Easy Mulligatawny Soup

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This Easy Mulligatawny Soup is the perfect meal to make for the family on weeknights. The warm flavors from the curry paired with the sweetness of apple make this the perfect meal for the family to enjoy together!

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The first time I tasted mulligatawny soup when my dad made it for the family for dinner. He had just come home from working abroad and was excited to share this exotic dish with us! The soup he created was amazing and I have been a fan of this soup recipe ever since! The curry powder adds such a rich depth of flavor along with the sweetness of the apple. This soup is truly the perfect rich and full flavored meal for a cold day!

Ever since my dad first made that soup for us so many years ago, we make it in our kitchen often. I am also sure to order it whenever I see it on a menu when I am out. I am sure you will feel the same once you experience this fantastic soup for yourself!

Easy mulligatawny soup in white bowls
easy mulligatawny soup

What Is Mulligatawny Soup?

Mulligatawny soup is an Indian dish. The word mulligatawny actually comes from a combination of Tamil words - milagu (pepper) and tunes (water) - to mean pepper water. While the origins of this soup are often debated, the general consensus is that the soup shares Sri Lankan, Indian, and British origins and is a combination of the three countries' food cultures.

This soup is said to have been created to please the palate of fussy British soldiers during the British Raj between 1858 and 1947. While Indian cuisine did not include soups, British soldiers required soup to be served as the first course at the beginning of their meal. To appease the soldiers, it is said that the Tamil servants watered down their "pepper water" stew recipe that they brought with them from Sri Lanka. The British then had chicken and various other proteins added to the soup, which is where the many variations of the soup come from today.

Mulligatawny soup is often started from a base of chicken stock along with curry. Chicken, coconut milk, celery, and apples are often added to the soup to create a delicious and aromatic blend of British and Indian flavors. Not surprisingly, this fantastic soup has become a staple in the British pub scene!

Easy mulligatawny soup in white bowls
easy mulligatawny soup

What Do I Need to Make This Easy Mulligatawny Soup?

While the full list of ingredients is available below, here are the key ingredients you will need to create this delicious soup.

  • Olive oil
  • White onions
  • Garlic cloves
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Salted butter
  • All purpose flour
  • Curry powder
  • Chicken broth
  • Granny smith apples
  • Brown rice
  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs, although boneless chicken breast would work here too!
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Dried thyme
  • Half and half cream

You can also add some toppings to suit your own taste. Some of my favorite toppings include light sour cream, fresh chopped cilantro, lime juice, slices of fresh ginger and sometimes even a little cayenne pepper to bring the heat! Mango chutney would also be a delicious addition.

If you want to make this a vegetarian mulligatawny soup, simply take out the chicken thighs, swap the broth for vegetable stock, and use lite coconut milk instead of the cream! You could add sweet potatoes to the soup to bulk it up as well. The result will be a delicious vegetarian creamy soup with a nice texture.

Easy mulligatawny soup in white bowls
easy mulligatawny soup

Tips to Prepare the Best Mulligatawny Soup

While the full mulligatawny recipe is available below, here are some tips and tricks to consider when making this wonderful Indian soup!

  • The first thing we will do is prepare the base of our soup. You will need to use a large soup pot or large Dutch oven - I love to use this one. It is expensive, but it will last you for your whole life so it is very worth it! Heat your pot over medium heat and spray some olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onions, garlic, celery, and carrots stirring often. You want the onions and garlic to soften and become fragrant, but you do not want them to get browned. So watch them carefully and adjust the heat accordingly!
  • Once your celery and onions have softened, add the butter and wait until it melts. Once the butter is all melty, add the flour and curry powder to the pot. Stir it in with the vegetables and cook the flour through. It is important to make sure the flour is fully cooked, because it will taste like flour if it isn't. The flour is also important because it will help the soup thicken to a nice rich and creamy texture!
  • Next, we will add the chicken broth and increase the heat to medium-high heat. As you pour the broth into the pot, be sure to scrape up all of the browned bits on the bottom. This is important, because it will add lots of that delicious flavor to our soup! Cover the pot and bring the broth to a boil.
  • Now that the broth is boiling, add in the granny smith apples, brown rice, chicken thighs, and salt and pepper. Bring your soup to a simmer. Once simmering, cover and turn the pot down to medium-low heat. Continue simmering the soup, covered, for approximately twenty minutes - until the chicken thighs are cooked through.
  • Once the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the pot and place it on a plate. Shred the chicken apart into small pieces while the soup continues to simmer. At this point, you could blend some of the soup with an immersion blender if you want to achieve an extra creamy texture. Once you have finished shredding it, add the reserved chicken back to the pot and continue to simmer. Add the dried thyme to the pot.
  • The final step is to add the heavy cream to the pot, but we first want to make sure it is tempered to prevent it from curdling. This means we will heat it up before we add it to our soup. In a small saucepan, heat the cream over medium-low heat. Once it is nice and warm, add it to your soup and stir in until well combined. Turn the heat off and serve it with your favorite toppings.

One good thing about this classic Indian and English soup is that it is so easy to save leftovers! Simply refrigerate in an airtight container and reheat it when you are ready. You can add a little more broth or water as you reheat it if it gets too thick. I would argue the aromatic flavors get even deeper and richer the day after you cook this meal!

I love to make a big batch of this soup to save for meals throughout the week when I know I am going to be busy. Trust me, you will love this traditional curry soup as much as I did when I first tried it!
Easy mulligatawny soup in white bowls
easy mulligatawny soup

Other Soups You Will Enjoy

If you loved this mulligatawny soup recipe, here are some other easy soup recipes that you will love!

Easy Mulligatawny Soup

This Easy Mulligatawny Soup is the perfect meal to make for the family on weeknights. The warm flavors from the curry paired with the sweetness of apple make this the perfect meal for the family to enjoy together!

Author:
Kirsten

Ingredients

  • 1 spray olive oil spray
  • 2 cups white onion, diced (1 large)
  • 2 whole garlic cloves
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 2 tbsp salted butter
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1/4 cup brown basmati rice
  • 1lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup half and half cream, heated

Instructions

  1. Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and spray some olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onions, garlic, celery, and carrots stirring often. Once your celery and onions have softened and are fragrant but not browned, add the butter and wait until it melts. Once the butter is all melty, add the flour and curry powder to the pot. Stir it in with the vegetables and cook the flour through.
  2. Next, add the chicken broth and increase the heat to medium-high heat. As you pour the broth into the pot, be sure to scrape up all of the browned bits on the bottom. Bring the broth to a boil.
  3. Now that the broth is boiling, add in the granny smith apples, brown rice, chicken thighs, and salt and pepper. Reduce heat and bring the soup to a simmer. Cover and continue simmering the soup for approximately twenty minutes - until the chicken thighs are cooked through.
  4. Once the chicken is cooked through, remove from the pot and place it on a plate. Shred the chicken apart into small pieces while the soup continues to simmer. Once you have finished shredding it, add the reserved chicken back to the pot and continue to simmer. Add the dried thyme to the pot.
  5. Either heat your half and half cream in the microwave or on the stove top. If using the stove, heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Once it is nice and warm, add it to your soup and stir in until well combined. Turn the heat off and serve it with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!

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