Mulligatawny Soup with Chicken, Pears, and Coconut

mulligatawny-soupThis autumn inspired version of Mulligatawny soup is sure to delight. Colorful pears, tender chicken, sweet potatoes, and rich coconut milk star in this adaptation of a classic English soup with Indian origins. The recipe comes together in about 30 minutes for an easy weeknight dinner, and the leftovers taste even better. Top the soup with crunchy toasted coconut and bright, fresh cilantro leaves.

2 tablespoon butter, divided
1 pound chicken breast, cut into ½ inch pieces
salt and pepper
1 medium yellow onion, medium dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 ½ teaspoon Madras curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
4 cups chicken broth
1 pound sweet potatoes, medium dice
2 firm USA Pears, such as Concorde or Comice, medium dice
1 (13.5 oz.) can coconut milk
¾ cup unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted
1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves

In a large soup pot over medium heat melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the diced chicken and season generously with salt and pepper. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes or until just cooked through. Transfer chicken to a small bowl. Add the remaining butter to the same pan and saute the onion until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and all three spices and saute for one minute more. Next, add the chicken broth to deglaze the pan, stirring to pick up any browned bits. Add the diced sweet potatoes to the liquid, cover, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, uncover and reduce to a simmer, cooking for 6 – 8 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender. Add the diced pears and continue to simmer for 5 minutes more. Stir in the coconut milk and season the soup to taste with more salt and pepper if necessary. Divide the soup between bowls and garnish each with the toasted coconut and cilantro.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 – 6 servings

Chilled Lime-Scented Pear Soup

I unearthed an old cookbook from my shelves while doing some recent spring cleaning, and among the dated photos and unoriginal cheese-nut-pear salads, I found an interesting recipe that I think will be just perfect for the warmer months to come. (Pop quiz: Can you guess when this was published? I was off by two decades—the fussy food styling threw me.) This chilled soup blends pears with spices and lime juice for a refreshing summer starter.

Chilled Lime-Scented Pear Soup

The delicate essence of pears, accented by a whisper of fresh lime juice, is unmistakable in this silky smooth soup. For a refreshing hot-weather lunch, serve the soup in chilled bowls accompanied by a mixed green salad and bread sticks.


1 cup dry white wine

1 cup dry vermouth

1 cup apple-pear juice

5 small ripe pears (preferably Taylor’s Gold or Anjou), peeled, cored and coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon ground green peppercorns

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Finely minced zest from 1 lime, plus additional zest, for garnish

Pinch of salt

1/4 cup fresh lime juice


In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, place the wine, vermouth, apple-pear juice, pears, spices and lime zest. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to medium and cook 10 minutes, or until the pears are tender. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

Using a blender, puree the mixture in batches until smooth. Add the salt and lime juice and mix well. Transfer to a nonreactive container and cover tightly. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Serve in chilled bowls, garnished with lime zest.

yield: Serves 4 to 6