TLC (Turkey, Lentil & Coconut) Soup

23rd May 2001

OK, I admit right off that this combination sounds pretty disgusting on paper. But you should take my word for it that it makes a truly magnificent soup: rich, soothing, warming, substantial. I first made it on a whim when working my way through the remains of a vast Christmas turkey, but I've since done it many times with chicken: as you can imagine, it makes no difference to the process, and very little to the end product.

See my chicken dhansak recipe for my thoughts on accuracy of quantities.

As far as quantities are concerned, this recipe makes ``one good-sized pot full''. It's hard to estimate how many people that feeds, but at a rough guess, we're talking about something like ten pints; and since we tend to use one-pint soup-bowls, you could say ``serves ten'' if you wanted.

It takes about half an hour to make this soup, assuming you've already got the stock to hand. If not, you'll either want to boil it up from the turkey carcass (best, but takes several hours) or make it up from stock cubes (quick, but with a noticably inferior taste.)



  1. Put the stock on heat, bringing it to a boil so it's ready to add when you need it.
  2. Warm the olive oil in a deep pan and melt the butter in it.
  3. Fry the onions in the oil and butter for ten to fifteen minutes, until they start to mulch down.
  4. Add the lentils to the onions, stirring well so that they become coated with the oil, butter and onions.
  5. Add the chopped coconut to the hot stock, stirring for a minute or two until it dissolves.
  6. Add the coconut-flavoured stock to the pan - enjoy the sizzling sound as it goes in!
  7. Leave on a very low heat, with a lid on, to cook for fifteen or twenty minutes - until the lentils are soft. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  8. Taste the soup, and add the appropriate amount of salt and pepper. I find you need quite a bit of salt to bring out the various flavours, but your mileage may vary. Cook for a few more minutes.
  9. Throw in the chopped turkey meat.
  10. Add lemon juice to bring the flavours to a point.
  11. Serve hot, with well-buttered crusty bread.

Superb winter food, but tasty in the summer too.

Feedback to <> is welcome!