Turkey and Lentil Soup made with ground turkey or Thanksgiving leftovers. Easy, delicious healthy recipe packed with protein. Cooks in 30 minutes.
Like many of you, soup is a great go-to in the winter months. There’s something comforting about it simmering on the stove while the snow is flying outside. Plus it’s the perfect way to clean out the refrigerator and pantry.
Turkey and Lentil Soup whips up in about 30 minutes with rich flavor of soup that’s tastes like it simmered for hours. I consider it a triple nutritional threat: turkey, lentils and V-8 juice and you can use ground turkey or leftover Thanksgiving turkey when you can’t face another turkey sandwich.
Don’t let the V-8 juice throw you. Even if you don’t drink V8, it adds another level of flavor to this soup plus seven kinds of vegetables it adds nutritional value you can’t get from just tomato sauce.
What’s in Turkey and Lentil Soup?
- olive oil
- tomato paste
- diced tomatoes
- bay leaf
- V8 juice
- chicken stock
- small shells, ditalini or other mini pasta
- parmesan cheese
How to make Turkey Lentil Soup:
Add the olive oil to a soup pot then drop in the ground turkey over medium high heat. Season it with salt and pepper and leave it alone for 3-4 minutes so it sears adding flavor.
Break up the turkey with a wooden spoon or spatula then drop in the chopped carrots, celery and onion and grate in the garlic. Add another seasoning of salt and pepper and continue cooking 6-8 minutes over medium heat until the carrots start to soften.
Stir in the tomato paste and cook 2 minutes then add the diced tomatoes and lentils.
Pour in the V8 juice and chicken stock and if your Parmesan cheese has a rind, add it into the pot too for even more flavor. With soup, it’s all about building flavor.
Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until the lentils still have a little bite to them.
Stir in the pasta (I used ditalini or mini shells but any small pasta works) then cover and simmer (covered) 8-10 minutes or until the pasta and lentils are tender.
Add the chopped parsley and blend. Serve hot with grated parmesan cheese and a nice crusty bread.
How do I make this recipe using leftover turkey?
To use leftover turkey just leave out the step adding ground turkey then stir in the leftover turkey after you add the V8 and chicken stock.
Can I freeze this soup?
Absolutely! That’s another thing I love about this recipe. I freeze it in small, individual serve containers then thaw and reheat for lunches.
How about a couple other recipes using ground turkey?
I try to balance healthier recipes with total, decadent comfort as often as possible. Ground turkey is a great way to do this. These turkey meatballs simmered in rich homemade marinara are a favorite at my house. Serve it over whole grain pasta for a delicious, healthy meal.
Mexican food of any kind is always a win in my book but when I want all the spicy flavor in a healthier option, I make Mexican Stuffed Peppers using ground turkey.
If you tried this Turkey and Lentil Soup recipe or any other on the blog then I’d love to hear from you with a comment or star rating!
Turkey Lentil Soup
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 1 pound ground turkey OR 2 cups chopped leftover turkey
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 medium carrots chopped
- 2 stalks of celery chopped
- 2 cloves garlic grated
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup lentils green used
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 cups V8 juice
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1/4 cup ditalini, small shells or other mini pasta dry/uncooked
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley finely chopped
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese + rind if it has one
- Drizzle olive oil in the soup pot over medium high heat and add the ground turkey. Season with salt and pepper and leave it alone for 3-4 minutes so it sears then break up the meat with a wooden spoon or spatula.
- Drop in the carrots, celery and onion and grate in the garlic and season this next layer with salt and pepper as well. Cook 6-8 minutes over medium heat until the carrots start to soften.
- Stir in the tomato paste and cook another 2 minutes then add the diced tomatoes and lentils.
- Pour in the V8 juice and chicken stock and if your Parmesan cheese has a rind, add it into the pot too.
- Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until the lentils still have a little bite to them.
- Stir in the pasta, cover and simmer 8-10 minutes or until the pasta is al dente and the lentils are tender.
- Add the chopped parsley, blending and serve with grated or shaved parmesan.
DIRECTIONS USING LEFTOVER TURKEY
- If using leftover turkey, omit the ground turkey and just add the leftover turkey after V8 and chicken stock.