Curried Coconut Turkey Chowder with Corn and Butternut Squash

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Jennifer Pallian
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This soup was born of my need to find a creative use for the several pounds of shredded turkey meat I froze after (Canadian) Thanksgiving two weeks ago. I incidentally also made 12 litres of turkey stock with the intention of canning it.

Unfortunately, it was only when I had pots and jars covering every square inch of my kitchen that I popped open my laptop to google processing times, and learned something I should have known - you can NOT safely can homemade stock using the water bath canning method. Botulism is not killed at the temperature of boiling water. You must have a pressure canner, which uses pressure to raise the water temperature higher. Gah. Now I have a freezer stuffed to bursting with five-pound "turkeystock-sicles" in Ziploc bags creating a serious hazard to unsuspecting toes and their clumsy owners.

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This chowder is creamy, subtly spicy, and deliciously balanced by the sweetness of the corn and butternut squash. Full of flavour and texture, it is an exciting, fragrant departure from the standard post-Thanksgiving vat of turkey soup. A tasty, warming meal on a cold, rainy Fall day. Perfect accompanied by warm baguette to sop up every delicious drop, and rounded out with a simple green salad.

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Curried Coconut Turkey Chowder with Corn and Butternut Squash

If you don't have turkey, you can equally use chicken, sauteed with the onions and garlic, or omit it for a delicious vegetarian soup. Dice the 2nd half of the butternut squash and freeze flat in a freezer bag for later use.

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 Tbsp mild Indian curry paste

  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

  • 2 cups of turkey or chicken stock

  • 1 can (14 oz) coconut cream or milk

  • 3 small red potatoes (about 3/4 pound)

  • 1/2 of a medium butternut squash, diced

  • 2 cups shredded cooked turkey

  • 1 1/2 cups corn kernels (1-12oz can, or use frozen)

  • salt to taste (I used roughly 1 tsp)

  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, minced (optional)

1. Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Add onion and saute until golden brown, 5-8 minutes. Add garlic and celery and saute 2 minutes. Add curry paste and cayenne and cook 2 minutes more (this enhances the flavours of the spices).

2. Add stock, coconut milk, potatoes, squash, and turkey. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook until potatoes and squash are tender. Stir in corn and cilantro. Season well with salt, a pinch at a time, tasting as you go to get it perfect.