How to Make Mulligatawny Soup with Chicken, Apple & Rice

Have you had mulligatawny? Your family will love this gorgeous, mild yet flavorful soup.

mulligatawny in pot and bowl

Also check out: How to Roast Chicken, Chicken Corn Chowder, Chicken & Apple Salad

Mulligatawny is a thick soup whose star ingredients are chicken, apple, rice and curry powder. The vivid golden colour of this soup comes from curry powder and turmeric. The chicken provides a hearty source of high-quality protein. The barely noticeable apples provide just the right amount of acidity to balance the smooth flavour of rice and coconut milk.

close up of muligatawny
Curry powder and turmeric add beautiful colour and great flavour without making this soup hot and spicy.

Don’t let the word curry lead you to think this soup is hot and spicy – it’s not. Store bought curry powder, unless otherwise labelled, is mild and does not include chili peppers. While each blend is slightly different, curry powder usually contains coriander, turmeric, cumin and ginger. Optional ingredients may include fenugreek, garlic, cloves, mustard, nutmeg, black pepper and cinnamon. So, the curry powder does not make this soup hot and spicy; it’s only as spicy as you want it to be based on how many hot pepper flakes you choose to add.

mulligatawny in bowl beside pot
A sprinkle of paprika and fresh chopped parsley garnish this chicken and apple curry soup.

I originally developed this recipe as one of several savoury recipes for my apple cookbook. Thanks to a partnership with Manitoba Chicken Producers, I’m happy to share this recipe on my website so everyone can enjoy this delicious soup.

Recipe for Mulligatawny

mulligatawny in pot
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Mulligatawny Soup

A thick, flavourful soup combining chicken, apple and rice. The vivid golden colour and delicious flavour comes from curry powder and turmeric.
Prep : 15 mins
Cook : 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 15 mins
Servings: 6
Author: Getty Stewart

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 raw chicken breasts or 4 thighs*
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tsp fresh grated turmeric root 1 tsp pwdr
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes optional
  • 3/4 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 1 cup diced, peeled apple
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 3 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  • In large saucepan, heat oil and brown chicken on outside, inside will be cooked later. Remove chicken and set aside.
  • Add onion, carrots and celery. Sauté until tender, 3 minutes.
  • Add garlic, turmeric, curry powder and pepper, cook 1 minute.
  • Add flour, cook 1 minute stirring constantly.
  • Add chicken broth and loosen any brown bits on bottom of pan. Add lemon juice and hot pepper flakes. Bring to boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add chicken, rice, apple and coconut milk. Simmer for 20 –30 minutes until rice is tender.
  • Remove chicken and shred with two forks. Return to pot.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning. Remove from heat, add parsley and enjoy.

Notes

* Great with leftover or rotisserie chicken! Use 2-3 cups chopped or shredded cooked chicken and add towards the end of cooking just to reheat. An average rotisserie chicken will provide about 2-3 cups of chopped chicken. 
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Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories: 355kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 16g | Sodium: 1031mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Iron: 3mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple, chicken breast,, curry, rice, soup, stew
mulligatawny in pot

HOW LONG CAN I KEEP MULLIGATAWNY?

Keep in refrigerator for up to 4 days.

You can also freeze this soup to enjoy another day thanks to the coconut milk. Using coconut milk instead of dairy adds great flavor, prevents curdling if over-heated and makes this soup stable for freezing.

To freeze, let soup cool completely before adding to freezer bag or container. If using a container, remember to leave an inch of head space for expansion. Label and freeze. It will be safe for a long time, but for best quality use within 3 to 6 months.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH MULLIGATAWNY?

This soup is thick and hardy, you won’t need a lot to feel like you’ve had a full meal. That said, a nice side salad, bun, slice of bread or piece of naan would be perfect.

close up of muligatawny

WHAT KIND OF APPLES?

I usually make this soup in the fall when fresh local apples are in season. Our local prairie apples are perfect because they have just the right amount of tartness  for this soup. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use store bought apples – use whatever you have on hand or look for varieties like Granny Smith, Braeburn, Empire, Spartan or Smitten.

If you’re concerned about apple pieces, use a grater to shred the apples. They won’t be noticeable but you’ll benefit from their flavour. A soft flesh apple like McIntosh would be ideal.

WHAT KIND OF CHICKEN?

The recipe shown above starts with raw chicken breasts or thighs, but this recipe is also perfect for leftover or rotisserie chicken. Just add it towards the end of the cooking process to simply reheat it.  I recommend adding two to three cups of cooked chicken.

Are Chickens Seasonal?

If you follow my blog, you know I’m a big fan of local, seasonal food. What about broilers (chickens raised for meat) – are they seasonal?

When I was a kid, we raised our own broiler chickens on the farm. Those chickens were were definitely seasonal!  We raised them over the summer and by end of August they were all in the freezer.

Luckily for all of us, we can get fresh, locally raised broilers year round. That’s because most chickens in Manitoba are raised in large barns where they can roam freely on a floor covered by soft, dry straw. This keeps the chickens protected from the elements and from predators like foxes, skunks and weasels. Trust me, predators are a real concern. I once came home from school to find a skunk in the chicken coop with five dead chickens. Not a pleasant experience for the chickens, the skunk or me!

In Canada, broilers are NOT raised in cages.  They all have freedom to move, roam and scratch. And just so you know, Canadian raised chickens are never given any hormones or steroids – despite what some advertisers might want you to believe.

It takes about 30 to 38 days for chicks to grow into 2 -2.5 kg birds. Larger roasters (3-4 kg) are simply raised longer. After each flock, farmers thoroughly clean the barn and all equipment. They leave the barn empty for two weeks before laying down new straw for a new flock of chicks.

Raising and processing chickens was not one of my favorite chores, but I LOVE eating chicken. So I’m very grateful for 123 Manitoba chicken farmers who raise them for us year-round. I trust Manitoba Chicken Producers and Chicken Farmers of Canada, Raised by a Canadian Farmer national standards to ensure we get some of the world’s tastiest and safest chicken. That’s why I look for the red Canadian Farmer logo on fresh packs of chicken whenever possible.

Canadian chicken farmer logo
Look for this label for Canadian chicken.

That’s the chicken I’m putting in my mulligatawny.

mulligatawny in blue bowl

Are you ready to try this delicious soup? When you do let me know what you think and if you’re on social media, please take a photo and tag #getgettys and @ManitobaChicken so we can see it and like it!

This recipe was written in paid partnership with the Manitoba Chicken Producers. As always, opinions are my own and a sincere reflection of life in my home.

Getty Stewart is a Professional Home Economist, speaker, frequent media guest and writer sharing tips and recipes to build confidence and teach skills on how to use whole seasonal foods. She is the author of several recipe books, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener. Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this.

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