Mulligatawny Soup, Yes Please!

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Oh. Em. Gee. Mulligatawny Soup. This Indian curry flavored soup/stew will definitely be making an appearance in my house regularly in the next few months. While I’m not a fan of the cold months, I’m happy to get back in to the “heat-up-the-kitchen-and-make-eating-an-event” mode again. And believe me, this soup is an event.

Originally from South India, Mulligatawny started to make itself known around the world in the 1800s. Mulligatawny even made a cameo appearance in Seinfeld as Elaine’s order from the Soup Nazi.

There are many different Mulligatawny recipes to suit your tastes. Basic ingredients call for lentils, apples, veggies and fragrant Indian spices. My version is vegan (of course) and uses red or orange lentils and coconut milk for a creamy, yummy, glorious creation. I suppose you could add chicken if you want, but why?

While the ingredient list is fairly long, thanks to the spices, it’s a fairly quick fix you can make on a weeknight. Plan on it on the next cool evening, double the recipe to re-heat when you’re in a hurry, and let me know what you think.


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
    1 red jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons peeled and minced ginger root
  • 2 small firm apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup red or orange lentils (uncooked)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2/3 cup canned unsweetened lite coconut milk
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Roasted cashews, cilantro, coconut flakes and/or chopped green onions for garnish


  1. Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, and jalapeno, then saute for 4 to 5 minutes or until the onions have softened.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger, apples, and diced tomatoes to the pot. Saute for another 3 minutes, then add in all of the spices and toss to coat.
  3. Add in the lentils and broth and let the contents come to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes or until everything is soft.
  4. Using an immersion blender blend until it is slightly creamy with some nice chunky texture. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can do this by hand with a potato masher, or cool the soup and blend about half of it in a regular blender.
  5. Stir in the coconut milk. Taste, and adjust salt and black pepper as needed.
  6. Top with garnishes and serve with naan bread for dipping. Add brown rice if you want to up the protein factor and increase the stick-to-your-ribiness.

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