Northern Michigan Food & Wine: When we asked Judith Reinhardt, co-owner of the Leelanau County CSA Sweeter Song Farm, to be our local foodie she headed to her cellar, to her freezer and for her well-used copy of the Michigan Herb Cookbook (Breckenridge and Snyder, University of Michigan Press 2001) to offer up this recipe for Chicken Curry Soup. “I make this recipe several times a year, as it uses one of the local chickens that fill our freezer. It also uses onions, celeriac and carrots from our cooler/storage room, as well as locally grown apples,” she says.

Like any wonderful cook, Reinhardt has tweaked the original recipe—including doubling it so that she can use a whole chicken and because her family and guests always want seconds. She recommends serving it with a hearty local bread and a big green salad. (Judy uses lettuce from the farm’s “amazing” hoop house.) For more information about Sweeter Song Farms:

Chicken Curry Soup

Serves about 10


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 onions, about 2 cups, finely minced
  • 2 stalks celery, minced (Judy substitutes her farm’s celeriac when available.)
  • 1 cup carrot, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder (Judy mixes hot and sweet curry together, and generally adds extra because she loves curry.)
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 6 cups chicken broth (Use the broth left from boiling the chicken; supplement with a good commercial brand of stock.)
  • 1 whole approximately 4-pound chicken, boiled and meat cut in 1½-by-1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 cups heavy cream (Milk also works just fine, Judy says.)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 4 medium-sized, locally grown tart apples, coarsely chopped
  • 6 tablespoons mango chutney
  • 3 tablespoons water mixed with 4 tablespoons flour, if needed


Sauté in butter the onion, celery/celeriac, carrot, and curry powder. Add flour; cook 3 to 4 minutes over low heat while stirring, add stock, raise heat, and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or so. Add chicken and cream/milk; cook until it begins to thicken. Add salt, pepper, apples, and chutney and heat through. If soup is thin, add flour and water mixture and cook. Top with roasted coconut and minced scallions if desired. Season to taste and serve.

This article is also featured in the March 2013 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine. Get your copy today!