Mulligatawny Soup

By 10am this morning I knew I wanted Mulligatawny soup for dinner.  I was talking soup and recipes with a woman at work and Mulligatawny came up and didn’t leave.

Mulligatawny is an Anglo-Indian soup with as many variations as there are people making it.

First time I remember having it was while working at the Hyatt Lake Tahoe.  It was one of our winter-rotation soups – and a really popular item.

The Hyatt version was rich and really, really thick.  You could stand a spoon up in the bowl.  I don’t know where the recipe came from and I’ve never found a recipe quite like it.  Damn, it was good!

But not knowing that recipe didn’t stop me from coming up with a version of my own.  This is one of the few soups that I actually almost use a recipe for.  I like the way this comes out.

I also almost always make this with a fresh whole chicken and boil everything down.  This is the streamlined version…

Mulligatawny Soup

  • 1 large chicken breast, diced
  • 2 qt chicken broth
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • A couple of garlic cloves, chopped
  • A few ribs celery, chopped
  • A few carrots, chopped
  • 1 small bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 granny smith (or other tart apple) peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp to 1 tbsp Curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 pt heavy cream
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • S&P to taste

Add onion and leek to pot with a bit of oil or butter.  Saute until slightly translucent.  Add chicken.  Cook.

Add carrot and celery and cook a few minutes more.

Add the spices and cook until they are all very fragrant.  This gets rid of the ‘raw’ taste curry and cumin can sometimes have.

Add the broth and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, cook the rice separately.  When done, add the rice and let it cook about 15 or so minutes, stirring once in a while so it doesn’t stick to the bottom.

Add the coconut milk and  heavy cream.  Keep simmering.

Add the apples and raisins.  Taste.  Add more curry, S and/or P if desired.

Thicken with a flour and water mixture, if desired.

Cook a bit longer, stirring occasionally (don’t want it to stick!!)

A great garnish is some chopped pistachios sprinkled on each bowl as it’s served.

I used oyster crackers.

It really is an easy soup and really, really flavorful.  I like it on the thick side so I make a flour and water paste to add to it.  if you’re in the mood for a bit of a thinner soup, leave it out.

You can also cook the rice right in the soup (before adding the cream and coconut milk) and let the rice starch thicken it a bit.

Any way you do it is going to be good!