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!

  • 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 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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  • Dorean

    yes It was great and filling to the tummy


  • 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.

  • Nicole

    We all LOVED this soup! Perfect way to utilize leftover stock and turkey from Thanksgiving. We subbed coconut cream for the heavy cream and I think it was a great substitution.


  • Celia

    This soup is amazing! So delicious. I have made it many times, usually with a Costco rotisserie chicken, which makes a delicious broth following the broth recipe linked above. I recommend this soup to everyone and they are always grateful. This is our family’s favorite soup.


  • Jackie

    Hi! I’m debating if I should freeze the stock or make the soup. If I make the soup, can I freeze the soup? How do egg noodles do with freezing?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Jacke! Emma here, managing editor. Freezing either the stock or the soup would work very well. I would freeze the soup along (without egg noodles) and add the noodles in when you reheat and serve. Noodles tend to get pretty mushy when frozen and reheated with soup. Enjoy!

  • Ms. Meems

    Quick, easy, delicious. Thanks Elise for the perfect soup to brighten a dreary winter day! I make this with rotisserie chicken or roasted chicken thighs, skin removed. Try gently simmering some chicken or turkey bones in the broth with the veggies for an extra 20-30 minutes to deepen the flavor. To save every drop of the luscious broth, cook the rice separately and pile inneach bowl just before serving. Also squirt each serving with a lemon wedge. Would rate this ten stars if I could. If you like this, also try Elise’s fabulous Mulligatawny Soup.


  • Margo

    As I am working on the slow cooker version of this soup I realized I should be careful to note that I will add the curry in the last half hour so the flavors won’t get muddy.

  • Margo

    I’m thinking of putting this soup together early and use the slow cooker so I can go out for some seasonal visiting and come home to an instant meal. No. I’m not lazy, I am efficient.

  • Sandy S.

    Thanks for this recipe Elise! I am doing a small turkey stove top this year. Basically braising it with lots of veggies. Should have good turkey stock to make this soup the next day! Wish me luck with the turkey! Wishing you and Emily and everyone at Simply Recipes a Happy Thanksgiving!

  • 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?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Addie, you can easily add more stock to the soup. You might need to add more salt as well, depending on the salt level of the stock you are adding.

  • 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?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Jayse, you would be better off using ghee as a replacement for the butter. Using coconut milk would give this soup a completely different taste. I have no idea how it would turn out, but if you try it that way, please let us know!

  • 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).


  • Tammy DeGiovanni

    Mmmm I just got through making and eating this delicious soup. I also substituted coconut milk for the cream. Can’t wait until next Thanksgiving to make it again.

  • Rebecca

    I’d love to make this today, but have no green apples. Can you suggest a substitute?

    • Sheryl

      We just made it – without apples by choice. Perfection!

      • Rebecca H

        Thanks for the suggestion. I went ahead and made it without the apple; added garlic and potato; and used coconut milk instead of cream. It was fantastic and my 4 kids loved it.

  • Marianne

    I just made this soup with leftover turkey and homemade turkey stock. Delicious! I love the apples with the curry. Thanks for another great recipe.

  • Maria

    Perfect timing, Thanks for the recipe ! Added 1 jalapeno and 3 cloves chopped garlic to the veggies, and sauteed in half butter /half coconut oil. Subbing coconut milk for the cream. The house smells divine !

  • Adam

    A very successful meal, with our five children (ages 7 thru 1) eating ALL of it in the first sitting. This was also one of their first intros into curry, so I think that this speaks volumes of how good this recipe is to eat.

    Minor modifications (both worked out well):
    *substituted 1c of canned coconut milk (instead of cream) and used earth balance vegi butter to accomidate a dairy allergy;
    *also, used an immersion mixer to smooth out the vegis prior to adding the turkey.

    Again, great recipe. We’ve been following Elise’s website since 2007, consistently using her recipes while our family has been growing…we would expect nothing less from her recipes. Thank you Elise!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hello Adam, I’m so glad you liked the soup! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  • June

    This is definitely one of our favorite soups too and smells divine while cooking. This version is much the same as mine although I often add coconut milk instead of cream. Thanks for the inspiration – I’ll be adding it to our menu for “leftover turkey week”.

  • Xenothaulus Korianthil

    Looks fantastic! I think I found my turkey soup recipe for this Thanksgiving. I think I may replace the cream with coconut milk, or at least some of it.