My version of Mulligatawny Soup is thick, rich and incredibly flavorful. Orzo instead of rice with a pureed base and loads of tender chicken!
Mulligatawny Soup has been a favorite of mine for years. It’s the way I introduced my girls to the flavor of curry when they were small(er); my version is almost like a chicken noodle soup so it was a familiar dish to them, it just had a few slight twists. If you haven’t heard of it or tried it, I assure you that you’re in for a treat!
I really enjoy putting a lot of effort into my recipes and in my kitchen. It’s not only what I love to do – cooking relaxes me and there’s nothing like sipping on a glass of wine, turning on some tunes and tuning out from life’s grind – but I also find that it’s an important part of life. I grew up in a household where my mom cooked us dinner every night; it’s what I’m used to and what I enjoy providing for my own girls. It’s the time when we all chat and spend time together; even if the girls are just sitting at the counter doing homework while I’m chopping onions, we’re still together and that’s what counts. I often tell my friends who say they “just don’t have the time to cook” that if they just start with one or two meals a week, that’s enough to make it a fun habit. And heck, plan for leftovers and you’ve got over half your week’s dinners done!
I specifically chose this recipe to share because it’s super easy, healthy and will be a great way to get back into the kitchen (yet delicious enough to make even if you never got out of it)! The history of Mulligatawny Soup is interesting; Wikipedia states that it’s “an English soup after an Indian recipe” and there are variations of it all over the place. I wanted to make a simple version that uses easily available ingredients, could be quick enough for a weeknight meal but still has enough flavor depth that it tastes like a treat.
I start with your standard mirepoix of carrots, celery and onions and give it a quick saute in a little olive oil. Mulligatawny Soup usually has a sweet ingredient, too; in this case, it’s an apple. I use a green apple that I peel and core then grate using the large holes on a box grater. I like the flavor it adds to the soup but you’d never know it was there. Often the apples will be diced or chopped so that the flavor stands out more; I suggest you try it both ways to see which you prefer. Occasionally I’ll even add a second apple toward the end of cooking that I’ve diced so I get the best of both worlds.
Another change I make to the more traditional Mulligatawny Soup is to puree the mixture just before I add the chicken and orzo pasta. The orzo is another change since typically it’s served using rice. As you can see, my recipe is quite different, but I can assure you it’s just as delicious and undoubtedly comforting on a cold winter day. Especially when you’re inside, cooking in your warm, cozy kitchen.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 2 large celery stalks, chopped
- 1 large green apple, peeled, cored and grated
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons yellow curry powder (add more at the end if you prefer a stronger flavor)
- 64 ounces reduced-sodium chicken stock or broth
- 1 cup orzo or white rice
- 4-6 cups cooked, diced chicken (I use the meat from a whole rotisserie chicken)
- kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat a soup pot and add olive oil. Add onions, celery and carrots, saute for approximately 5 minutes or until vegetables are starting to soften. Add apple, cook another minute or two. Add flour and curry powder, stir well and cook one minute more. Add chicken stock, bring to a boil then reduce heat. Simmer for 30-60 minutes.
- Using an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. Add orzo or rice and diced chicken, simmer until orzo or rice is cooked through and chicken is hot. Season well to taste and serve immediately.