Thursday, 23 September 2010

Our favourite homemade soup: Vegetable mulligatawny

Making soup is one of the best things about the onset of autumn.  When I feel that first nip in the air my soup recipes are dusted off and the big soup pans come out of the cupboard.  Homemade soup is also an easy way of getting children to eat vegetables without them realising it. Genius!  It was years before my girls realised this soup was made with courgettes, because they hate courgettes.

The original recipe is in my dog-eared copy of Delia Smith's Complete Cookery Course but I've tweaked it slightly over the many years I've been making it. It's still one of my favourites and - more crucially - my daughters love it.   And, it's dead easy to make.

3 large onions
4oz butter
3 or 4 large unpeeled courgettes (or a marrow)
one tin of chopped tomatoes
1 large or 2 medium sized potatoes
3/4 pint vegetable stock
A good splosh of Worcester sauce
1 teaspoon of mild curry powder (or hot if you like it really spicy)
long grain rice (up to the 3fl oz in a jug)
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the chopped onions and cook until they're golden brown.  Cut the courgettes into cubes, and dice the potato.  Add these to the onions along with the tomatoes and stir well. Season well and let the vegetables cook (with the pan lid on) over a low heat until soft - this will take about 30 minutes, but check and give it a few more minutes if necessary. 
Meanwhile, cook the rice in another saucepan - I'm not going to insult you by telling you how to cook rice, but my tip for perfect rice is to measure the rice out and then add 3 times the same amount of water, add salt, give a good stir, cover with the lid and LEAVE to simmer gently.  Don't stir it again - just test a few grains when you think it might be cooked, then drain and rinse with boiling water.

Next, when the vegetables are soft put them into a blender and puree. I usually pour  each pureed batch into a big bowl after each until it's all done then pour back into the main pan.  Then add the cooked rice to the pureed soup, along with the stock, Worcester sauce and curry powder. The soup should have quite a strong flavour so season to taste and add more curry powder if you like it really spicy.

Reheat for another 10 minutes before serving.  Delicious with freshly baked crusty bread.  Enjoy!