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Mulligatawny Soup for the Soul

It's soup season! This year I present a personal favorite of mine - Mulligatawny soup. It's a yummy, curry flavored cream soup with so much complexity that your family will think you slaved for hours. And yes, there are a fair amount ingredients but don't let that scare you. The cooking process takes very little effort, as you will witness below ;).


2 Tblsp butter

1 onion, minced

6-8 garlic cloves, chopped

2 Tblsp ginger, minced

2 tsp brown mustard

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp curry powder

½ tsp cumin seeds

2 carrots, sliced

2 celery stalks, sliced

1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and chopped

2 Tblsp tomato paste

3 Tblsp all-purpose flour

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks

1 cup split red lentils

6 cups chicken broth

1 can coconut milk (14 ounce)

Juice of 1-2 limes


  • Warm the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

  • Add the onion, season with salt. Cook stirring often until translucent, about 2 minutes.

  • Add the garlic and ginger, and stir until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

  • Add the mustard, turmeric, curry powder, and cumin seeds, and cook, stirring constantly about 2 minutes more.

  • Add the carrot, celery and apple, and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes (I know, you're shocked that it takes about 2 minutes).

  • Stir in the tomato paste, then the flour, and combine until well coated another 2 minutes (this is a joke, right?!).

  • Add the chicken, lentils and chicken broth. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring to scrape up any browned bits. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 10 minutes, then uncover and simmer for 15 minutes more (Whew! Now we're cooking!).

  • Stir in the coconut milk and squeeze in the lime juice. Bring the pot back up to temperature and enjoy!

Serve in bowls topped with a touch of red pepper flakes (if you like a little heat) and a dollop of plain Greek yogurt if that suits you. Sometimes I serve over rice if I'm in need of a heartier meal.

Items available at The Pot Rack to assist in the making of this dish:

Norpro Big Mouth Chopper

Emile Henry Sublime 7 Qt Dutch Oven

GIR BIG Silicone Ladle

Mulligatawny soup is originally a creation from India, but over the years it has been adapted by many cultures. The British version has become the most popular using curry, coconut milk and lime as a finish. A trick that will really bring out all those robust flavors is to toast all the spices in a dry hot pan until fragrant and then add them to the soup pot. This works wonders. Many think this is a spicy soup. And it can be if you like it that way. But mostly it's a savory dish with sweet overtones. I love it. Give it go!

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