This Vegan Mulligatawny Soup is warm and comforting and I make it any time of year. I absolutely love Indian food. Curries, rice dishes, naan bread...the aromatic spices that are used are unique and delicious. My kitchen smells absolutely amazing when I make this soup.
What is Mulligatawny?
Mulligatawny is a type of soup that has its roots in Indian cuisine. The name "mulligatawny" is believed to be derived from the Tamil words "milagu" (pepper) and "tanni" (water), reflecting its use of spices and watery consistency. The soup was introduced to Western cuisine during the colonial period, particularly in British India, and has since evolved.
Traditionally, mulligatawny is a spicy and flavorful soup made with a base of lentils, vegetables, and aromatic spices. This version however is not too spicy and uses rice and chickpeas instead of lentils.
The specific ingredients can vary but often include:
- Lentils or Grains: The base of mulligatawny often involves lentils or grains like rice, which contribute to the soup's hearty texture and nutritional value.
- Vegetables: Various vegetables like onions, carrots, celery, and sometimes apples. The apples add both flavor and texture to the soup.
- Spices: A blend of spices is a key component of mulligatawny's distinctive taste. Common spices include curry powder, cumin, coriander, turmeric, black pepper, and sometimes cayenne pepper.
- Broth: Mulligatawny is usually made with a vegetable or chicken broth, which serves as the flavorful base for the soup.
- Coconut Milk: Coconut milk or cream is often (but not always) added to mulligatawny, which contributes a rich and creamy element to the soup. This addition is influenced by the South Indian use of coconut milk in their cuisine.
- Variations: As mulligatawny spread beyond India, it underwent various adaptations in different cuisines. In Western versions, you might find additional ingredients like chicken, beef, or lamb, as well as changes to the spices.
Overall, mulligatawny is a fusion of Indian and Western culinary influences, resulting in a soup that's aromatic, flavorful, and often spicy. It has become a popular dish in many parts of the world.
This delicious soup is made with wholesome ingredients.
- Onion - I use yellow onion but white onion would work too.
- Vegan butter - My favorite brand is Earth Balance but I also like Country Crock Plant Butter with Olive Oil.
- Flour - Use white flour for best results.
- Vegetable Broth
- Apple - Any kind of apple works.
- Rice - I prefer using white rice in this soup. But if you want to use brown rice, add an extra ¼ cup of broth or water. You will also need to simmer for about 40 minutes instead of 20 minutes.
- Spices: Curry powder, dried thyme, salt, and pepper
Making the Soup
This vegan mulligatawny soup recipe is easy to make but does take a bit of time. To start, melt the vegan butter in a large pot over medium heat.
Add in the chopped onion, carrot pieces, and sliced celery stalks. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
Add in the flour and curry powder and give it a good stir. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently so the flour doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot.
Add the vegetable stock and stir well. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Add in the grated apple, rice, chickpeas, salt, pepper and thyme.
I prefer grating the apple instead of chopping it into pieces. The grated apple melts right into the soup and adds a hint of sweetness. Simmer (with the pot covered) for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Feel free to add about ¼ cup of non-dairy milk for added creaminess. I prefer this Indian soup without the added vegan milk but the choice is yours.
Serve it with some crusty bread or vegan naan on the side.
Store any leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You might want to double the recipe and make a large batch if you want to have any leftovers!
I love this soup exactly as written. It's one of my absolute favorites. But, if you want to make some changes...
- Use an immersion blender to puree some of the soup for added thickness.
- Substitute olive oil for the vegan butter.
- Add a splash of coconut milk to the finished soup.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro (although I am personally not a fan of cilantro!).
- Add 2 peeled and chopped sweet potatoes.
- Substitute red lentils for the chickpeas.
- Add some chili powder for spice. As written, this creamy soup is mild.
Can I make this gluten-free?
Yes! Just use gluten-free flour in place of the white flour.
Can I freeze this soup?
Yes. Once the soup is completely cooled, transfer it to a freezer safe container and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating for best results.
This is my absolute favorite soup. Even though it's Indian inspired, it somehow reminds me of comforting chicken soup. It's easy to make and super delicious!
Looking for more delicious vegan soup recipes? Check out:
- Easy Vegan White Chili Chowder
- White Bean and Kale Soup With Potatoes (Vegan)
- Easy Vegan Split Pea Soup With Potatoes
The Best Vegan Mulligatawny Soup
- ¼ cup vegan butter
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, sliced
- 1 carrot, cut in small pieces
- 1 ½ tablespoon flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon curry powder
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 apple, peeled and grated
- ⅓ cup rice
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup non-dairy milk (optional)
- In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add the onions, celery and carrots and saute for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the flour and curry powder and continue to cook for 5 more minutes on low heat, stirring frequently.
- Add the vegetable broth, loosely cover the pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the apple, rice, chickpeas, salt, pepper and thyme. Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Optional: add ¼ non-dairy milk for creaminess.
- Check the seasoning and add additional salt if needed. Stir and serve.
- My favorite brand of vegan butter is Earth Balance.