Turkey curry soup is the perfect answer to the age-old question of what to do with Thanksgiving leftovers.  This is a great choice if you’re craving heat.  My recipe promises a spicy wave that warms you with each sip.  I find it incredibly satisfying – a low cal, low carb meal that fills you up on a (Thanksgiving) weekend when you might have eaten more than usual.

Those who know me know that I like food “hot.”  I’ve written this recipe to a “medium hot” standard, but of course, that is a personal measure.  You have complete control over the spice index.  Experiment with levels of flavor.  Start small with the curry (go mild instead of hot) and cayenne if you are unsure about your heat comfort.  If you like it hot, switch up the jalapeno for a habanero to boost your endorphins!

This is how I use our leftover Thanksgiving turkey.  Please feel free to modify.  I will offer suggestions.


1 cup of diced yellow onion
1.5 Tablespoons of hot madras curry powder (use mild if you wish)
1 Tablespoon of cayenne pepper (use less if you wish)
1.5 Tablespoons of Old Bay seasoning
2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2-3 Tablespoons of freshly minced garlic
4 cups (One 32 oz. box) of low sodium chicken stock (or turkey stock)
1 hot pepper (jalapeno, or habanero if you like it hotter)
3 cups of fully cooked turkey (use more if you want thicker soup)
1 cup frozen okra

And optional ingredients:  Keep reading.

2 Roma tomatoes, diced (about 1 cup)
2-3 Tablespoons of chopped cilantro (use parsley if you don't like cilantro)
¾ cup of coconut milk

Saute the onions in olive oil, in a medium-sized soup pot, medium heat, for 2-3 minutes.  Then add the curry powder, cayenne, and Old Bay.  Let all of these ingredients come together for 2-3 minutes.  Don't let them burn.  If you think your pot is getting too hot, add a couple splashes of chicken stock. 

Then add the minced garlic, for 1 minute or until you can smell it.  

Add the turkey, and mix it around in the spices for a minute, just to let everything come together.  Then add 4 cups of chicken broth, and the frozen okra.  

The okra thickens the soup.  If you don’t like okra, skip it, but your soup won’t be as thick.

Take your hot pepper if you’re using it, and cut a slit down the side.  Throw the whole hot pepper into the soup.  It will impart flavor but not a ton of heat.  One lucky person will get the pepper as part of his / her meal.

Taste for salt.  Be gentle if you add any.

Let this mixture simmer over low heat for an hour.  Stir occasionally, and put a lid askew so that some air gets into the pot.

RECIPE 1:  After an hour – if you want a clear broth recipe, just add the cilantro, let it warm for a minute, and then taste.  You can serve the soup as is.    OR…..

RECIPE 2:  After an hour – add the cilantro, add the diced tomatoes and the coconut milk.  Make sure you shake the coconut milk thoroughly before adding it to the soup.  Stir all of this together.  Let it warm completely.  Then serve.  

The soup serves 4 nicely for lunch.  You could serve for dinner, but you would want crusty bread or maybe a baked sweet potato on the side to round out the meal, because both versions of the soup "eat" light.

With best wishes from our family to yours, that this recipe makes a tasty meal with your turkey leftovers.

First published by Judy on November 30, 2013

After filling-up on Thanksgiving turkey, you want a next-day meal that is different.  Here it is.  This soup is clap-your-hands bold.  It clears your head if you have a cold.  It freezes well and works with chicken too.  Dive in.

Turkey Curry Soup