Butter Chicken Soup

That’s right. Butter. Chicken. Soup. One time when my lady wasn’t feeling well and wanted butter chicken but couldn’t stomach solids, she ordered butter chicken from an Indian restaurant and asked for the sauce only without the chicken and ate it like soup. While it’s an idea that you say to yourself, “Wait, how has no one did this before??” you also think, “The cream component is quite heavy to eat as a soup.”
I thought if I’m making my own version of a butter chicken soup, I’d incorporate more traditional soup-making components like using chicken stock and celery. And instead of the side of rice, I wanted to cook it right in the soup and purée it. It’s like my own childhood favourite of tomato-rice soup with an Indian twist.
This was also incredibly easy to prepare while doing a mountain of Christmas baking today. Two minutes of chopping, five minutes of over the stove stirring and twenty minutes of back burner simmering before a two second purée. And by the way, it’s crazy good with a grilled cheese sandwich 😉

Butter Chicken Soup
Recipe type: Appetizer
For the Spice Mix:
  • 1 Tbsp coriander seed
  • 1 Tbsp cumin seed
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • 1-1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 Tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika
  • ½-1 tsp hot Hungarian paprika (or your favourite red chilli powder), depending on how hot you like it.
  • 1 tsp turmeric
For the Butter Chicken Soup:
  • Reserved Spice Mix
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin/cold pressed oil
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 small can (156 mL/6 oz) tomato paste
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup uncooked rice
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • ½ cup sour cream
For the Spice Mix:
  1. Place all of the ingredients in a spice grinder or blender and grind until a powder is achieved. The occasional partially ground seed is okay. Set aside.
For the Butter Chicken Soup:
  1. In a large pot over medium high heat, add the oil, celery, garlic and ginger. Sauté with vigorous stirring until it is intensely aromatic and just starting to turn golden (about 1-2 minutes). Add half of the Spice Mix and toast in the pot for another minute or so to become fragrant. Add the tomato paste and stir vigorously to combine with the spices and aromatic vegetables, toasting the tomato paste for a few minutes. Add the water and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan of any aromatics stuck to the bottom.
  2. Add the rice, milk, chicken stock and the remaining Spice Mix. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until the rice is very soft. Stir in the sour cream until completely incorporated. Purée with a hand blender or in a regular blender in batches until smooth. Serves 4 as a starter or side to a sandwich.