Remove the package of nuts and set aside.
Combine the remaining contents of the container with 10 cups of hot water in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 25 to 35 minutes, until the split peas are barely tender.
Add a--- to 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes and their juice (may substitute diced tomatoes with green chili pepper or green bell pepper); 1 1/2 cups of mixed fresh vegetables or frozen vegetable medley, such as celery, carrots, cauliflower, bell pepper and onion, coarsely chopped; and 1/2 to 1 cup diced cooked chicken or turkey (optional). If the mulligatawny is thick, add enough hot water to thin it slightly. Cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until the vegetables are just tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle portions into individual bowls; pass a small bowl of the reserved nuts at the table to sprinkle on the soup.
The soup mix can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 month (and up to 2 months if refrigerated). The soup usually thickens upon refrigeration; thin it with water before reheating. Cover and refrigerate the cooked soup for 3 to 4 days. The cooked soup can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
From cookbook author Nancy Baggett.
Tested by Adrienne Cook.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.