How many tags can I attach to one post, a recipe for soup? A lot.

A rather elaborate recipe for people with a bit too much fucking time on their hands … which pretty much sums up the British Empire. Cheap tea and slavery.

Peeling and grating ginger … I mean, come on, who the hell wants to do that? Oh yeah, remember your ruler to measure 1cm of a cinnamon stick. Fucking hell. Now where is that coriander I always buy at Christmas when I go to Bury Market and Cheetham Hill Road which I only do once a year when there are no buses and ice on the pavement?

Merry Christmas!

Something a bit spicy is always welcome to cut through all that rich booze and food during the Christmas festivities and making a mulligatawny soup would be ideal. No two mulligatawny recipes are the same, however – as the recipe would have been brought over from colonial India and it all depended on whatever leftovers you had to hand. This soup is not an excuse to just bung all your Christmas Day roast leftovers in a pot with a bit of curry powder, cross your fingers and hope for the best …

For the soup:

1 tbsp ghee or butter
1 onion, peeled, halved and finely chopped
a small piece of root ginger, peeled and grated (save peelings for stock)
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 medium chilli, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp black or yellow mustard seeds
1cm of a cinnamon stick
a handful of curry leaves
a pinch of saffron strands
the black seeds from 10 cardamom pods
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp tomato purée
2-3l stock from the carcass
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into rough cm dice
60g yellow lentils (dhal)
150g cooked chickpeas (optional)
1 parsnip, peeled and cut into rough cm dice
1 large potato, peeled and cut into rough cm cubes
4 tbsp coconut milk
the meat from the carcass and legs of your turkey or goose
2-3 tbsp chopped coriander

For the stock:

the carcass from the turkey or goose, preferably with some meat on
1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 leek, roughly chopped and washed
8 cloves of garlic, halved
the peelings from the root ginger
20 black peppercorns
2l chicken stock

First, make the stock: put all of the ingredients in a saucepan, add the chicken stock and top up, just covering the bones with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for an hour, skimming every so often; then strain through a sieve and when the bones are cool enough to handle, remove all the meat you can and put to one side and discard the bones and vegetables.

To make the soup, melt the ghee in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and gently cook the onion, garlic, ginger and all of the curry spices for about 5 minutes without colouring and stirring every so often. Stir in the flour and tomato purée then gradually whisk in the stock. Bring to the boil then add the carrot and lentils, season and simmer for about 30-40 minutes until the lentils are beginning to get soft. Add the chickpeas (if using), parsnip and potato and continue simmering until the potato and parsnip are cooked. Add the coconut milk, meat and coriander, simmer for a couple of minutes and re-season.

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