Soup’s on the menu this winter

The Christmas turkey had scarcely been served when my son asked, “Shall I start taking the carcass apart for soup?”

In our house soup is an important winter meal. That means that the turkey carcass, ham bone, or simply a big bag of carrots can be the inspiration for a nourishing, warming bowl of soup to be served as a starter or a main course depending on how substantial the ingredients are. The varieties are endless – to be sure there is a flavour to suit every personality. Here are some favourites recently concocted to fight the winter blahs.

Mulligatawny Soup

A splendid way of making the most from a turkey or chicken carcass, this soup originally from the Tamil region of southern India makes a flavourful main course.

2 onions, peeled and diced

1 apple, peeled, quartered and diced

1 carrot, peeled and diced

2 tbsp (30 mL) butter

3 tbsp (45 mL) all-purpose flour

1 tbsp (15 mL) each, molasses, curry powder and lemon juice

6 cups (1.5 L) turkey or chicken stock

1/4 cup (60 mL) long-grain rice

2 cups (500 mL) cooked turkey or chicken, chopped

1 tsp (5 mL) salt (more if necessary)

1/2 tsp (2 mL) fresh black pepper

1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh parsley

1 cup (250 mL) plain yogurt or 10 % cream

Garnish: slices of lemon

In a Dutch oven or large saucepan heat butter over medium heat. Stir in diced onions, apple and carrot. Cook and cover, stirring occasionally until vegetables are very tender, 10-15 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and stir in to combine. Stir in molasses, curry and lemon juice, combine well. Gradually whisk in stock; cook, stirring frequently to prevent lumping, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in rice. Cook covered about 15 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir in cooked turkey or chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Taste. Correct seasoning if necessary. Stir in parsley. Ladle into four to six serving bowls and serve with a generous spoonful of yogurt and a slice of lemon.

Carrot and Ginger Soup

The magic words “On Sale” caught my eye, followed by “Product of Canada” and the ten pound bag of bright, orange carrots were hefted into my shopping cart with enthusiasm. A cauldron of carotene rich carrot soup would soon be mine!

This is the simplest soup to make. It is loved by young and old. It’s a winner with little effort and a great payoff for lunches and a starter at dinner.

1 bag (2 lbs/1 kg) carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped

2 leeks, cleaned and sliced

1 onion, peeled and chopped

1 celery stalk with leaves, chopped

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped fresh ginger-root, peeled and diced

6 cups (1.5 L) chicken stock, or mixture water and chicken or vegetable stock

1 can (385 mL) evaporated milk (2 %)

1 tbsp (15 mL) curry powder

1 tsp (5 mL) salt

1/2 tsp (2 mL) fresh black pepper

Garnish: 1/4 cup (60 mL) fresh chopped parsley

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat, combine carrots, leeks, onion, celery, bay leaf, ginger and chicken stock. Cover and bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer about 30 – 40 minutes or until vegetables are very tender. Discard bay leaf. Spoon mixture including stock into food processor or blender together with evaporated milk, curry powder, salt and pepper. Puree until smooth. Taste. Add more salt and pepper if necessary. Ladle into 4 – 6 bowls, garnish with a sprinkle of parsley. Makes 4 – 6 servings.


Jan Main is an author, cooking instructor and caterer  ~


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