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Mulligatawny and Irish Soda Bread. 

I prepared this soup a few years ago for St. Patrick’s Day, and it has become a family favorite. Paired with traditional Irish soda bread, it may become one of your favorites as well.

Mulligatawny Soup

The origin of this dish begins in India, with the addition of curry as an ingredient. The word translates to “pepper water.” The recipe for mulligatawny has varied greatly over the years. As the method migrated through the British Isles, meat was added.

• 1 tablespoon olive oil

• 1 pound boneless/skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

• 2 cups finely chopped carrots

• 1 cup chopped green bell pepper

• 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced

• 1/2 cup finely chopped onion

• 3 cloves garlic, minced

• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

• 1 teaspoon curry powder

• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

• 3 cups chicken stock

• 1 cup milk

• 1 cup tomato, chopped and seeded

• 1 medium apple, peeled and chopped

• 1/4 cup uncooked rice

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Heat oil in a 3- to 4-quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Add chicken, carrots, bell pepper, celery, onion and garlic; cook and stir 5 minutes.

Sprinkle with flour, curry powder, and nutmeg; cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes.

Add stock, milk, tomato, apple, rice, salt and black pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook for 20 minutes or until rice is tender.

From “Irish Favorites” (pilcookbooks.com)

Irish Soda Bread

This is a genuinely classic Irish (white) Soda Bread, no wheat flour here. This bread is almost cake-like in texture. It’s perfect for serving with a cup of tea or a bowl of soup.

You can either bake it on a rimless baking sheet or in a cast-iron skillet for a very rustic bread.

• 3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

• 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar

• 1 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1 teaspoon baking soda

• 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. Stir in enough buttermilk to make a stiff dough.

Lightly flour a rimless baking sheet and turn out the dough onto it, and shape it into a large round. Slash the surface with a sharp knife to make an “X” about an inch deep across the entire surface. Or you can place the dough into a greased cast-iron skillet and, using the back of the spoon or spatula, smooth the dough. Follow instructions for marking with an “X.”

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until golden and crusty. A tester should only have a few crumbs clinging to it, and the bread should sound hollow when the bottom is tapped. (If it doesn’t, remove it from the baking sheet, turn it upside down directly on the oven rack and bake for 5 to 10 minutes more.)

Remove from the oven and wrap it in a clean tea towel and leave it covered to cool on a wire rack.

From “Real Irish Food” by David Bowers

Laura Tolbert, also known as Fleur de Lolly, has been sharing recipes, table decor ideas and advice for fellow foodies and novices on her blog, fleurdelolly.blogspot.com, for more than eight years. She won the Duke’s Mayonnaise 100th Anniversary nationwide recipe contest for her Alabama White BBQ Sauce. You can contact her at facebook.com/fleurde.lolly.5, on Instagram, and at fleurdelolly@yahoo.com.

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