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003This soup is an easy after-work-type of soup that can be on the table in less than 30 minutes.  This is a simple, incredibly tasty, slightly spicy soup, with sweet and savory elements that compliment each other perfectly…soup, much like life, is all about balance.  When you read the recipe, I know you’re going to wonder what I’ve been smoking when you see the ingredients.  Bananas, apples, onions, and celery just don’t go together.  Actually, surprisingly, they do!  I thought the same thing until I remembered that when I make a curry, I usually have bananas and apples to add to the mix.  I just use them as a garnish, but why not IN the soup?  The original recipe came from a 2001 issue of Gourmet Magazine and it’s a good recipe to have on hand for a cold January night.

I’ve adapted the recipe over the years, as I have a tendency to do.  012 - CopyI’ve added a kaffir lime leaf.  I love the nuanced, citrusy-spicy flavor it adds to the soup.  You can purchase them at Asian/Indian markets.  I toss them in the freezer.  It is necessary to remove that center rib (it’s very tough), then I julienned the leaf.  This is a single leaf in the picture; a kaffir leaf is actually 2 leaves joined together.

002That isn’t cilantro or parsley in the picture.  That’s a recent discovery, “Chinese celery”.  Think celery with a huge amount of leaves and very fine, thin ribs. This celery is definitely all about the leaves. I buy it in the Asian market, wash the leaves and spin them dry, pop them in a plastic bag with a piece of paper towelling and use the leaves in salads. They have a sweeter, more delicate and much milder flavor than western celery. The leaves dry well, too. Without further ado…

One-of-Each Soup

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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  • 1 large boiling potato (1/2 lb), peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 celery heart (inner pale stalks with leaves), chopped (1/2 cup)*
  • 1 large apple (preferably Granny Smith), peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 firm-ripe banana, coarsely chopped
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf, center rib removed and the remainder julienned
  • 1 pint chicken broth (I use more, about 3-4 cups)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 well-rounded teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt (optional; taste before adding at the end)

Combine for a garnish:

  • 1 scallion finely chopped (include some of the green part)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh mint

Simmer vegetables and fruits with the kaffir lime leaf, in broth in a 3-quart heavy saucepan, covered, until very tender, about 12 minutes. Stir in cream and curry powder; heat just until hot (do not boil).

Purée soup, in the pot, with an immersion blender, until smooth.  Or purée soup in a blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). Thin soup with additional broth, if needed.  Taste and correct seasoning.  Serve hot, sprinkled with a combination of the chopped scallion, cilantro and mint.

Cooks’ note: · Soup can be made 2 days ahead and chilled, covered.

*I used Chinese celery, which is mostly leaves with very fine celery ribs.  You can find it in a large Asian market.  The leaves are excellent in salads, as well.

This was adapted from a 2001 issue of Gourmet Magazine.

That’s about all there is to it.  Again, this is another instance where we can toss in some of that leftover chicken from out supermarket roasted chicken for Sunday dinner.  I love leftovers! 004