One of the first soup recipes I learnt while working my apprenticeship 20 years ago was Mulligatawny Soup. It Is warming, comforting and nourishing. This version of mulligatawny consists of red lentils (masoor dal) apples and celery. If you think fruit and lentils don't go together, this Mulligatawny soup recipe will surprise you.
A Stripped Down Version Of A Classic Indian Soup
Mulligatawny soup originating in south India. What started off as pepper water or rasam (a spicy fluid soup) eaten with rice, has evolved and now has so many variations. The name Mulligatawny consists of Tamil words meaning "pepper water." Classically the ingredients of a Mulligatawny soup recipe are chicken stock / mutton stock or vegetable stock , coconut cream, onion, celery and apples.
My mulligatawny soup recipe is a really simple, stripped down version. I often end up making this soup as a quick dinner, using up the apples from my fruit bowl with the lentils as the source of protein. Although traditionally mulligatawny soups require some spices or curry powder - you could call it a curried soup - I have chosen to omit these to keep my soup mild. I do add turmeric though, for all its health benefits and for the colour it provides. I blend this soup so it is smooth, not chunky.
This lentil and apple soup is nourishing, light and comforting. Soup season is upon us and we all need a one pot wonder sometimes, when life is hectic.
Here is a video guide to making you mulligatawny soup.
Mulligatawny - Simple Lentil And Apple Soup
- Digital scales
- Blender or Food processor
- 150 g Red Lentils Masoor dal
- 180 g Apples approx one apple
- 100 g Celery
- 100 g Red Onions
- 10 g Garlic
- 10 g Olive oil
- 1 l Vegetable stock
- 1 Bay leaf
- 6 Peppercorns
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
- Soak the lentils for at least an hour before cooking. This process speeds up the cooking time.
- Wash and drain the lentils and set aside.
- Roughy chop the onions, celery and garlic.
- Core and slice the apples - no need to peel the skin.
- Heat the oil in a large pot and add the bay leaf and peppercorns.
- Add the onions, garlic and celery. Saute for about five minutes or until the onions are soft.
- Add the sliced apples and sauté for five minutes.
- Add the drained lentils and vegetable stock.
- Cover and bring to a boil.
- Once its come to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer and remove the scum, or froth from the top carefully. Then cover and leave to simmer for 15 minutes.
- The lentils should be cooked by now. If not continue cooking till done.
- Leave to cool and then puree in a blender.
- Bring back to the pot and heat before serving.
- Garnish with herbs of your choice.
- Optional, but highly recommended - garnish with boiled rice.
Mulligatawny Soup Recipe Notes
Soaking and washing lentils is really important as it speeds up cooking time and also reduces bloating.
You can use Toor dal (split yellow pigeon peas) or yellow mung beans, instead of the masoor dal. They will, however, need soaking overnight and will require cooking for a longer period. Masoor dal or red lentils don't require soaking overnight. Usually one or two hours is enough.
You can use any eating apples. Bramley or cooking apples are an option, however, they will impart a tart flavour to the soup.
If you would like to add spices, I recommend using mild curry powder. Just a teaspoon for flavour when you are sautéing the onions and celery. If you want to bulk it up a bit, then you can add coconut cream and some pre cooked rice. My Mulligatawny soup recipe is simple, but build on it if you want.
If you wish, make in bulk and freeze for later use. This soup freezes very well and can be stored for up to three months. Just defrost the night before in the fridge and bring it to a boil before serving.
Want to make you own stock? Check out my homemade vegetable stock.