I know, that may seem like an odd title for a recipe post, but for some reason, a lot of my cooking memories go back to my dad. (which is really unfair since my mom did the bulk of all the cooking for us growing up.) Maybe because every time he did cook, it was such an event and he turned up the music really loud and he used every dish in the house. (which my mom always had to clean up after). And then he would come up with funny little sayings that soon became household quotes like,
“Mmm, butter. The other white meat.”
My dad also read a lot of Shel Silverstein to us when we were little. (bear with me, this story is going to come together eventually – I think) One of my favorites was-
Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too
Went for a ride in a flying shoe.
“It’s time we flew!”
Said Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.
Ickle was captain, and Pickle was crew
And Tickle served coffee and mulligan stew
And higher they flew,
Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.
That’s part of it, anyways. The important thing to note is the fact that ‘Tickle served coffee and mulligan stew’. I always wondered what mulligan stew was, and then one day, my dad announced that he was going to make it. At least that’s what I thought he said he was making, and for many years I thought one of our family’s favorite soups was the famed mulligan stew of the flying shoe. Turns out, traditionally, mulligan stew is a hobo dish comprised of whatever ingredients can be found on hand and cooked over a fire in an old coffee can. What my dad really made that day was Mulligatawny, an Anglo-Indian curry flavored soup, but I still can’t separate the soup from the poem. So there you are.
Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s make some soup! It’s cold out there!
Here’s what you need-
You have your basics like Onion, Celery, and Carrots. That iffy looking pile in the front is shredded chicken, and the pitcher is homemade chicken broth (store bought works fine). We also have cream, rice, curry powder and a little surprise ingredient- an apple. Oh and of course butter- the other white meat.
While that is melting, roughly chop up your veggies, and toss them in.
BTW, did you know the French call this combo of veggies a mirepoix? I have also heard it called the holy trinity of French cooking. I don’t know what you call it when you add an apple. Anyways…
Let your veggies soften at medium heat while you peel and dice your apple.
Once your veggies are soft, toss in the diced apple and about a tablespoon of curry powder.
Stir all that up and then pour in enough broth to generously cover the veggies and apple.
Look, the apples float! Turn up your heat and get things boiling. Then to thicken it all up, you need to add either two cups of precooked rice (a great way to use up leftover rice) or one cup of raw.
Then we add our seasonings. A good tablespoon of salt, lots of pepper and a bit of dried thyme if you have it.
I usually let the rice cook all the way before I add the chicken, so it doesn’t get overcooked. Once the rice is cooked, you may need to add more broth, depending on how thick you like your soup. Then just add your chicken and a hefty splash of cream. Coconut milk is also very nice in this dish, but I didn’t have any on hand.
Then just stir it up, adjusting your seasonings as you go!
Hope you enjoy, whether flying in a shoe or sitting at home. And stay warm!