Mulligatawny Soup

Mulligatawny Soup

From Cook’s Illustrated. Published February 1, 2005.

Serves 6 to 8.

For freshness, puree some of the garlic and ginger with water in a blender, then leave this mixture in the blender while making the soup. The finished soup is pureed in the same blender, where it will pick up a hit of spicy raw garlic and ginger flavor.


4 medium cloves garlic , 2 peeled and 2 finely minced
1 piece ginger (about 1 1/2 inches), peeled and grated (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium onions , chopped medium
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
7 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 medium carrots , peeled and chopped coarse
1 medium rib celery , chopped coarse
1 medium banana (about 5 ounces), very ripe, peeled, or 1 small boiling potato (about 5 ounces), peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
Table salt and ground black pepper
plain yogurt
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves


  1. Place the 2 peeled whole garlic cloves, 2 teaspoons of the grated ginger, and the water in a blender. Blend until smooth, about 25 seconds; leave the mixture in the blender jar and set aside. (You will be pureeing the soup right in the blender with the garlic and ginger.)

  2. Heat the butter in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat until foaming. Add the onions and tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are softened and beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in the coconut and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the minced garlic, remaining 2 1/2 teaspoons ginger, curry powder, cumin, cayenne, and flour; stir until evenly combined, about 1 minute. Whisking constantly and vigorously, gradually add the chicken broth.

  3. Add the carrots, celery, and whole banana to the pot. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

  4. Puree the soup in batches in the blender with the garlic and ginger until very smooth. Wash and dry the pot. Return the pureed soup to the clean pot and season to taste with salt and pepper. Warm the soup over medium heat until hot, about 1 minute. (The soup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Warm over low heat until hot; do not boil.) Ladle the soup into individual bowls, spoon a dollop of the yogurt over each bowl, sprinkle with the cilantro, and serve immediately.