Indian Mulligatawny Soup is a super-flavorful chicken and rice soup with the intriguing additions of curry powder, carrots, apple and thyme.

white bowl filled with Indian Mulligatawny Soup

I’m one of those unusual people who likes winter time in Colorado – I like to snuggle up with Robert next to a fire, enjoying a bowl of warm, delicious soup. Indian Mulligatawny Soup is a particular favorite of ours – which is one of the reasons it ended up as the cover photo on A Well-Seasoned Kitchen®, my first cookbook.

Mulligatawny is a curry-flavored soup, originally from East India. Food lore has it that Brits employed by the East India Company during the late 18th/19th century fell in love with this soup, and took the recipe home with them to England. There are many versions – some omit the chicken and add lentils, others include lamb and almonds. Our recipe started with an old one from mom’s recipe box, which she and I added to and updated.

We start with sautéing onions, celery and carrots in butter, then blending in a bit of flour and curry powder.


In addition to throwing in the basic ingredients of chicken, rice and chicken broth, mom and I also added chopped apple and thyme for additional flavor. We finish it all off with a bit of half and half, for creaminess. So colorful, so delicious!

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Indian Mulligatawny Soup

  • Author: (From "A Well-Seasoned Kitchen®" by Sally Clayton and Lee Clayton Roper)
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: soups, main dishes



  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 4 celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 4 teaspoons curry powder
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup white or brown rice
  • 1 apple, cored and finely chopped
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 cup half and half


  1. In a large stock pot, melt the butter. Add the chopped onion, celery and carrots and sauté over medium to medium-high heat until the onions are softened, around 10 minutes. Stir in the flour and curry powder and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for an additional 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. Add the rice, apple, chicken, thyme and salt and pepper to taste (you won’t need much salt). Bring to a boil again, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the half and half, bring to a boil again, reduce and simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes or until the rice is done. Let cool for a few minutes before serving – it gets very hot!


You can substitute coconut milk for the half and half.

Make ahead: Soup can be made up to 24 hours in advance, cooled to room temperature, covered and refrigerated. Reheat over medium heat. If soup has thickened while sitting, thin with additional chicken broth.


Lee Clayton Roper


I’m Lee Clayton Roper, and I’m passionate about making cooking and entertaining easy, elegant and fun. Here you’ll find scrumptious recipes, helpful tips and seasonal menus that will spark inspiration in your kitchen!
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4 Responses to “Indian Mulligatawny Soup”

  1. Nancy Allen

    Hi Lee. I made your Indian Mulligatawny Soup the other night for supper and it was a hit with all. Very yummy and super easy to do.


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