Curried Turkey Soup

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

This curried turkey soup made with leftover turkey is fashioned on a classic Anglo-Indian curried soup called “mulligatawny“. It couldn’t be easier to make; you start by cooking some onions, carrots, celery, and yellow curry powder, add stock, apples, rice, cook for a bit, then stir in the chopped cooked turkey. Drizzle a little cream in at the end. So easy! It’s also one of the best things I have ever eaten in my life.

My father and my sweetheart, two men who for some weird reason have never learned to appreciate the flavors of Indian cuisine, couldn’t stop eating this soup. It was priceless really, looking at the surprise on their faces as they ate the soup and not only liked it, but loved it!

As with any soup that relies on a stock for a base, the quality of your stock will determine the quality of your soup. Because we were working with turkey leftovers, we happened to have turkey stock made from the carcass of the turkey that created those leftovers. You could also use chicken stock. And if you don’t have any homemade stock, a product that we use occasionally with good results is Better Than Bouillon.


Curried Turkey Soup Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6


  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 4 teaspoons yellow curry powder
  • 4 cups of chicken or turkey stock
  • 1/4 cup raw white rice (we use basmati)
  • 2 green apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (may add more to taste)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups of chopped cooked turkey meat
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Sour cream or plain yogurt for garnish
  • Chopped chives for garnish


curried-turkey-soup-1 curried-turkey-soup-2

1 Melt butter on medium high heat in a large (6 to 8 quart) thick-bottomed pot. Add the onions, celery, and carrots. Lower the heat and cook until softened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the curry powder and cook for a minute or two more.


2 Add the bay leaves, stock and rice, increase the heat to high and bring the stock to a simmer. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes.


3 Add the chopped apples, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 10 more minutes.


4 Add the chopped cooked turkey to the soup. Return to a simmer and stir in the cream. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

Serve garnished with a drizzle of yogurt or sour cream that has been thinned with a little water and some chopped fresh chives or parsley.


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The Foods of England, Mulligatawny Soup - historical references to mulligatawny soup

Easy Mulligatawny from Ree, the Pioneer Woman

Turkey Mulligatawny Soup

Showing 4 of 16 Comments

  • Jayse

    Can you use half butter half coconut oil, plus substitute coconut milk for the cream?

  • Rachel

    Your recipe is simpler than mine so I am going to try it tonight. We prefer fresh chopped mango in it rather than apple, and I can’t imagine it without coconut milk, so I’ll modify. Thank you Elise – you never disappoint!

  • Beth O'Connor

    This is one of our favorite soups. Delicious and worth the extra time to chop all the veggies. We, once, substituted coconut milk for the cream and it was absolutely delicious. My daughter swears she doesn’t like coconut, but couldn’t get enough of this soup. Again, Elise, you came though with a winning recipe.

  • DeLynn

    I made this soup last night. Delicious! Thank you for a wonderful recipe.

  • Caroline in San Francisco

    This soup is amazingly delicious! I was a bit skeptical while making it, but am so glad I did! Thanks, Elise!

    I made two of your recipes today; this soup and your banana bread (which is my go-to recipe for banana bread. I make it so often I’ve finally memorized the recipe).

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