Mulligatawny Soup

I tried a couple more Indian recipes last week to find some more good ones. This soup is a definite winner. I can’t remember having something exactly like it before–it turns out a pretty orange color, the lentils are pretty muted, and the flavor is great. It’s also vegetarian, though you can add 1 1/2 lbs. of  chicken breast with the vegetables (remove before blending, cube it, then add it back to the soup after blending) or 2 lbs. of cubed leg of lamb with the lentils, if you’d like. This recipe comes from The Best International Recipe book from America’s Test Kitchen.


1 1/2 t. garam masala (McCormick is a good brand)
1 1/2 t. ground cumin
1 1/2 t. ground coriander
1 t. ground turmeric

3 T. unsalted butter
2 medium onions, minced
1/2 c. sweetend shredded or flaked coconut
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
4 t. grated or minced fresh ginger (doing this on a box grater works well)
1 t. tomato paste
1/4 c. flour
7 c. low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth, if you prefer)
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1/2 c. brown or green lentils (not red!)
2 T. cilantro, minced
Plain yogurt, for serving

1. Combine spices in a small bowl and set aside. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the spices and saute until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add the onions and coconut and cook until softened, 5-7 minutes. Sitr in garlic, ginger, and tomato paste and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Stir in the flour until combined, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the chicken broth.

2. Stir in the carrots and celery, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 20-25 minutes.

3. Puree the soup in a blender in batches until smooth and return to a clean pot. Add the lentils and return to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until the lentils are tender, about 40 minutes.

4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve sprinkled with cilantro and a dollop of yogurt. Soup can be stored for up to 3 days in an airtight container.


6 thoughts on “Mulligatawny Soup

  1. CambriaW says:

    I just made this tonight. It was easier than I thought (I had pre-cooked lentils on hand from the curried lentils recipe) and it went great with some store bought Naan that I warmed in the oven. Not bad at all.


  2. Natalie says:

    I was surprised at how easy it was too. Just needs a little cooking time. I like your “not bad at all” . . . does that put it in the “make again” category or the “at least I don’t have to throw the whole pot out!” one?!! 🙂


  3. Libby says:

    Bet you didn’t know that turmeric turns temporary crowns yellow….A small price to pay for this yummy soup. It’s fabulous and I’m thrilled to find a non-wheat filled something I’m actually excited to prepare and eat. (A few days later the tooth is not quite as yellow so I’m having another bowl.)


    • Natalie says:

      I’m sorry to say I had to laugh when I heard about your tooth–but only because it’s a temporary! I’m a little embarrassed that I had something to add to your tooth misfortune, but happy to hear it’s lightening in color already!


  4. Sara Leiste says:

    This is a great recipe. Google helped me find it. I served it with lots of naan and a salad, plus dessert. Three of us ate almost the entire batch! I get to have the remaining half-serving as part of my lunch today. Next time, I will double the recipe so we can have leftovers.

    Also, this soup made my house smell amazing. It was the perfect thing to have on a cold Minnesota night!


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