Turkey, mixed vegetables and Indian spices combine to make a warming pot of Mulligatawny soup.
#100daysofcooking, Recipes

More soup for you: On Day 37, we’ve got curried turkey in the pot

Mulligatawny Soup with Turkey

Today’s recipe uses leftover turkey from Christmas.

Talk about the holiday that just keeps on giving. We celebrated Christmas Eve dinner with 14 adults, two toddlers and one chocolate Lab, sent quite a bit of turkey home with some grateful offspring, had sandwiches for days and still had a goodly amount left over. So into the freezer it went.

Freezing leftover turkey is perfectly safe and acceptable, as long as the meat is off the bone (you can freeze the bones separately) and it is tightly wrapped, preferably in an airtight container. I love this article on dealing with your turkey leftovers immediately after dinner.

And I’m not gonna lie. The turkey that I pulled out of the freezer six weeks later tasted as great as it did on Christmas Eve.

I ended up turning the turkey into a simple mulligatawny soup. Mulligatawny, according to a number of sources, is an Anglicized and thinned version of a thick, spicy Indian stew. The name comes from the Tamil words “millagai” (or milagu) and “thanni” which means “pepper-water.”

The version I made, a “simplified Canadian version” from Anne Lindsay’s New Light Cooking cookbook (1998), used curry, cinnamon and ginger as the key flavours and it was barely peppery at all. But there are as many versions of mulligatawny as there are cooks; if it’s heat you’re looking for, it’s an easy recipe to fire up.

Kitchen castoff used

Frozen leftover turkey

Mulligatawny soup, made with leftover turkey and vegetables.
Mulligatawny soup, made with leftover turkey. I like a bit of texture in my soup, so I leave about one-third out of the blender when pureeing.

This is how we did it


  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 tsp minced fresh gingerroot
  • 1 – 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 3 cups turkey or chicken stock
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen mixed vegetables (I used frozen corn and peas plus chopped fresh mini carrots)
  • 2 cups diced cooked turkey (or chicken)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • chopped coriander or parsley for garnish


Heat the oil over medium, then cook the garlic, ginger, curry and cinnamon for about one minute. Add the potato, apple, stock and mixed vegetables. Cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked through.

Use a food processor, blender or immersion blender to puree the cooked stock and vegetables. I like the thickness pureeing adds to a soup, but I prefer the texture of a soup with chopped vegetables, so I only pureed about two-thirds of the pot.

Combine the turkey or chicken and salt with the pureed soup in the pot and heat through.

Curious about my “Kitchen Castoffs” concept? Here’s the explainer describing my 100-day project.

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