Mulligatawny Soup

Preparation info

  • Makes


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Splendid Soups

Splendid Soups

By James Peterson

Published 2000

  • About

Until recently I never really thought much of this soup. Versions tasted in New York always seemed insipid compared to other Indian food. The few times I tried it in India—usually when I was feeling out of sorts and wanted something safe—it was pallid and uninteresting.

But this version, flavored with almond milk, is marvelous. The kinds of vegetables you use aren’t terribly important—in fact you can use almost any vegetable puree as a base,


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium-size carrots, chopped
  • 2 medium-size onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 medium-size waxy potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 7 cups chicken or vegetable broth or water
  • 1 cup tightly packed spinach leaves
  • 1 cup blanched almonds
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron threads, soaked in 1 tablespoon water for 15 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or unsalted butter
  • 4 teaspoons curry powder
  • ½ cup heavy cream or coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro leaves
  • salt and pepper


    Melt the butter in a 4-quart pot over medium heat and add the carrots, onions, garlic, and potatoes. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until the onions start to turn translucent.

    Add the broth and bring the soup to a medium simmer. When the vegetables are soft and can be crushed easily against the side of the pot with a spoon, about 20 minutes, add the spinach leaves and simmer for 2 minutes more.

    While the vegetables are cooking, use the almonds and water to make almond milk.

    Puree the soup in a blender or through the fine disk of a food mill. If you want the soup to have a smoother texture, strain it through a medium-mesh strainer. Add the almond milk and the saffron with its soaking liquid.

    Combine the ghee and curry in a small sauté pan. Stir over medium heat for about 2 minutes, until you can smell the curry. Add this mixture to the soup.

    Stir in the cream or coconut milk and the cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a simmer and serve.