This chunky Chicken Mulligatawny Soup with Sweet Potato & Spinach is a real winter warmer. Hearty, nourishing and full of spice, it makes a delicious lunch or light meal. Made using easy chicken stock from scratch (see recipe below).
When I was preparing this post I compared several chicken mulligatawny soup recipes and found them all very different from one another. Some were pureed, others chunky, some contained rice, while others didn’t. The only common factor were the curry spices.
Which means that you can make mulligatawny soup using your favourite spices, vegetables, or simply whatever you happen to have in your pantry.
My simple, healthy version of this delicious curried soup features sweet potato as the star ingredient.
Sweet potato chicken mulligatawny soup
Mulligatawny recipes often include carrots and white potatoes, but in this recipe I decided to use sweet potato instead. It tastes similar to carrot and is the healthier cousin of white potato, so there was simply no need to use either carrots or ordinary potatoes. Plus using only one vegetable means that there is less chopping involved!
Mulligatawny soup with homemade chicken stock
Making your own chicken stock is incredibly easy and you can add your own selection of vegetables to suit your taste. I’ve used carrot, parsnip, celery stalk and onion, but you could also use leek, turnip or celeriac. As for the herb for me parsley is essential, but cilantro would be a good choice too (in addition to the parsley).
To make the stock fill the pot with water, add the chicken and bring to the boil. Remove the white residue that will form on the surface and add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer for about 50 minutes to allow the vegetables to release lots of flavour. The chicken will very tender. Try not to let the stock boil too rapidly as it might become cloudy.
The stock can be made ahead and once cooled, refrigerated, until you are ready to make the soup (remove the onion from the stock before you refrigerate it). If you make the stock in advance the soup will take less than 30 minutes to cook!
I based this easy chicken stock on the one I used for my simple homemade chicken noodle soup. Another version of this soup is this low carb chicken noodle soup with veggie spaghetti.
How to make vegetarian mulligatawny soup
It’s very easy to make this chicken soup vegetarian. And it also takes a little less time to make than the original version. Simply place all the stock ingredients, apart from the chicken, in a pot, bring to the boil, then simmer, covered, for 50 minutes. (I made a similar vegetarian stock for my vegan pumpkin noodle soup with smoky tofu).
What to do with the vegetables from the stock
You could puree these and add to other soup recipes for more bulk and flavour. This also works well in stews.
Mulligatawny soup recipe with spinach
I included fresh spinach in my list of ingredients for its nutritional value, but also because it tastes delicious paired with tangy, sweet flavours. So it adds complexity to the overall flavour. I recommend stirring it in once the soup has been cooked in order to preserve its flavour and vibrant colour.
If you like sweet potato and spinach you might also like these 4-ingredient loaded spinach sweet potato skins.
This easy chicken mulligatawny soup is a meal in itself and can be enjoyed as is. Though you could add a dollop of thick yogurt or drizzle of coconut milk to it if you like. You might also like to serve it with a bit of mango chutney or lime pickle.
Chicken Mulligatawny Soup with Sweet Potato & Spinach
For the chicken stock
- 4 chicken thighs, skinless
- 1 each: carrot, parsnip, onion, peeled
- 1 celery stalk
- small munch parsley, including stalks, approx. 12 sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 allspice, whole
- 5 cups water
- 2/3 tsp coarse sea salt, plus pepper to taste
For the mulligatawny
- 2 cups sweet potato, peeled, cubed
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated
- 1 tbsp your favourite curry powder, I used madras curry powder
- 1 tsp each: coriander, cumin, turmeric powders
- 1/2 tsp each: chilli flakes and onion seeds (nigella)
- 80 g red lentils, rinsed, approx. 1/3 cup
- 90 g basmati rice, rinsed, approx. 1/3 cup
- 80 g fresh spinach
- 500 g passata
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- chicken stock
- Start by making the chicken stock. Combine the chicken with the water, bay leaf and allspice, cover and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and skim off the white residue that will have formed on the surface. Add the vegetables, seasoning, cover, bring to boil again, and cook gently for 50 minutes (do not let it cook rapidly as the stock might become cloudy). Take the chicken out of the stock and separate the meat from the bone. Set aside.
- Meanwhile prepare the soup ingredients. When the stock is ready start making the mulligatawny. In a large pot heat up the oil, add the spices, onion, garlic, ginger and chilli flakes, stir and cook for a minute. Add the sweet potato and cook for 2-3 more minutes, stirring often. Add the passata and some of the chicken stock, cover, bring to the boil and cook gently for 3 minutes.
- Add the rice and red lentils, more chicken stock and cook for another 10-15 minutes (until the rice is fully cooked). Remove from the heat, stir in the spinach, add the chicken pieces, season and serve. (Depending on how thick you want your soup to be, you may or may not use all the chicken stock).
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