Mulligatawny soup

Mulligatawny soup

The recipe for Mulligatawny soup is one that has stood the test of time. It can be found in Eliza Acton’s Modern Cookery for Private Families which was published in 1845 and there was a mention in The Sporting Magazine in 1798.

The recipe originates from India and means pepper water. It’s a recipe I noticed in my first ever cookery book at the age of 12 but not being a fan of strong flavours back then I turned my nose up. But recently I’ve been looking for traditional British recipes and this one with it’s anglo-indian history fits the bill.

The perfect soup to warm you up on a cold day. If you like curry you’ll love this spicy soup. The original dish was entirely vegetarian but today chicken, beef and lamb versions can be found. I have used a homemade chicken stock in mine.

Mulligatawny soup


1 onion finely chopped
2/3 carrots finely chopped
125g swede finely chopped
1 dessert apple finely chopped
50g streaky bacon
50g butter
25g flour
1 tbsp mild curry paste
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp mango chutney
1.5 litres stock (Chicken, vegetable or beef)
1 tsp mixed herbs
pinch ground mace
pinch ground cloves
salt and pepper
50 g long grain rice
150 ml double cream
chopped coriander to decorate


Melt the butter in a large saucepan and fry the onion, carrot and swede, apple and bacon until lightly browned.

Stir in the flour, curry paste, tomato puree and chutney. Cook for 1-2 minutes.

Add the stock and seasonings.

Bring to the boil, skim and simmer covered for 30 – 40 minutes.

Transfer to a blender and whizz until nice and smooth.

Return to the pan, add the rice and bring to the boil gently for about 12 minutes until the rice is tender.

Adjust the seasoning and stir in the cream keeping a little back for a swirl on the top, don’t boil.

Serve in bowls and add a swirl on the top with some chopped coriander.


Serve with poppadoms or naan bread

Summer salads – Italian style


Following on from my recent chat about Trentino and with summer literally knocking at the door, it is isn’t it? I thought I’d give you a couple of the best Italian salads you can find on the penisular.

The two mentioned below take minutes to prepare, they are incredibly wholesome, nutritious and low calorie too. Both of these recipes can also be used as starters which is worth keeping in mind if you need something swanky that only takes minutes.

Prosciutto e Melone

1/4 melon cut into two pieces
8 slices of Parma ham placed over the melon
wild rocket to decorate
prosciutto melone

Quite simply prosciutto crudo or Parma Ham is a dry-cured ham which is eaten thinly sliced.

There is an art to slicing the crudo as I discovered today at my local Morrisons. I asked for 100g of thinly sliced, any photo you search for will show wafer thin slices sometimes twirled into beautiful roses. The lady working on the Deli took the leg of ham over to the slicer and proceeded to slice thinly as I had requested imagining she knew how to serve it. This photo is enough to send the toughest Italian Stallion to his knees

parma ham badly cut

I got her to stop at 30g which was just enough to show you in the photo above how it is most likely to be found served in Italy. The salty ham against the fresh melon is scrumptious. This is how it should be sliced …

prosciutto crudo parma ham

Insalata Caprese – Mozzarella and tomato salad

1 mozzarella
sliced tomatoes – I used a beef tomato, some baby plum tomatoes and a salad tomato
fresh basil leaves
olive oil
balsamic vinegar

insalata capreseAnother really easy salad to prepare and again low calorie too, the Italians also call this one tri-colore as it has the colours of their national flag.

Roughly chop the mozzarella into bite sized pieces, chop your tomatoes up and place both main ingredients on serving plate. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over, drizzle with a little olive oil and a dash of balsamic vinegar. It’s ready! Can be served with fresh bread

In Italy you will most likely find it served like this

caprese insalata

Slow roasted root vegetable soup

slow roasted vegetable soup

Another part of the Brand New Me program of 2013 is diet, I have no choice on this one, I bought my wedding dress which was a wee bit tight but I thought, hey I’ll lose a couple of pounds by March and it’ll be fine. Ker-ching, I paid and took the beauty home and didn’t think about it until 1st January.

Now ‘a couple of pounds’ had become a half a stone thanks to a massively good Christmas and New Year feasting. The first week of the year we were still clearing out the fridges and freezer but week 2 I introduced soups as lunchtime options. I’m making my own so I know how much salt and sugar is in them (not a lot) and getting a lot of pleasure too.

First up was a Broccoli and Stilton soup, made in my Morphy Richards soup maker, it tasted absolutely delicious but I had to scrape the cheese off the side of the soupmaker when it came to washing up so not ideal for that machine. Second up was a Delia favourite

Slow roasted root vegetable soup

Root vegetables (carrot, parsnip, swede, potato, celeriac, leeks) about 1k chopped into bite size pieces
1 onion, chopped
1.5 litres vegetable stock
3 bay leaves
salt and pepper

As Delia says in her Soup book from The Delia Collection ‘ Something happens to root vegetables when they are cooked very slowly for a long time: their flavour becomes mellow but at the same time more intense.’

I chose to make my Root Vegetable soup slightly differently from the master’s 3 hour in the oven process. I roasted the veg and then made the soup in my slow cooker

Peel and chop all of your chosen vegetables, place in a large oven proof dish with a good seasoning and a drizzle of olive oil over it, shake well so all covered and roast in the oven for 40 minutes until soft. If it’s coloured it’s not a problem it will add to the flavour.

slow roasted veg soup

Pop the roasted root vegetables in the slow cooker along with all the other ingredients and cook on slow for 4 hours.

Remove the bay leaves and liquidise, re heat if necessary and serve with fresh bread for dipping.

 slow roasted vegetable soup

It’s really tasty, it’s incredibly cheap and amazingly easy to make. I shall be doing this again :)