I’m typing to you from the fringe of the 2019 polar vortex here in Calgary — and man, it’s cold outside (guess I spoke too soon about our unseasonably mild winter weather!). I’m very content to be curled up with a big bowl of Slow Cooker Vegan Mulligatawny Soup with Red Lentils in my chenille sweatpants and fuzzy sock as I edit this post! I hope everyone in affected areas is staying warm, cozy and safe out there.
But what better time than a polar vortex to make a hearty slow cooker recipe, am I right?! Warm up with a batch of my Slow Cooker Vegan Mulligatawny Soup with Red Lentils — an ultra clean, nourishing, protein packed, plant-based spin on a classic English soup with South Indian roots. The best part? You likely have most (if not all!) of these ingredients on hand and this recipe truly couldn’t be easier! A hearty base of red lentils combines with a mirepoix of carrots, celery, onion and apple simmered in an rich, exotically spiced, tomato-based broth with a splash of coconut milk and a kiss of cinnamon. Juicy pomegranate arils, toasted cashews and fresh cilantro garnish my favourite winter soup to perfection — creating a beautiful mosaic of inviting flavour, texture and colour where hearty winter produce sings. If you love vegetable-based curries and warming winter soups but want to try something new, this playful, plant-powered spin on authentic Indian mulligatawny is for you!
SLOW COOKER VEGAN MULLIGATAWNY SOUP WITH RED LENTILS
My first introduction to mulligatawny is actually hilarious. Nearly a decade ago, Adam and I were on a Sunday Farmer’s market run where we stopped by local soup vendor who was offering samples. Mulligatawny was on the menu and I was intrigued (I had never heard of it), but it smelled divine! Adam started laughing and saying ‘No soup for you!” — and I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about! The vendor was giggling behind the counter and he and Adam started up a conversation about The Soup Nazi. I was perplexed!
I never really got into Seinfeld, but Adam (and apparently the soup vendor!) were die hard fans. The Soup Nazi episode was Adam’s first introduction to mulligatawny — mine was that day as the Farmer’s Market. We had a good laugh, picked up a batch to take home and really enjoyed it. Admittedly, although I love Indian flavours, mulligatawny isn’t a soup I see often on Canadian menus or experiment with in my own kitchen — until this winter!
Fast forward to the first week of 2019 and I found myself craving curry flavours, soup and easy, hearty slow cooker recipes to power a busy month. I recalled that day at the Farmer’s Market and started jotting down all the flavours I could remember from my first taste of mulligatawny. Upon further research I discovered that there are many variations and preparation methods — but I wanted to give my mulligatawny my signature experimental, nourishing, plant-based spin.
So, I dusted off the slow cooker and got to work! This was one of the first recipes we enjoyed in our own kitchen after the holidays this year and it was just what we needed to get back on track. After a few rounds of testing (somehow we’re still not sick of the recipe!) it’s become a fast winter favourite among friends and family.
All you need as a handful of inexpensive ingredients for the base recipe and half an hour to prep — and my Slow Cooker Vegan Mulligatawny Soup with Red Lentils can be on your table tonight! Use my garnish suggestions and serve it up with naan bread (I actually have a dairy / gluten free recipe in the works, pictured here!) to elevate this humble mulligatawny to a restaurant quality dish you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home.
Yield: 1 Crockpot full
Slow Cooker Vegan Mulligatawny Soup
• 4 cups whole stewed tomatoes
• 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
• 2/3 cup full fat coconut milk
• 1 cup dried red lentils
• 1 yellow onion
• 4 cloves garlic
• 2 carrots
• 2 celery stalks
• 2 apples
• 2 tsp fresh ginger
Spices & Seasoning
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 2 tbsp curry powder
• 1 tsp cumin
• 1/2 tsp paprika
• 1/2 tsp turmeric
• 1/4 tsp cardamom
• 1/4 tsp thyme
• 1 tsp red pepper flakes
• 1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper
• 2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
• 1 lime
• Whole roasted salted cashews (plus extra virgin olive oil for pan roasting)
• Pomegranate arils
1. Add rinsed red lentils to slow cooker.
2. Chop celery, carrots and apples. Mince onion and garlic. Transfer to slow cooker.
4. Add all seasonings and spices (except the lime!) to your slow cooker.
5. Place the lid on your slow cooker and set to cook on high for 5 hours, or low for 7 hours.
6. Once cooked, stir and set to warm. Once mulligatawny has stopped boiling, slice your lime and squeeze in the juice. Stir to combine.
7. Prepare your garnishes. Pan roast cashews in olive oil. Flip every 30 seconds or until golden brown. Crop cilantro, cut lime wedges and remove pomegranate arils.
8. Ladle Slow Cooker Vegan Mulligatawny Soup with Red Lentils into bowls. Top with desired garnishes and serve immediately!
- 4 cups whole stewed tomatoes
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 2/3 cup full fat coconut milk
- 1 cup dried red lentils
- 1 yellow onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 carrots
- 2 celery stalks
- 2 apples
- 2 tsp fresh ginger
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper
- 2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
- 1 lime
- Whole roasted salted cashews plus extra virgin olive oil for pan roastinf
- Pomegranate arils
Add rinsed red lentils to slow cooker.
Chop celery, carrots and apples. Mince onion and garlic. Transfer to slow cooker.
Blend your whole stewed tomatoes with vegetable broth and coconut milk in a Vitamix (or similar) until smooth. Transfer to slow cooker.
Add all seasonings and spices (except the lime!) to your slow cooker.
Place the lid on your slow cooker and set to cook on high for 5 hours, or low for 7 hours.
Once cooked, stir and set to warm. Once mulligatawny has stopped boiling, slice your lime and squeeze in the juice. Stir to combine.
Prepare your garnishes. Pan fry cashews in olive oil. Flip every 30 seconds or until golden brown. Crop cilantro, cut lime wedges and remove pomegranate arils.
Ladle Slow Cooker Vegan Mulligatawny Soup with Red Lentils into bowls. Top with desired garnishes and serve immediately!
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MORE SOUP FOR YOU!
Thanks for stopping by for another healthy slow cooker creation! If you’ve never tried mulligatawny soup but enjoy curry, I hope this easy, plant-based recipe has inspired you to give it a go.
As always, you try my Vegan Slow Cooker Mulligatawny Soup with Red Lentils, I’d love to hear from you! Leave me a comment, or tag me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. You can also #justinecelinarecipes in your recreations so I can find them — browsing my feed and seeing you recreate my recipes brings me so much joy! I also have a Pinterest board for my recipes if you’re looking for more plant based culinary inspiration. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday and stay cozy (we’re pulling out the electric blanket tonight!).
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