A Christmas mulligatawny

Serves 6-8

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. You won't find any two mulligatawny recipes 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. Note: 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

1tbsp 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
1tsp cumin seeds
2tsp cumin powder
1tsp fenugreek seeds
1tsp turmeric
1tsp 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
1tbsp flour
tbsp tomato purée
2-3ltrs 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
4tbsp coconut milk
The meat from the carcass and legs of your turkey or goose
2-3tbsp 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
2ltrs 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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