National Soup Month – Vegetarian Mulligatawny Soup

The British colonial era may have seemed like a good idea at the time – at least to the British, maybe not so much to the Indians, South Africans, etc.  But you can’t deny at least one positive outcome – Mulligatawny Soup.

In what might be called “fusion cooking” today, Mulligatawny Soup combines the British preference for a nice, warm soup with the exotic flavors of India. Like many soups, this one has countless versions – all with chicken. But since we like all things meatless here at Wine Barrel Gourmet, I recently developed this vegetarian version for our new cookbook, Homestyle Meals Made Meatless.

Mulligatawny Soup served over rice

Chop 1 medium onion and mince 2 cloves of garlic. Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a Dutch oven, add the onion, garlic and the following spices (1 1/2 Tbsp garam masala, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp ground coriander, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp dry mustard). Saute, stirring occasionally to prevent burning until onion is soft – about 5 minutes.

Add 2 cups of tomato puree, 2 cups of yellow split peas, 6 cups water and 2 cups of chicken substitute. (I used baked tofu here, but you could use Quorn brand Tenders, Loma Linda brand Tender Bits or chopped tempeh). Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until peas are tender (30-40 minutes).

Stir in 3 Tbsp lemon juice and serve. Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes about 6 servings.

I like to serve this soup over steamed basmati rice with a green salad of some sort on the side. The rich, aromatic spices fill the house with mouth-watering anticipation. The perfect way to warm you up on a cold, winter night.

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About the Author

Renee Pottle, an author and heart-healthy educator, loves to explore and write about the Mediterranean Diet. She blogs at and

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