Sunday 8 December 2013

You can only imagine that a tropical girl like me might find it hard to like winter. Well, for the majority of the time, I can just about handle it. I mean, we did make a choice to come to one of the colder places in Canada... so to say.

But when the temperature dips to -42 with windchill... well, then I get a bit grumpy and miserable. I love the joke that we find it warm when the temperature rises to -15... what can I say, I might even be caught in a tee shirt (ha, not likely). The one thing you will find me doing, though, is cooking a lot of comfort food.

Comfort food means different things to different people. For my husband, his comfort food is a simple root vegetable stew. I, on the other hand, turn to my spices when I am in need of comfort. So of course, when the Turkey Farmers of Canada asked me to come up with a couple of recipes for their series on 'Comfort Food Makeovers'... well, I knew that I had to come up with something that embraced my culture, as well as something that is easy to whip up and comforting to everybody.

So of course, I turned to a classic Indian-turned-Western soup, the mulligatawny. Mulligatawny soup has an interesting history, having first originated in British India. The origin, and recipe of mulligatawny soup is hotly contested. Some people claim that the recipe is based on the hot South Indian broth, rasam, while others say that it is a predominantly Muslim dish.

Even the recipe has its share of controversy. For example, one of the versions I make is a vegetarian one, based on the rasam, and I like to keep it simple with just lentils and stock. The only ingredients that people seem to agree on are lentils and Madras curry powder. Everything else is up for debate, including the use of coconut milk.

I decided to go all out, and I created this recipe as a nod to the traditional mulligatawny soup, but with a few of my own flourishes. I loved using turkey in this recipe. Not only is turkey healthier, but this is an unusual way of using different cuts of turkey. In this recipe, I have used turkey thighs, as I like that they stay moist when grilled. I have also grilled the thighs separately, as I love the smoky, chargrilled flavour of the meat. But you could always use turkey breast, and poach it in turkey stock before shredding and adding to the soup. The base of the soup is super simple, and the flavour is exotic, yet comforting, with its creamy texture, fragrant spices and light coconutty flavour.

Either way, for me, this is comfort food, redefined.

You can check out the recipe and print it here.

And when you're there, why not check out some of the other wonderful comfort food makeover recipes that my fellow bloggers have come up with? 

I was offered a stipend to create these recipes. The recipes are original and were developed, tested, written and photographed by me, in keeping with the theme of this site and my personal cooking and eating philosophies. But then you know that already, right? :)


  1. Sounds like a lovely cold weather comfort soup! Printed and waiting to try this recipe...thank you

    1. Perfect Janice. I also have a vegetarian version on the site that's a bit lighter :)

  2. Well, I love it - sounds like a very fine mulligatawny to me. I've read a number of explanations of the origin of mulligatawny, but they all seem to be different. I've eaten a lot of different versions over the years in restaurants and pubs and it turns into a sort of mulligatawny roulette - you never know what you're going to get. This is certainly my idea of comfort food, although so is root veg stew. I do add a lot of spices to the stew, though.

  3. That looks like the perfect cold-weather food to me. I'm drooling just a bit right now, but of course that's kinda normal for me. ;-)

  4. What a beautiful soup! Of course, you timed this perfectly with all the holiday turkey that will be coming into our household! I am a great fan of dark meat also, and I love the idea that you had to grill the meat first ... brilliant!
    I sure hope your cold snap breaks soon! I can handle temps in the teens, but when it goes below zero for an extended period of time, I get grumpy too! Stay warm and cozy!

  5. The recipe link ends with Error 404. Is it posted elsewhere?


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