Curried Turkey Soup (with Leftover Turkey)

Easy one-pot curried turkey soup, a "Mulligatawny" made with leftover turkey, apples, rice, curry powder, stock, onions, carrots, and celery. Delicious!

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 (with Leftover Turkey) 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


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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Turkey Mulligatawny Soup

Showing 4 of 21 Comments

  • Addie Bambridge

    I made this soup today but didn’t serve it right away. A couple of hours later I noticed that the rice had absorbed a lot of the liquid. I’d like to add more stock, maybe, but I’m afraid that will dilute the flavor. Any suggestions?

  • Addie Bambridge in Ocala, FL

    I made a small change to the spices; I used two tspns curry powder, one tsp hot curry powder and one tsp garam masala. This gave it a little kick and added a new depth of flavor.

    Also, Elise, I checked and it can be frozen.


    Addie Bambridge

  • Kim Hellman

    OMG!!!! Absolutely THE most delicious soup EVER!! Thanks so much!!!

  • 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!

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Turkey Mulligatawny SoupCurried Turkey Soup (with Leftover Turkey)