Mulligatawny soup

Please don't be scared away by the strange name that immediately goes to the same vault in my brain as "split pea soup" and "shepherd's pie" for some reason (even though none are anything alike—there's just so much in a name that has held a certain connotation for everyone since childhood). This soup is rich, decadent, and just delightful—you might never want regular old chicken soup ever again. It doesn't beg for crackers or bread or a sandwich or salad on the side—it's perfect as is, and perfect for both lunch and dinner. And although I don't suggest it, it could always be lightened up slightly by cutting the half 'n half with milk and using chicken breast instead of chicken thighs. But or maybe just don't do that. Just trust me. Make it this way, and treat yourself on a chilly day. It will keep you full much longer than a bowl of lighter brothy soup, anyway.

Mulligatawny Soup

Yields 6-8 servings
2 T olive oil
1 T butter
¾ cup finely diced carrot (about 3 carrots)
¾ cup finely diced celery (about 3 stalks)
1½ cups finely diced sweet onion (about 1 small onion)
2 cups finely chopped cauliflower
1 leek, white and light green parts only, rinsed and drained, cut lengthwise and thinly sliced
5 tsp curry powder
5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3-3½ tsp salt (to taste)
Freshly cracked black pepper
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
½ cup jasmine rice
2 tsp Sriracha sauce
2 cups half ‘n half

Heat olive oil and butter in a Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium-low heat. Add carrots, celery, and onion, and saute for about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower and leeks, and cook for a few minutes. Then stir in garlic and curry powder and cook for a couple minutes more. Nestle chicken thighs into the vegetables, and season mixture with salt and pepper. Then pour in stock and water, followed by the rice. Raise temperature to bring mixture to a boil, and then cover and reduce temperature to a simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until chicken is cooked through (use a meat thermometer to be sure). Remove chicken to a plate to shred or chop up into small pieces (I like the veggies and chicken in this soup to all be finely chopped and fairly uniform in size). Add in Sriracha and half ‘n half, and stir to incorporate until heated through. Serve right away, as is.