Vegetarian Week: The Soup Peddler's Mulligatawny

soup title

Today’s recipe comes from the awesome cookbook, The Soup Peddler’s Slow and Difficult Soups, by David Ansel. I love this book because the author tells an amusing story of soup making and soup delivery to his customers by bike — it’s both cookbook and memoir.

In addition, the recipes are oh so good and both carnivorous and herbivorous in variety. Obviously, the mulligatawny features the latter ingredients, as I am posting about it this week. Lentils, curry, potatoes, apple and assorted vegetables meld together for a slightly spicy, totally satisfying soup.

The Soup Peddler’s Mulligatawny
2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter) or olive oil
2 medium white onions, diced
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 tbsp curry powder
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
2 cups red or green lentils, rinsed
2 14-oz cans coconut milk
6 cups water
1/2 cup cauliflower, cut into florets
1 Granny Smith apple, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic
2 Roma tomatoes
1 cup spinach leaves (my addition)
Salt to taste
Garnish: plain yogurt

Heat the ghee or olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat and saute the onions and carrots. When the vegetables soften and begin to release their juices, about 10 minutes add the curry and stir well.


Continue to saute 2 minutes longer, then add the potato, lentils and coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Add the water as necessary to keep a soupy consistency.

After about 20 minutes, when the lentils are soft, add the cauliflower, apple and celery. I actually skipped the cauliflower because I didn’t have any — but if you have some, throw it in! Cover with more water if needed and bring back to a simmer.


In a blender or food processor, puree the olive oil, garlic, tomatoes and spinach.


Stir the puree into the soup and season to taste with salt. Cook for 5 more minutes and serve. Garnish with a dollop of plain yogurt.


So, Vegetarian Week is almost over here at je mange la ville. I almost feel ready to face whatever mega-meaty offerings are served at the Anthony Bourdain dinner at the Heathman next week…

2 Replies to “Vegetarian Week: The Soup Peddler's Mulligatawny”

  1. I’m really torn, this one looks fabulous but it’s going to be 100° here today. I just don’t think I can manage a hot soup. Well, and I don’t have a cook top really yet. I’ll hold this one for fall where ever we may be.
    Oh, the Heathman. You lucky foodie dog. Enjoy and don’t forget us who don’t get to go.

  2. See, it’s been in the low 70’s here lately, so this works for us…file this away for a less hot day this summer or yep, the Fall!!
    100! Yikes!

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