Turkey and Lentil Soup made with ground turkey OR leftover turkey from the holidays. Easy, hearty delicious healthy recipe packed with protein.
Like many in the northern states, soup is my go-to in the winter months. There’s something cozy and 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 the rich flavor of soup that’s been simmering for hours. I consider it a triple nutritional threat: turkey, lentils and V-8 juice. Make it anytime with ground turkey or when you can’t eat even one more leftover turkey sandwich, this soup is just the ticket.
Yes – this soup contains V-8 juice, but don’t let that throw you. Even if you don’t drink V8, it adds another level of flavor plus seven kinds of vegetables and nutritional value you can’t get from just tomato sauce.
What’s in Turkey and Lentil Soup?
- olive oil
- turkey (ground or leftover shredded/chopped)
- tomato paste
- diced tomatoes
- bay leaf (optional)
- V8 juice
- chicken stock
- small shells, ditalini or other mini pasta
- wedge of parmesan cheese
How to make Turkey Lentil Soup:
Ground turkey method:
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. Searing any kind of meat, seafood or chicken adds 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, lentils and (optional) bay leaf.
Pour in the V8 juice and chicken stock and if your Parmesan cheese has a rind, add it into the pot and building another layer of flavor.
Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until the lentils are starting to soften but still have bite to them.
Stir in the pasta (I use 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 then taste and adjust for salt. Serve this soup 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?
You sure can! That’s another thing I love about this recipe. I freeze mine in small, individual serve containers then thaw and reheat for lunches.
Looking for more ground turkey recipes?
I try to balance healthier recipes with total, decadent comfort as often as possible and ground turkey is a great way to do it. These turkey meatballs simmered in rich homemade marinara are a favorite at my house. Serve them 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 it if you’d leave a comment or some stars!
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, lentils and (optional) bay leaf.
- 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 are becoming tender but still have some 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 then taste and adjust for salt. Serve hot with grated or shaved parmesan.
DIRECTIONS USING LEFTOVER TURKEY
- If using leftover turkey, leave out the ground turkey and just add the leftover turkey after V8 and chicken stock.