November 28, 2008

If you are lucky enough to have a turkey carcass hanging around, make this soup! The carcass is, after all, the best part precisely because you get to make soup from it. (Come on... that meat isn't all that... even if you buy organic free range hippie birds, then brine, baste, truss and fuss all over it.)

Turkey stock makes the best base for soups like this. The flavors here are fresh and exciting (oohhh exciting!) -- ginger, coconut milk, lime, fresh cilantro. Probably different than the tastes you've been having lately. I make this every year. And, yes, every time I make it I think of the Soup Nazi episode of Seinfeld. "NO SOUP FOR YOU!"

Turkey Mulligatawny Soup with Cilantro
Gourmet November 1992

the carcass of a roast turkey, broken into large pieces
about 4 1/2 quarts (18 cups) plus 1/3 cup water
4 garlic cloves
three 1-inch cubes of peeled fresh ginger
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons curry powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 large boiling potatoes (about 1 pound total)
4 cups chopped onion
3 carrots, sliced
1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup fresh lime juice, or to taste
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

In a large kettle or stockpot combine the carcass with 4 1/2 quarts of the water, or enough to cover it, and simmer the mixture, uncovered, for 3 hours. Strain the stock through a large sieve into a large bowl, return it to the kettle, and boil it until it is reduced to about 10 cups.
In a blender purée the garlic and the ginger with the remaining 1/3 cup water. In a heavy kettle heat the oil over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking and in it cook the purée, stirring, for 2 minutes, or until the liquid is evaporated. Add the potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes, the onion, the carrots, and 5 cups of the stock and simmer the mixture, covered, for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are very soft. In the blender purée the mixture it batches until it is smooth, transferring it as it is puréed to another large kettle. Stir in the remaining stock, the coconut milk, the lime juice, and salt to taste, simmer the soup for 10 minutes, and stir in the chopped cilantro. The soup may be made 2 days in advance, cooled completely, uncovered, and kept covered and chilled. The soup keeps, covered and frozen, for 2 months. Serve the soup garnished with cilantro sprigs.


  1. mmm- totally making this. sounds comforting and refreshing at the same time, if that's possible! thanks!

  2. This sounds SO good. I love anything with coconut milk! I'm for sure giving this one a try----it's been raining here, so it's just perfect soup weather!


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