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.

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.

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Drizzle a little cream in at the end. Easy!

Curried Turkey Soup with Leftover Turkey

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.

Mulligatawny Curried Turkey Soup

Good stock makes good soup

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 tablespoons 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 Cook onions, celery, carrots in butter, add curry powder: 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.

add bay leaves, stock, rice to the base for curried leftover turkey soup

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

add chopped apples and salt to make curried turkey soup

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.

add turkey for the curried turkey soup

5 Serve: 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

Chicken Mulligatawny here on Simply Recipes

Mulligatawny Turkey Soup

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

39 Comments / Reviews

No ImageCurried Turkey Soup (with Leftover Turkey)

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Laura

    Thank you, Elise, I so appreciate the “Foods of England” reference, the old receipts encouraged me to just experiment with what I had on hand, honoring California’s statewide shelter-in-place order to slow the spread of COVID-19.

    I added sweet potato, cabbage, chopped raisins, and extra turmeric with black pepper for anti-inflammatory effects. I subbed schmalz for butter, quinoa for rice, and coconut milk for the cream. It lacked umami when I tasted, so instead of adding more salt I added fish sauce.

    I searched for turkey curry soup because I had leftover turkey on the verge, and I didn’t want to waste it with the empty supermarket shelves right now. This turned out absolutely delicious, and will be a regular thing whenever we have turkey. I hope to try it as written next time. ;)

  2. Celia

    I have made this soup many times and I am never disappointed. I have shared the recipe with friends who also rave about it. One of my favorite foods in the world!


    Show Replies (1)
  3. Sheila

    Made this for lunch today and it was great! I made a few tweaks: sauteed in olive oil instead of butter, added barley instead of rice. Omitted the bay leaf, cream, and yogurt/sour cream. It was a hit!


  4. Dorean

    yes It was great and filling to the tummy


  5. Kay

    Excellent recipe. I used only 1 apple (because that is all I had). I added an extra tsp curry powder too (vindalo curry) to make it spicier. It worked out great. Don’t be afraid to us a lot of cauliflower in this recipe. Extra veggies like sweet potatoes and butternut squash work great too.


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Curried Turkey Soup with Leftover TurkeyCurried Turkey Soup (with Leftover Turkey)