‘Ello from England, friends! After a long, bumpy flight, I don’t think I was ever happier to stand on solid ground on this side of the Atlantic. Now, where’s my tea?
About this time of the year, I usually find myself thumbing through my copy of Jamie Oliver’s Great Britain, trying to get reacquainted with all things British. A few weeks ago, I found myself bookmarking a recipe called “Mighty Mulligatawny.” It was a beautiful chunky stew, but I what attracted me most to the recipe was its name. I have yet to figure out how to pronounce “mulligatawny,” or spell it properly for that matter. What I do know is that mulligatawny is an English soup that is derived from Indian cuisine. One look at the recipe’s ingredients, and you can probably gather where the origins of this dish comes from.
The traditional recipe usually includes some sort of meat (chicken or lamb), but I wanted to make a vegan version. I needed to veg up before my three weeks of chocolate, biscuits and pasties, after all. Jamie suggests topping the soup with yogurt, but I opted for coconut milk instead, giving the soup more of a sweeter finish. This recipe is definitely a keeper!
MASTER MY MISTAKES / COOKING NOTES
- Brothy or Chunky Soup? When it comes to stews, I like mine extra chunky, which is why I like cooking the butternut squash (or other root vegetables) in the broth. That way, the vegetables absorb some of the liquid. If you prefer soups that are brothier, cook the squash separately, and add rice to the soup only when you are ready to serve.
- Using Pre-cooked Microwaved Rice: There is no shame in using pre-cooked rice for this recipe! I shot this recipe right before I left for England, and I didn’t want to leave a whole pot of cooked rice behind. I used about two bags of Tasty Bite Basmati Rice for this recipe, but any cooked rice you have on hand works.
- Peeling Butternut Squash: I used to peel butternut squash with a knife, which was frustrating and turned me off from cooking with it for a long time. That was until I discovered how much easier it is to use a vegetable peeler to peel the squash!
- Tomato Paste: In general, I like using double-concentrated tomato paste that comes in a tube rather than the paste that comes in a can. I can never use up leftover canned tomato paste before it goes bad. Tomato paste that comes in a tube can usually be stored longer in your refrigerator.
Disclosure: The links to Jamie Oliver’s Great Britain and Tasty Bite Basmati Rice are affiliate links. The cookbook is a great reference for modern British cooking. You can usually find Tasty Bite rice at your local whole foods supermarket, but I’ve linked it here for your convenience. Thanks for supporting my humble kitchen!