Harriet Harcourt

Mulligatawny Soup

There are plenty of opinions about the origins of this soup, not to mention ways to make it.  I’m a big fan of a meal in a bowl and when it’s as good as this – hearty, warming and nourishing – you don’t need anything else other than a few little condiments.
This version is gently flavoured with a mild curry paste which gives flavour without kick which keeps it family friendly; spice it up with extra curry paste if you wish (I always think it’s a good idea to try it once as written and then adapt to your heart’s content).


2 Tb ghee or coconut oil
1 large onion, finely sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1 large zucchini, washed and diced
1 celery stick, diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled & crushed
1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
1 heaped Tb mild Indian curry paste
4 cups good quality chicken stock
¼ cup red split lentils, rinsed
¼ cup basmati rice
200g approx. cooked chicken meat, roughly shredded
4 small tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
200ml coconut milk
1-2 Tb lemon juice, to taste
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Lemon wedges
Small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
Baby poppadums

Serves 4 generously.



Heat the ghee or coconut oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat and add the onion.

Cook, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes, until soft and golden.

Add the carrot, zucchini and celery and cook, stirring occasionally for another five minutes.

Add the garlic and ginger, stir, and cook for another minute.

Stir in curry paste and cook for a minute.

Pour in the stock and add the red split lentils, season lightly.

Bring to the boil then turn down the heat, cover, and simmer gently for 25 minutes.

Add the basmati rice and cook for a further 12 minutes.

Stir in the coconut milk, cooked chicken meat, chopped tomatoes, and lemon juice and heat thoroughly before serving.

  • Divide between bowls and garnish with a little of the coriander.
  • Serve with lemon wedges, baby poppadums and remaining coriander.


  • You can easily make this vegetarian; simply omit the chicken meat and replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock.
  • I normally use Patak’s Korma curry paste.