Spice up your turkey leftovers with mulligatawny soup

A fresh take on letting nothing go to waste

It’s the day after Thanksgiving and you’re staring at mounds of leftover turkey.

Sure, you could just reheat it and make hot turkey sandwiches but why not try something more exotic?

“I love mulligatawny and curry – anything in a cream-type curry, or like a chicken potpie in a cream-type sauce,” says Culinary Arts instructor Randall Stasuk (Commercial Cooking ’86). “It’s still turkey but you’re changing those flavours so it’s a completely different meal.”

Mulligatawny soup originated in the 18th century and is a fusion of British and Indian flavours. “There’s tons of versions of curry soups but the chicken and apple and the sweet and the curry all mixed together defines the style of mulligatawny soup.”

At its most basic, mulligatawny is chicken, onions, curry powder and broth, and this soup base is versatile enough to allow for any number of flavourful additions. Some variations include rabbit, mutton, venison, splits peas, barley, cucumbers, tomatoes, raisins, coconut, almonds or mangoes.

Adding your thanksgiving leftovers doesn’t seem so weird now, does it?

Customize your mulligatawny soup with whatever you have: carrots, Brussels sprouts, peas, broccoli, even mashed potatoes. As these ingredients are already cooked, be sure to add them near the end with the cooked turkey – they just need to be warmed through before serving.

Recipe: Randall Stasuk's Mulligatawny Soup

Serves 8

Culinary Arts instructor Randall Stasuk enjoys getting creative with turkey leftovers.Ingredients

  • 100 g (1/2 cup) butter
  • 200 g (2 cups) onions, small dice
  • 100 g (1 cup) celery, small dice
  • 100 g (2/3 cup) carrots, small dice
  • 40 g (1/4 cup) green pepper, small dice
  • 100 g (3/4 cup) apples, peeled and cored, small dice
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) flour
  • 30 g (4 tbsp) curry powder*
  • 2 L (8 cups) chicken stock
  • 60 g (1/4 cup) basmati rice, uncooked
  • 225 g (8 ounces) turkey meat, cooked, small dice
  • 250 mL (1 cup) cream, hot
  • To taste, salt and pepper
  • To taste, squeeze of lemon


  1. Sweat onion, celery, carrots and green peppers in butter in a covered pot. Add apples. Do not brown.
  2. Add curry and flour. Stir to make a roux, a thickener for the soup. Cook roux a few minutes but do not let it brown.
  3. Gradually stir in chicken stock. Bring to a boil, stirring with a whisk as it thickens.
  4. Add the raw rice. Let simmer until all vegetables are tender and rice is cooked (approximately 30-40 minutes).
  5. Carefully skim fat from soup with a small ladle.
  6. Add cooked, diced turkey meat (as well as any other leftover cooked vegetables) and let soup simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  7. Add cream to small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add hot cream to soup to bring it to desired consistency.
  8. Season with salt and pepper and lemon juice to taste. Garnish with cilantro or crème fraîche**.

*You can use store-bought curry powder or make your own using the following simple recipe:

  • 12.5 g (2 1/2 tsp) garam masala
  • 7.5 g (1 1/2 tsp) ground cumin
  • 7.5 g (1 1/2 tsp) ground coriander
  • 5 g (1 tsp) ground turmeric

**Make your own crème fraîche by combining equal parts sour cream (full fat) and whipping cream (33%). Pour into squeeze bottle or spoon on top right before serving.

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