Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Still Plenty of Good Soup Weather Ahead

It might be Spring, and visions of fresh salad are dancing in our heads, but the fact is that here in the Northland, there may be many weeks ahead of chilly, damp weather that only a good bowl of soup can counteract. Here is a recipe for one of my All Time Favorite Soups, adapted for the ancestral diet crowd. I usually increase the amount of turmeric and ginger when conditions are especially cold and rainy (a holdover from my more strictly Ayurvedic days).

The first time I made this was in tandem with a batch of broth from a very inexpensive turkey back. The amount of meat pulled off the bone after an hour of simmering was exactly 16 ounces, enough for 4 very hearty servings.

A note: All of the sieving and sifting is for if you want a velvety soup that is suitable for serving to fancy company. I never bother!

Mulligaturkey (adapted from World Vegetarian  by Madhur Jaffrey)
Makes 4-5 servings

1 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 tsp whole cumin seed
½ tsp whole fennel seed
½ tsp turmeric (or up to 1 tsp to taste)
¼ tsp cayenne
1 Tbsp ground coriander
2-3 Tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
1 small-medium sized onion, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp (or more, to taste) fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
12 fresh curry leaves or 8 fresh basil leaves
5 cups turkey broth
1 medium sized head of cauliflower, broken into large florets
2 medium carrots, medium diced or 1 small sweet potato, medium diced *
2 Tbsp tamarind paste/concentrate, unsweetened (optional)**
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
1 lb. cooked turkey, shredded
1 ¼ tsp salt, or to taste
Lime wedges for serving
Put the peppercorns, cumin seeds and fennel seeds in a small cast-iron frying pan and set over medium-high heat. Stir and roast until the spices emit a roasted aroma and some turn a shade darker. Empty into a plate to cool, then grind in a clean coffee grinder, mortar and pestle or other spice grinder. (Some may wish to sift the ground spices through a fine sieve, stirring them about with a spoon as they pass slowly through the mesh. This is not absolutely necessary, but it makes for a finer soup.) Add the turmeric, coriander and cayenne to the spice mixture.

In a soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat, and add onions. Saute until soft, then add garlic and ginger, and saute for another few minutes. Add spice mixture and saute for a minute or so. Add curry leaves or basil leaves, broth and vegetables. Bring to a boil, cover and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat. Puree soup with an immersion blender until smooth. If desired, strain the soup through a coarse sieve. Add the tamarind paste, coconut milk, cooked turkey and salt, and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently for 2 to 3 minutes to blend the flavors; thin out with more stock, as needed. Serve hot with lime wedges.

* Omit if you are following a strictly Primal diet

** If you like a tangy flavor, but don't have any tamarind paste on hand, just substitute a couple of tablespoons of cider vinegar

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