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Mulligatawny Soup

Hold the Cream~

Friends you can rely on are an essential part of having “the good life.” If they happen to be able to cook…bonus!

Our friends that came to stay with us have gone home, but not without leaving their mark. During their visit I was introduced to Mulligatawny Soup. A south Indian dish literally meaning “Pepper Water” in Tamil. My friend, Bethany, made us a lovely rich creamy version, but after researching this soup a bit, I discovered there are MANY varieties. Some are brothy, and some thick. Colors also vary from recipe to recipe. But the key ingredients are veggies, rice, protein, and curry powder…or other Indian spice blends.

My husband has a weird hangup about cream. It’s a texture thing. He doesn’t like how it coats his tongue. And if it’s frothy, dear Lord, we’ve got a real problem on our hands!

I once saw my completely precious, easy-going husband unleash full wrath on an unsuspecting coffee barrister, who forgot he had requested NO FOAM! Clearly, he was having a rough morning…poor girl!

All of that to say, hubby loved the idea of Bethany’s soup, but couldn’t handle the creamy consistency!

Generally, I indulge his quirky preferences, even though he knows full-well NOT to unleash wrath on me! It’s just the sweet thing for a wife to do. So I took my friend’s Mulligatawny Soup recipe and tweaked it, substituting lite coconut milk for heavy cream. I also added a few extra ingredients to compensate for the thinner texture.

It turned out beautifully! The spices, coconut milk, green apples, and fresh ginger created a wealth of flavor usually only found in a curry that has cooked down all day. Mulligatawny Soup makes a wonderfully quick mid-week dinner and tastes just as good, if not better, on day two and three!

A good friend is cheaper than therapy. ~Author Unknown

A husband without faults is a dangerous observer. ~George Savile

To prepare:

Heat the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots, apples and ginger. Sauté for 5 minutes—stirring occasionally.

Mix in the flour, curry powder and cayenne pepper. Stir another 3-5 minutes, then add the chicken stock, rice chopped chicken and 1 tsp. salt.

Bring to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes—or until the rice is tender and the chicken has cooked through.

Add the coconut milk and salt and pepper to taste.

Mulligatawny Soup

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

3 Tb. butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 apples, peeled and chopped
1 Tb. freshly grated ginger
3 Tb. flour
2 Tb. Madras curry powder
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
8 cups chicken stock
½ cup basmati rice
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped
¾ cup lite coconut milk
Salt and pepper

Directions:

Heat the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots, apples and ginger. Sauté for 5 minutes—stirring occasionally.

Mix in the flour, curry powder and cayenne pepper. Stir another 3-5 minutes, then add the chicken stock, rice chopped chicken and 1 tsp. salt.

Bring to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes—or until the rice is tender and the chicken has cooked through.

Add the coconut milk and salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with toasted almonds or cilantro!

Making this recipe? Why not take a quick shot and share it on Instagram! Make sure to tag it #ASpicyPerspective so we can see what you're cooking!

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52 Responses to “Mulligatawny Soup”

  1. Monetposted September 23, 2010 at 3:33 am

    I love how you used coconut milk instead of cream…I bet it added a lovely flavor to your soup. I'm not a big fan of cream either, so I would have loved this!

    Reply

  2. Kociposted September 23, 2010 at 6:05 am

    This sounds so cool…and looks totally scrumptious! :D

    Did I just use the word "scrumptious"?

    Reply

  3. Belinda @zomppaposted September 23, 2010 at 6:30 am

    He's one lucky man. These colors are also popping!

    Reply

  4. Katerinaposted September 23, 2010 at 9:11 am

    Lucky him. He has a wife that not only is listening to his wishes but she is capable of delivering with perfect results. I love your twist on the soup.

    Reply

  5. Angie's Recipesposted September 23, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Mulligatawny Soup….that's something completely new to me. But coconut milk…you can't go wrong with it.

    Reply

  6. Cherineposted September 23, 2010 at 10:04 am

    A beautiful comforting soup!!

    Reply

  7. Eileenposted September 23, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    I think that recipe sounds wonderful! You made me laugh with the texture story. Cute!

    Reply

  8. High Plains Driftersposted September 23, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Coconut milk … very inspired. Thanks!

    Reply

  9. Heatherposted September 23, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    I love mulligatawny. Great job!

    Reply

  10. Maryposted September 23, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    I love this soup and your recipe for it simply must be tried. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings…Mary

    Reply

  11. 5 Star Foodieposted September 23, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    What a lovely soup, I love your substitution of coconut milk!

    Reply

  12. Stellaposted September 23, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Yum, Sommer, your version of the soup looks wonderful! Ooh, and if your husband feels like there is a coating on his mucosa after eating cream, he could actually be experiencing an allergic reaction. It sounds like it… I suppose he could just hate the feeling though (smile)!

    Reply

  13. bleejonesposted September 23, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    yum!! i may have told you, but there were several recipes i looked at before settling on the one we usually use – and that was only b/c i could find all the ingredients in japan. i'll have to try this version! i feel honored – in the blog TWICE! :)

    Reply

  14. sara @ CaffeInaposted September 23, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    I love soups! This really looks fantastic and the colors really pop out of the pictures!

    Reply

  15. Meganposted September 23, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    This soup looks beautiful! I like that you substituted lighter options for it too. :)

    Reply

  16. claireposted September 23, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    for some reason, i havent been brave enough to make indian food yet. I just dont feel confident! this looks amazing though!

    Reply

  17. Susiposted September 23, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    I have never heard of this soup either but it sounds and looks amazing! Love your substitutions, even though I usually have no problems with cream ;o)

    Reply

  18. Pacheco Pattyposted September 23, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    Coconut milk instead of cream is a definite winning idea on your part, thanks for sharing a lighter option, my son loves this soup and I will pass on your link to him, thanks:)

    Reply

  19. Birenposted September 23, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    It looks and sounds delicious! I can sure do with a bowl right now as it is raining cats and dogs outside.

    Reply

  20. Marisaposted September 23, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    I feel like I've had mulligatawny soup before but can't remember when or where! I think it was the creamy version though. I like this non-creamy version and using cocunut milk as a sub. Plus, it's really fun to say "mulligatawny"!

    Reply

  21. sweetlifeposted September 23, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    great soup, I have not heard of wonderful delight, but so glad you shared…aren't hubbys great? lol
    sweetlife

    Reply

  22. Meganposted September 23, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    Absolutely delicious…. and doesn't like cream? Too funny! Thanks for the recipe – Megan

    Reply

  23. Suchitraposted September 23, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    Loved the spices and flavor you have used in the soup! Guess I can tweak it a bit with vegetables and try it out…Thanks for sharing :)

    Reply

  24. Haddockposted September 23, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    All the ingredients that has gone into it are good for health.
    Does this taste something like rasam? or better ?

    Reply

  25. fromBAtoParisposted September 23, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    Good choice Sommer, not only to please your husband but me…I LOVE cream but it upsets my stomach terribly (reason why I practically can't eat desserts…only a teaspoon, to try them..I imagine the pleasure!)

    Reply

  26. A SPICY PERSPECTIVEposted September 23, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    Haddock~ BETTER is always tricky, because it depends on individual preference. I do think some people refer to rasam as red mulligatawny soup (with lentils.) This version doesn't have nearly as much acidity as the rasam I've had!

    Reply

  27. Tanviposted September 23, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    Very well presented..you know classic indian stuff!
    Soup bowl looks really comforting !

    Reply

  28. denise @ quickies on the dinner tableposted September 24, 2010 at 12:12 am

    Oh my! I haven't had mulligatawny soup in years!! I prefer the thinner brothy version too, without too much rice. This looks fabulous Sommer!

    Reply

  29. Julie M.posted September 24, 2010 at 1:35 am

    Great substitutions! This looks delicious! Glad you had a nice time with your friends!

    Reply

  30. Torviewtorontoposted September 24, 2010 at 2:27 am

    delicious healthy soup

    Reply

  31. Kristenposted September 24, 2010 at 4:31 am

    The toasted almonds on top sound like such a great departure from expected soup texture. It looks delicious.

    Reply

  32. jennynoowynposted September 24, 2010 at 8:40 am

    mmmm that looks delicious and so healthy :) Great post!

    Reply

  33. Priscilla - She's Cookin'posted September 24, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    I've been craving Indian food and had a coconut chicken curry this past weekend! I think the coconut milk is a wonderful addition to Mulligatawny soup!

    Reply

  34. Lawyer Loves Lunchposted September 24, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    The prospect of an apple in soup sounds so weird but I bet it's delicious! Oh, and I love the color of this soup!

    Reply

  35. Kathrynposted September 24, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    I love this time of year- it's the perfect soup weather! I recently made tortellini sausage soup, but your soup looks WAY better!

    Reply

  36. Nirmalaposted September 24, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    I love Indian soups. They are very warming. If you have not tried sambar, it would work for your husband. No cream!

    Reply

  37. Chow and Chatterposted September 25, 2010 at 2:46 am

    looks great and I am with Nirmala sambar would be great my hubby is South Indian call or email me anytime Rebecca

    Reply

  38. Shirleyposted September 25, 2010 at 2:53 am

    Smart… I would never have thought to sub coconut milk for cream. Lucky hubby!

    Reply

  39. Baking Barristerposted September 25, 2010 at 3:40 am

    This is a great version of the soup (I know I'm late in commenting!) — I really like how you don't use cream (cream makes me sick). And the photos–yours just keep getting better!

    Reply

  40. alisonposted September 25, 2010 at 5:02 am

    beautiful and delicious soup!

    Reply

  41. Karenposted September 25, 2010 at 5:19 am

    I'd never heard of this, but it looks great. Love the coconut milk! And congrats on the Top 9!

    Reply

  42. Rosa's Yummy Yumsposted September 25, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    A deliciously comforting soup! Lovely!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    Reply

  43. Wheels and Lollipopsposted September 25, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    I love the use of coconut milk! definitely entering into soup weather here !

    Reply

  44. baking.serendipityposted September 25, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    This soup looks delicious! I love recipe sharing friends…they always make for the best visitors :)

    Reply

  45. Claudiaposted September 25, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    One of my favorite soups of all time. The substitution is perfect! You can wear the "good wife" star.

    Reply

  46. Chef Dennisposted September 26, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    what a perfect soup for the nice fall weather we are enjoying! I think the coconut milk was a great addition, I am sure it enhanced the flavors!

    Reply

  47. Annaposted September 27, 2010 at 1:35 am

    That looks gorgeous, I love soup with coconut milk. It makes it so aromatic.

    Reply

  48. Katie@Cozydeliciousposted September 27, 2010 at 1:35 am

    So funny! My husband has quirky food things like this too – all about texture. And personally, I'm not a huge fan of heavy soups, so I love that you thinned this one a bit. I'll hav eto try your yummy sounding version!

    Reply

  49. Magic of Spiceposted September 27, 2010 at 3:19 am

    Wonderful soup and I like the replacement of cream with coconut milk here. Your dialog about your hubby is too funny :) Fantastic looking soup, and imagine delightfully flavorful…

    Reply

  50. The Mom Chefposted September 27, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    Well done Sommer! The sacrifices we make for our beloveds, huh? Whether it's foregoing the cream or skipping the mushrooms, we have to suffer somehow. :) great job on the soup. It looks fantastic.

    Reply

  51. Tasty Eats At Homeposted September 30, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    This sounds very much like my kind of soup. Yum!

    Reply

  52. MikeWposted October 16, 2012 at 6:24 am

    Looks great, though I’ll have to reverse-engineer it to remove the coconut milk. My wife has an allergy.

    The first time I had Mulligatawny soup was in RI many years ago. We asked the waitress, She described the soup — said it is traditionally made with squirrel, but that they used chicken. My wife & I both enjoyed it.

    Reply

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