Chicken Mulligatawny Soup

It’s been a cold drizzly February and we were thinking it would be great to have some soup. Perusing Cook’s Country I ran across this recipe for Chicken Mulligatawny soup. Now, based on the name, I always thought Mulligatawny  (sounds like Mulligan?) was an Irish soup and I never went out of my way to find a recipe for it. But the picture in the magazine stopped me; it looked like a luscious rich Indian-based stew. Seeing the ingredient list included curry and Garam Masala reinforced that message so I went shopping. If this looks good to you, check out Cook’s Country or a recipe copy here.


Ingredient set for Chicken Mulligatawny soup


Onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and ginger ready for chopping and mincing.


Picking through brown lentils

Instead of oil we sauté the mirepoix in butter; that gave it a different, beautiful smell to start with. Once the base vegetables are slightly browned, we bloom the spice mixture: garlic, ginger, curry, garam masala, and cayenne. We also toss in a tablespoon of tomato paste to get that rich, meaty umami flavor. (Well you are supposed to sauté the tomato paste; I forgot and had to add it when I started simmering.) Once the spices are aromatic, stir in some flour and cook for a few minutes. I always struggle when adding flour to a sauté; it gets heavy and somewhat difficult to stir and I worry it will burn. But it was fine today.

Mirepoix (onion, celery, and carrot) simmering
Add 5 cups of chicken broth (home made is both easy and amazingly flavorful). Scrape up the brown bits, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Then transfer to a slow cooker, add the coconut milk, chicken, and lentils. Cook on low for 4-5 hours until chicken and lentils are tender.
Slow cooker ingredients; add to the soup base

The smell of a wonderful curry dish filled the house making it easier to ignore the mid-30’s rainy day; but harder to concentrate on the book I’m reading.

Simmering soup.

The longer I smelled it the more I thought of this as a curry dish rather than a soup dish. It reminded me of the yellow curry dish I have at a little Vietnamese restaurant my team goes to on drizzly days. So I decided to cook up a batch of rice and serve like that.

Top with a little yogurt and lime juice. Cilantro is often used but Carla isn’t a fan so we skipped that.

Dinner is served
It was good, not great. I think part of the problem is that once I started thinking curry stew, this dish couldn’t meet my changed expectations. I think I’ll work on a yellow curry dish soon.

Rating: ★★★ 3 out of 5 stars

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