Mulligatawny Soup

Serves 4 generously

There are plenty of opinions about the origins of Mulligatawny, not to mention ways to make it. I’m a big fan of a meal in a bowl and when it’s as good as this – hearty, warming and nourishing – you don’t need anything else other than a few little condiments. My version is gently flavoured with a mild curry paste which gives flavour without kick to keep it family friendly; do spice it up with extra curry paste if you wish (I always think it’s a good idea to try it once as written and then adapt to your heart’s content).


2 Tb ghee or coconut oil
1 large onion, finely sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1 large zucchini, washed and diced
1 celery stick, diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled & crushed
1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
1 heaped Tb mild Indian curry paste (I used Patak’s Korma curry paste)
4 cups good quality chicken stock
¼ cup red split lentils, rinsed
¼ cup basmati rice
200g approx. cooked chicken meat, roughly shredded
4 small tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
200ml coconut milk
1-2Tb lemon juice, to taste
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Lemon wedges
Small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
Baby poppadums


  • Heat the ghee or coconut oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat and add the onion.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes, until soft and golden.
  • Add the carrot, zucchini and celery and cook, stirring occasionally for another five minutes.
  • Add the garlic and ginger, stir and cook for another minute.
  • Stir in curry paste and cook for a minute.
  • Pour in the stock and add the red split lentils; season lightly.
  • Bring to the boil then turn down the heat, cover and simmer gently for 25 minutes.
  • Add the basmati rice and cook for a further 12 minutes.
  • Stir in the coconut milk, cooked chicken meat, chopped tomatoes, and lemon juice and heat thoroughly before serving.

To serve:

  • Divide between bowls and garnish with a little of the coriander.
  • Serve with lemon wedges, baby poppadums and remaining coriander.


  • You can easily make this vegetarian or vegan by omitting the chicken meat, replacing the chicken stock with vegetable stock and use the coconut oil rather than ghee.
  • (you will also need to check the ingredients on the curry paste you choose to ensure it meets your criteria for vego/vegan)

Recipe:  Harriet Harcourt
Food Styling:  Harriet Harcourt
Photography:  Harriet Harcourt