Mulligatawny soup recipe with leftover turkey

This lentil soup became popular with British soldiers stationed in India. After independence, they brought the recipe back home. It’s mildly spicy, wonderfully comforting and the perfect vessel for leftover turkey.

  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes
  • Total time: 45 minutes 45 minutes

Serves: 4


1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, finely diced

1 celery stalk, finely diced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

30g fresh root ginger, finely grated

1½ tsp hot curry powder

pinch cayenne pepper

100g red split lentils, well-rinsed

1 eating apple, peeled, cored and finely diced

500ml chicken stock

60g basmati rice

3 tbsp double cream or coconut milk

½ lemon, juice

100g-200g leftover turkey, shredded

4 tsp Greek yogurt

small handful chopped coriander leaves


1 Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and celery and sweat for 10 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic, ginger and spices and cook for 2 minutes more. Tip in the lentils and apple, cook for 1 minute, then add the stock and 400ml water. Bring to the boil, then turn down to simmer for  15-20 minutes or until the lentils are soft.

2 Meanwhile, in a separate pan, cook the rice according to pack instructions; set aside on a plate to cool. Once the lentils are cooked, blitz ¾ of the soup  with the cream or coconut milk in  a blender. Return to the pan, stir in the lemon juice and rice; sprinkle over  the turkey and season.

3 Divide the soup into 4 bowls. Garnish with a teaspoon of yogurt, the coriander leaves, and a pinch more cayenne, if liked.