Curry Turkey Soup

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Remember that big bag of leftover Thanksgiving turkey you wrapped up really carefully and froze for a future soup? Grab that. Hopefully you also made some homemade turkey or chicken stock around the holidays and still have some of that in the freezer as well. This is a simple soup, and those are always more tasty when they start out with good stock. (If you don't have either, or your turkey fell victim to freezer burn, don't fret. A rotisserie chicken and carton of chicken stock will work just fine.)

This is a great soup when you're on a diet, gave up everything you love for Whole30, feeling under the weather, or just in the mood for something lighter and healthy. It's full of flavor but not weighed down with starchy veggies or noodles. It's pretty versatile and hard to mess up, so it's a great one to use up any odds and ends in your crisper drawer. Best of all, it's quick to make. Use whatever favorite curry powder you have on hand and adjust the heat to suit your personal tastes!

As for me this week? Fighting the winter blues, procrastinating on new recipes with old recipes, and in general just trying to push through. I made a promise to myself this year - and to you, really - to blog more often though, and if that is the only thing I get done today, so be it. Word to my friend Michell C. Clark, who reminded me: "I had to find efficient and effective ways to honor my weekly writing commitment, provide value to my audience, and sharpen my skills without burning out in the processEvery article I write won’t be 1,000 words. Every article won’t keep me up late at night."

So on to my curry turkey soup, which won't keep you in the kitchen all day, and doesn't call for anything complicated. Sometimes, we could all use a reminder that it's okay to make life a little easier while honoring our commitments.

Curry Turkey Soup

2 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1 bell pepper, cored and diced
Kosher salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1" knob ginger, minced
1 tbsp Jamaican curry powder (various Indian spice blends could also work here)
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
4 cups turkey or chicken stock (preferably homemade)
Several sprigs fresh thyme, destemmed and leaves finely minced
1 scotch bonnet pepper (optional)
1 can full-fat coconut milk
2 cups shredded cooked turkey or chicken
Zest and juice of 2 limes
Several scallions, green and white parts sliced

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yield: Serves 4
Special Equipment: (Affiliate links) Dutch oven, or other large heavy pot, microplane zester

Coat the bottom of your Dutch oven pot with coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots and bell pepper, stirring to cook for a minute or two until softened but not browned.  Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Use your microplane to grate in the garlic cloves and ginger. If you don't have one, just use your knife to mince them up really well before adding to the pot. But next time you're at the store (or browsing Amazon), grab a zester. It'll make your life easier in a number of ways.

Stir the veggies around until the garlic and ginger are fragrant, then season generously with curry powder. Toss in the bay leaf and cinnamon stick as well. Continue stirring to cook the curry powder for a minute or so, until the veggies are coated and the spices have darkened. 

Deglaze by pouring in the stock and using your spoon to scrape up any browned bits at the bottom of the pot. Turn up the heat to medium high and let the liquid come to a very gentle boil.

Pour in a can of coconut milk. Add the fresh thyme leaves. If you like things hot, pierce a scotch bonnet pepper with a knife and plop it into the pot. Reduce heat to low and allow the broth to simmer for ten minutes or so to develop flavors and until the carrots are tender but still have some bite left. Give it a taste test for salt and pepper.

Once the broth is to your liking, add the cooked turkey or chicken meat.

Allow the soup to simmer for a few more minutes, just until the meat has warmed through. Remember it's already cooked so there's no need to kill the bird again. Remove the bay leaf, cinnamon stick and scotch bonnet.

Grab that handy microplane and grate in the zest of two limes, being careful not to get down to the bitter white pith. Once your limes are zested, cut them in half and squeeze in all the juice. I love that this soup has a lot of citrus flavor, it's my favorite part!  Finally, stir in the sliced scallions.

Serve with extra scallions and lime, if desired. Enjoy, and relish in the fact that you're eating right and didn't spend all day making it happen!

Did you know that January is National Soup Month? I didn't either. I literally just remembered a few minutes ago. But coincidentally, my last blog post is also a soup, so we're going to pretend this was all part of the plan. Be sure to check out this tasty Fish Stew with Saffron and Linguica next!

You Might Also Like


  1. This looks so good...can't wait for Thanksgiving leftovers!

  2. Love this recipe, I added a bit more coconut milk and following traditional Jamaican cooking, I put the curry on the hot oil first then everything else after a min or so to “burn the curry” as we say because we think it helps digestion and improves the flavors.