Mulligatawny Soup: Curry in a Hurry

I detest food waste.

It’s a trait I come by honestly. My mom had five kids plus dad to feed and typical of the farmers in our corner of Saskatchewan, she and dad were children of the Great Depression who were raised with not 10, but 11 Commandments—the extra one being Thou Shalt Not Waste Food. It came right after (but treated as importantly as) Thou Shalt Not Murder.

As a result, I can whip up lunch in no time by resurrecting scraps of previous meals into something comforting and delicious. Plus, my mom taught me how to cook without following a recipe—you know, “a little of this and a little of that” style.

A few days ago, I enjoyed Mini Kitchen’s Panang curry. I added some sautéed chicken breast and served it over rice. Nice.  (If you haven’t had any of Damini Mohan’s foods yet, read my Eat North story about her here, and then find her at a farmers market.)

I didn’t eat all of the curry, so I put the remainder into two bowls (one for the saucy stuff, the other for the rice) into the fridge.  The next day, I threw everything in a pan and heated it up together. Mistake (the heat was too high and the rice soaked up all the sauce), but it was still good. Too much though, so again, I put the leftovers in the fridge; this time I just kept everything in the little pan. No sense dirtying another container.

Today is cold and blustery. A hug or a spa treatment would be awesome, but seeing as neither are coming my way, I may as well just make soup because…soup fixes everything.

I have an onion, an apple, chicken broth and cream on hand. Those tired leftovers are just begging to be turned into Mulligatawny soup. And the best part is that it’s only going to take 20-30 minutes from start to finish.

Here’s how it went down:

Leftovers plus cream, broth, apple, onion and lemon.
In a medium stock pot, sauté 1/2 an onion in some olive oil, add 1.5 teaspoons of dried thyme. Sweat until onions are nearly translucent.
Plop (technical term) your leftover curry bits and rice in the stockpot and mix. (I had about 4 cups of leftover panang curry with rice.)
Add 750 mls of chicken broth and 1/2 of a medium sized apple (diced).
Simmer for 15 minutes or until apple is cooked through. Add 1/3 cup of half and half cream, heat through for 5 minutes. Add 1 tbsp of lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, stir and serve.

The only adjustment I would make is to add a teaspoon (or so) of your favourite curry spice to the onions when they’re sautéing. The addition of broth and cream dilutes the original flavour, so you might want to ramp things up a bit. Your call.

But, even without the extra curry seasoning, this soup hit the spot.

Have leftovers and no clue what to do with them?  Leave a comment and let’s talk!

Author: Twyla Campbell

World-wide wanderer, CBC Edmonton AM Restaurant Reviewer, Member of Edmonton’s Slow Food convivium, oenophile, epicurean explorer and a freelance writer whose works have appeared in several magazines and newspapers including More, Above & Beyond, Avenue (Edmonton), Up Here, Northern Flyer, Opulence, City Palate, the Edible Prairie Journal, The Edmonton Journal, Slow Food Canada, Lifestyle Alberta, and on Slow Food Edmonton’s website. Grant MacEwan University (Professional Writing Program) Bachelor of Applied Communications Degree (in progress). I’m a Tweeter @wanderwoman10