Mulligatawny soup

Mulligatawny soup

The recipe for Mulligatawny soup is one that has stood the test of time. It can be found in Eliza Acton’s Modern Cookery for Private Families which was published in 1845 and there was a mention in The Sporting Magazine in 1798. 

The recipe originates from India and means pepper water. It’s a recipe I noticed in my first ever cookery book at the age of 12 but not being a fan of strong flavours back then I turned my nose up. But recently I’ve been looking for traditional British recipes and this one with it’s anglo-indian history fits the bill.

The perfect soup to warm you up on a cold day. If you like curry you’ll love this spicy soup. The original dish was entirely vegetarian but today chicken, beef and lamb versions can be found. I have used a homemade chicken stock in mine.

Mulligatawny soup
Serves 6
A spicy vegetable soup dating back to the late 17th century, just as good now as it was back then
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
55 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
55 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
  1. 50g butter
  2. 1 onion finely chopped
  3. 125g finely chopped carrots
  4. 125g finely chopped swede
  5. 1 small dessert apple finely chopped
  6. 50g streaky bacon
  7. 25g flour
  8. 1 level tbsp mild curry paste
  9. 1 level tbsp tomato puree
  10. 2 level tbsp mango chutney
  11. 1.4 litres chicken stock
  12. 1 tsp mixed herbs
  13. pinch of ground nutmeg (mace if you have it - the exterior of the nutmeg)
  14. pinch of ground cloves
  15. salt and freshly ground pepper
  16. 50g long grain rice
  17. 100ml sour cream or natural yoghurt
  18. Chopped parsley or coriander to decorate
  19. Poppadoms or naan bread to accompany.
  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and fry the onion, carrot, swede, apple and bacon until lightly browned.
  2. Stir in the flour, curry paste, tomato puree and chutney and cook for 1 - 2 mins to allow the flavours to come out.
  3. Add the stock and seasoning.
  4. Bring to the boil, skim and simmer covered for 30 - 40 minutes.
  5. Sieve or blend the soup.
  6. Return to the pan, bring to the boil, add the rice and boil gently for about 12 minutes until the rice is tender.
  7. Check your seasoning, stir in the fresh cream keeping some back. Do not boil.
  8. Pour into bowls or serving dish and swirl with the remaining cream.
  9. Add a little chopped parsley or coriander for decoration if desired and serve with poppadoms or naan bread
  1. You can substitute the rice with lentils
  2. You can use beef stock and add bits of meat too if a meatier dish is required.
Adapted from Traditional British recipe
Adapted from Traditional British recipe


  1. I love Mulligatawny with all its spices in it. Proper winter warmer during this cold weather too :)

    • I’m so glad I tried it! This can go down on the favourite list for sure and so easy to make. Love it!



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