Mulligatawny Soup

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 tsp cumin seeds, ground

3 cloves, ground

1 Tbsp curry powder

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp cayenne

1/2 tsp spicy smoked paprika

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed, diced (bite-size pieces)

3 stalks celery with leaves, chopped

2 large onions, chopped

3-4 carrots, peeled, chopped

1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced

2 quarts chicken stock

1/2-2/3 cup red lentils (2/3 cup rice may be used)

2 large tart apples, peeled, cored and diced

1 cup Greek yogurt

2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

2/3 cup whipping cream

Salt and pepper

Select from Garnishes:  fresh chopped parsley, toasted unsweetened coconut, toasted sliced almonds

Combine garlic and spices in a small bowl.

Prepare celery, onions, carrots and leek.  Place in another small bowl.

Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium high heat.  Salt and pepper the chicken and in batches saute until lightly browned.  Remove chicken to a plate.

Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the Dutch oven.  Add the celery, onions, carrots and leek as well as the garlic and spice mixture and blend well.  Add one cup of the chicken stock and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender.

Add the chicken to the vegetables in the Dutch oven.  Add the remaining chicken stock and the lentils. Cover and simmer 30 minutes.  Skim off any foam that rises to the surface.

Blend in the yogurt and apples.  Stir and simmer for 10 minutes.

(Remove any grease, if necessary.)

Stir in the lemon juice and blend in the cream.

Taste and adjust seasonings and spices as preferred.