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Chicken Mulligatawny Soup is a delicious chicken, apple, vegetable, and rice soup in a creamy, curry-flavored broth.
I had my first bowl of Chicken Mulligatawny soup years ago, in the cafeteria of an office where I worked. It was offered as the daily soup special at lunch, and I was in the mood to try something new.
After my first taste, I was in love – and years later, I still love it!
What is mulligatawny?
Mulligatawny (pronounced mulli-ga-taw-ny) is a soup that originates from South Indian cuisine. It translates to “pepper water” (or broth) in the Tamil language.
Chicken Mulligatawny soup is believed to have been first prepared for British colonists by their Indian cooks. There are many versions of this soup recipe – some with chicken, apples and rice, like our recipe today. Others include lamb, lentils or coconut milk – but the common ingredients in this very flavorful soup are curry, apples and rice.
Chicken Mulligatawny Soup is most often made with chicken thighs – because the dark meat is super flavorful and stays moist after cooking.
We used a mix of a mild curry powder, garam masala, ground cumin, and thyme to smooth out the curry flavor a bit, and this spice blend gives this soup an interesting depth of flavor. The spices with the sweet apples and tender vegetables, chicken and rice is a truly delicious bite.
You may enjoy these other soup recipes:
- Citrus Chicken and Rice Soup
- Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup
- Curried Turkey and Rice Soup
- Lentil Soup with Ham
- Zucchini Tomato Italian Sausage Soup
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 ½ pounds chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into bit sized pieces
7 tablespoons butter
1 cup onion, diced
2 cups celery, diced
3 cups carrots, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon mild curry powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon dry thyme
½ teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt (adjust amount depending on how salty your chicken stock is)
2 quarts chicken stock, homemade if possible
1 cup dry basmati or white rice
Two large Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup heavy cream
In a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium high heat and once hot, add half of the chicken and brown, 4-5 minutes. Remove to a bowl. Repeat with rest of oil and chicken then remove to the same bowl.
Add the butter and once melted, add the onion, celery and carrots. Stir with a wooden spoon, scraping the brown bits on the pan bottom.
Cook for four minutes then add garlic and cook for one more minute.
Lower heat to medium and add the flour, curry, garam masala, cumin, thyme, pepper and salt if using and stir and cook for three minutes.
Add half the stock and stir to thicken. Add remaining stock and the rice. Stir to combine.
Bring to a boil, lower heat to low, cover and cook 15 minutes.
Remove cover, bring heat to medium and add apples and cooked chicken and cook 5-10 minutes until apples are tender.
Stir in cream and remove from heat and serve.
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