My wife and I always make a lot of this soup at a time and freeze it for later. This is the perfect dish for when you are feeling sick, and when you are feeling sick it is so much nicer to just take a bag out of the freezer and reheat than to make it from scratch.

This recipe is classic. It is so classic that my wife’s mother got it out of a newspaper in 1998. Posting this recipe is like preserving a bit of the past. Believe me, you can taste the history; and history tastes good—not all dusty and stale like you might think.


Update: Thanks to Miss Berrie’s helpful comment, I was able to investigate more closely the origins of this recipe. First, she is correct that this is double the original recipe, with one exception. The original called for 1 tablespoon of curry powder, and our version doesn’t double that. I wonder what it would taste like with twice as much curry powder? Twice as awesome? Possibly!!

Miss Berrie is also correct that this recipe came to us from the San Antonio Express-News, not the San Antonio Light. It was printed on May 13, 1998, in preparation for the final episode of Seinfeld.

Mulligatawny Recipe in San Antonio Express-News, May 13, 1998

Karen Haram, the San Antonio Express-News Food Editor that wrote the piece, got the recipe from the pages of The Doubleday Cookbook by Jean Anderson and Elaine Hanna. Unfortunately, Karen did not include a recipe for crab bisque. End Update.


from Karen Haram, San Antonio Express-News Food Editor (printed May 13, 1998); she got it from The Doubleday Cookbook


  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2 small yellow onions, peeled and diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 green pepper, cored and diced
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 6 whole cloves (or ½ teaspoon ground cloves)
  • 4 sprigs parsley
  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes (or one can diced tomatoes, undrained)
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups cooked rice


Sauté onions, carrots, celery, and green pepper in butter until onions are soft and clear. Stir in flour, curry, nutmeg, and cloves until well distributed. Add chicken broth, parsley, salt, pepper, and tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for one hour.

Blend soup with immersion blender (or in batches in a normal blender) until completely smooth. (If using whole cloves, remove cloves before blending.)

Stir in chicken, cream, and rice, and heat through before serving. This soup also freezes and reheats very well.


4 thoughts on “Mulligatawny

  1. making this right now, so far smells and tastes delicious and it isn’t even completed yet! thanks for posting.

  2. I think we should note here that this is the doubled version of the original recipe. But this soup is so good that we always want that much!

    Also, I have reason to doubt the claim that this recipe was posted in the San Antonio Light newspaper. It was posted, along with recipes for crab bisque and the black and white cookie, as a tribute to the final episode of Seinfeld, the show where mulligatawny soup found its fame. That episode aired in 1998, five years after the Light went out of business. I’m pretty sure this was in the SA Express. Sorry, guys.

  3. Actually, it could well have been published in both places. I have a recipe for this dish from an 1818 cookbook published in London. Mulligatawney soup was originally an Indian curry soup, adapted by the British during colonial times.

    Seinfeld was probably the most recent to make it famous, but this soup has been around for a long, long time.

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