Cooking with Turmeric: Mulligatawny Soup

If you were to ask me a year ago to take a chalky, mustard-yellow colored spice, incorporate it into my cooking, and enjoy it, I would have probably politely declined. One year later, I have a pretty decent-sized bag of turmeric in my spice rack, and I use it as often as possible.

mulligatawny_soup_68949_16x9This weeks’ recipe is Mulligatawny Soup, a traditional Indian dish translated as “pepper water” – due to the addition of curry spice, and in some variations (like this one), turmeric.

Why this recipe?

This particular recipe I’m following, from, doesn’t actually include turmeric by default, but I’ve made it a few times and feel that the addition of turmeric will only make it better. I discovered this recipe only a few weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to make, and how delicious it is. My whole family loves it. Within the first few minutes of simmering the vegetables, my kitchen smelt amazing.

Before we begin:

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time
: 1 hour
Ready in
: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Here’s what you’ll need…

(makes 6 servings)

  • Mulligatawny Soup Ingredients1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 stalks chopped celery
  • 1 diced carrot
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 apple cored and chopped (I used Granny Smith)
  • 1/4 cup white rice (I used brown)
  • 1 skinless, boneless chicken breast half, cut into cubes
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pinch dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, heated
Now what?
  1. First, take your carrots, onions, celery, and butter and combine in a medium to large soup pot. Sauté for about seven minutes, until onion becomes translucent.
  2. Add the flour, curry powder, turmeric, and garlic, and cook for five more minutes.Mulligatawny_saute (1)
  3. Add the chicken stock and mix everything together, continuing to cook until a boil. Once boiled, lower the heat and simmer for about a half hour.
  4. Add diced apple, chicken, rice, salt, pepper, and thyme. Simmer until rice is done (about 20 minutes).
  5. Add hot cream (I microwaved the cream beforehand for about 20 seconds to warm it).
  6. Serve and enjoy!
It’s all about the taste

Mulligatawny_done (1)This came out delicious! Adding the turmeric really gave it a nice kick. If you’re looking for a warm, somewhat spicy treat for crisp, cool days (or cool summer nights), I highly recommend this recipe.

Some recommended tweaks

Now that I’ve had it with and without turmeric, I would definitely recommend including it. I also included garlic, which wasn’t called for in the original recipe. If you want to make it extra healthy, you can always substitute the butter for olive oil, and the heavy cream for 2% milk. One reviewer even recommended substituting the flour for cooked potatoes. If you’re a vegetarian, consider adding lentils instead of chicken. Your soup may not be as thick and hearty with these substitutions, but the flavors will still be there.

Another tip – this soup gets better with time. If you can, save some for the second or third day; it will give the flavors some more time to meld together, and the unique spices will really come out.

Hope you enjoyed the first recipe! Let me know if you make it, and what you think in the comments!

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