When I lived in the Midwestern part of the U.S. I learned about a true winter. The winter’s were quite brutal and for the most part access to restaurants were limited. I mean, who wants to brave the roads during those winter storms. Even driving 5 miles down the road could be treacherous at times.
Necessity is always a breeding ground for innovation. Out of boredom, some people need a wardrobe variety. You know the type, a new outfit for everyday. You will never see them wear the same thing twice. It is their way of expressing themselves. For me, I like to keep a varied diet. Constantly changing it up. I will eat left overs, but for the most part I try to keep things moving along with a fresh, clean slate.
During those longs winters, I had to learn how to cook a lot of things that I have never cooked before. You laugh at the statement “had to,” but for me, I did. My other choice was to be sad and mull around thinking about not being able to leave because a 5 foot snowdrift was blocking my garage door in white out conditions. Nope, I chose to accentuate the positive and keep myself busy in the kitchen in between any number of the renovation projects that we had taken on. I think of that period of time now and how much it changed me as an individual. I learned so much during those few years about self sufficiency and as always, there were growing pains.
The other night, I made this filling soup, perfumed with deep earthy tones and it reminded me of the winter’s that we moved away from. The perfect ending note to a winter day.
Chicken Mulligatawny Soup
6 0z. Lentils
4 cups stock
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2 cup potato, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger
1 1/4 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne
1 chicken breast, fully cooked and shredded
2 cups cooked rice (preferably Basmati or Jasmine)
About 3 TBSP lemon juice
Wash and pick through lentils. In a large pot, combine lentils, stock and tumeric. Simmer for 30 minutes with pot covered, leaving lid slightly ajar. After 30 minutes has passed, add potatoes. Simmer for another 30 minutes with pot covered, leaving lid slightly ajar. In a food processor, puree the soup. I did it in three batches. Return to pot. Add garlic, ginger salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, cayenne and lemon juice. Add chicken. Pour into bowls and top with rice. Enjoy!