Tikka Masala Soup

Tikka Masala Soup 1

I’m probably the only food blogger on the planet who hasn’t pumped out post after post about Christmas entertaining. Peppermint or egg-nog flavored [insert dish here]. How to decorate with herbs/fruit/milk bottles/origami. The well-worn “Christmas gifts for cooks” list (even Kimball’s list was … odd. A $30 timer? Seriously?). Cookie swaps everywhere. Ho ho ho hum.

Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t gone completely over to the Grinch side. I like holiday festivities — Christmas lights, poinsettias, Christmas carols, “A Christmas Carol” (the George C. Scott version, thank you very much) — it’s all a very cheery backdrop to an otherwise dreary December. I’m just not, you know, feelin’ it this year. As some of you know, my mom passed a couple of months ago, so it will be the first Christmas without my parents, my dad having passed in 2009. It feels sort of … empty. Incomplete.

I’m also in deep denial that I’ll be hosting Christmas dinner. I’m panicking that I’m not panicking over the menu. Panicking, that is, between those moments of calm when I wonder, isn’t there something I’m forgetting? But we still have, what, 6 days?

Plenty of time!


Tikka Masala Soup 2

In the meantime, I’ll do what addicts do and turn to my drug of choice, which happens to be soup. Tikka Masala soup is inspired by one of my favorite chicken dishes, the luscious, Indian-spice-scented Chicken Tikka Masala, only I usually prepare the soup with spiced, sauteed shrimp instead of chicken. Warm and fragrant, this soup is comfort food and then some. Calm. Peaceful bliss. Mmmmm, a delicious hug in a bowl.

Umm, yeah, what day is it again?

Tikka Masala Soup 3

The 19th?!  [Eeek!  Panic!  Freak Out!]

Tikka Masala Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 35 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

3 tablespoons canola or sunflower oil, divided
1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
a few grinds of black pepper

1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups vegetable broth
28 ounces chopped or crushed tomatoes (I use the 26 ounce box of Pomi tomatoes)
3/4 cup instant brown rice
1/3 cup coconut milk (5 ounce can, if you can find it)
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped, for garnish
additional salt and pepper, to taste

1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 4 or 5 qt. stock pot or dutch oven over medium. Season shrimp with the first five spices in the ingredients. Add to the pot when the oil shimmers in a single layer. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the first side is pink. Flip each shrimp and continue cooking until opaque (another 2 to 3 minutes). Remove to a plate and set aside.

2. Add the remaining oil to the pot (heat still on medium). Add the onions and cook until soft and golden, scraping up any fond left behind by the shrimp. Add the garlic and ginger. Cook until fragrant (just a minute or two).

3. Sprinkle in the curry powder, garam masala, smoked paprika, salt and flour, stirring to coat the vegetables until a paste begins to form. Add one cup of vegetable broth and stir until the mixture has smoothed out. Add the remaining cup of broth and the tomatoes. Turn heat to high, bring to a boil, then return heat to medium how. Add the rice. Allow the soup to simmer for 15 minutes.

4. Turn heat to low and add the coconut milk and reserved shrimp. Taste, and adjust for salt and pepper. Stir in the cilantro and ladle into serving bowls.

Note: this soup will taste great with any grain you like in place of instant brown rice. I often use farro; quinoa is fantastic. Just make sure you extend the simmer time to fully cook the grains according to the package directions.

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  1. Hmm, well, if this is the sort of deliciousness that you can pop out of your UNinspired funk, I have no fear you’ll do a wonderful job hosting Christmas! Just let everyone have a part, and remember to take it at whatever speed you need. Merry holidays!

  2. The losses are with us always, they become part of the fabric of ourselves, woven in with the love and joy we carry, too. The hole gets a little smaller each year and doesn’t hurt quite so badly.

    The tikka masala soup sounds perfect–why, look, there’s shrimp in my freezer–something flavorful, toasty and very festive. Your Christmas dinner will be fabulous.

  3. I hear you – I know things haven’t felt quite right in our world over the past month.

    I have to believe that whatever you come up with will be amazing. Even if you wait five more days to figure it out :-) You could feed me a pot of that soup & I would be content for a week.

  4. Wow, indeed one of my favourite meals. I want to try this one for sure. Thank you.

  5. I agree with Darlynne, “part of the fabric of our lives”. Lost my parents over a decade ago and just divorced in June after 5 years of lawyers and courts, this holiday season hit hard. I’m just moving slowly through, taking it day by day. Next week is going to be devoted to little treats just for me and some new recipes…this will be one of them. Love soups, curries and garam masala. Cheers!

  6. scarlettbelle says:

    i believe that we are forever changed when we lose a parent. we will never again be that person we were, but we are more than able to choose who we will be in our future. take your time, walk one day at a time, and enjoy the journey. i know those steps myself, and the journey has been difficult and rewarding all at the same time. you really are different… so don’t feel bad if you feel that way. it’s all part of your process… part of everyone’s who has lost their parents.

    the soup sounds absolutely yummy, and i cannot wait to try it. thank you for continuing to post such wonderful things! i am cheering for you!!!

  7. SoupAddict says:

    Thanks for all the good wishes and encouragement – very kind to take the time to write such nice notes. :)

  8. yummychunklet says:

    I’m doing my best at keeping the Christmas posts to a minimum. However, your soup looks fantastic!

  9. OH MY GOD. Why has it taken me this long to find your website? I LOVE soup. My boyfriend constantly makes fun of me because soup is literally my favorite thing to eat. Soup is probably the only thing that keeps me sane in the wintertime. This soup looks delicious! I just made Chicken Tikka Masala for the first time on my blog the other week (http://livingonebiteatatime.com/?p=1319) and it was so good! I can’t wait to try this soup version, too.

  10. Oh my, this soup looks absolutely incredible. I love the tikka masala flavors, but never ever thought to put it in soup(which I practically live off in the winter months). I especially love the shrimp in this. I’m very curious to explore more of your soup recipes 😀

  11. I made shrimp cocktail over the weekend, but we never ate it – I think I’ll adapt your recipe – love all the flavor combos! 😀

  12. Made this soup tonight! It was absolutely divine :). I used the light coconut milk instead of regular, and the flavor turned out lovely. Keep the great recipes coming!

  13. Great, great recipe!! Saw this on Foodgawker and finally got around to making it. Didn’t change a thing! Perfect spice level! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Beverly Smith says:

    Hi there from South Africa !! just HAD to find a Tikka Soup recipe because I bought (?!!) fresh ready made from one of our Foodie stores here – and it was soooo divine I just wanted to make iot myself – scoured all my Eastern / Indian recipe books to no avail and so, when you have Google – Google it !! and here I am and THANK YOU – your recipe looks amazing and from the comments of others who have tried it it HAS to be De-Vine !! Thank you

  15. RadOsteo says:

    Made this with a bit of a twist. Used leftover tandoori chicken. Absolutely amazing. It even made the boyfriend seal of approval.
    Thank you!

  16. Christina Wilder says:

    Great recipe! I’ve made it a few times, without the shrimp. I’ve used paneer and also chicken. Once had to substitute cream for the coconut milk. It was sinfully delicious!

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