This Turkey Lentil Soup is full of flavor and loaded with protein and fresh vegetables. Plus, it's ready in less than an hour! This healthy soup is the perfect cold weather weeknight meal, that the whole family will love.
At first, the sound of ground turkey and lentils kind of bored me. With so many soups available, I just felt like this sounded blah. However, with lots of fresh spices and so many flavors and textures, I was truly surprised by the deliciousness of this soup.
It tastes like a combination of Chili meets Minestrone and it's seriously so good.
Why You'll Love This Recipe:
- It's a great source of protein from the ground turkey to the lentils
- This recipe has a lot of fiber & vitamins from the lentils and vegetables making it a really healthy soup option
- Ready in less than an hour
- Minimal prep required-just chopping some veggies
Ground Turkey- Packed with lean protein and pairs really well with the lentils and veggies in this recipe. When cooked down into the chicken stock and tomato sauce, it becomes a bit more tender too.
Green Lentils-Packed with fiber, protein and vitamins. These cook down into a tender legume. It's important to rinse lentils before adding to the soup to clean them of debri, like dirt and small stones.
Carrot, Green Peppers, Squash, Onion- Fresh vegetables that bring in so much flavor.
Roasted Red Peppers and diced tomatoes- Bring in acidity and a touch of smoky taste into this soup.
Tomato Sauce and Chicken Stock-The base of the soup. The combo of these two bring in so much flavor. The tomato sauce adds a nice creamy texture. I highly recommend using chicken stock versus chicken broth for more depth. Kitchen Basics Chicken Stock is a great brand.
Coriander, Cumin, Paprika, Oregano and Garlic Powder- A Mediterranean style spice blend that pairs fantastic with lentils.
*Full recipe ingredients and quantities can be found in the recipe card below.
Substitutions and Variations:
Want to add more vegetables, try some chopped celery or zucchini.
Looking for even more protein? Add in a can of drained garbanzo beans too.
Like Spice? Add in a ¼ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes with the spices & add a few dashes of hot sauce.
You can substitute chicken broth for the chicken stock in this recipe, but know that the soup will have less flavor this way.
The ground turkey can also be substituted for ground chicken, ground beef or ground pork. If you use beef or pork, make sure to drain the fat from the dutch oven before adding the vegetables.
For extra toppings, sprinkle on parmesan cheese and/or add my soup croutons.
How To Make Turkey Lentil Soup:
Step 1: Add lentils to a large bowl with cold water and allow them to soak for about 5 minutes. Strain and rinse the lentils well, shake out the excess water, and set aside.
Step 2: In a dutch oven over medium heat, pour in the olive oil and add in the ground turkey. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon as it cooks.
Step 3: Stir in onion, carrot, squash, green peppers, and the seasoning blend of cumin, paprika, coriander, garlic powder, and oregano. Do NOT add salt as it can make the lentils tough. Cover and cook for 5 minutes to soften the vegetables.
Step 4: Add the minced garlic, bay leaf, roasted red peppers and diced tomatoes. Stir to combine.
Step 5: Pour the lentils into the pot along with tomato sauce.
Step 6: Stir in the chicken stock. Cover and bring to a low boil. Then, reduce the heat to low. Stir, then cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through to make sure lentils aren't sticking to the bottom.
Step 7: Uncover the pot and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Step 8: Serve and top with parmesan cheese, if desired. Enjoy!
- The lentils need to be rinsed well and then soaked for a few minutes in cold water, just to remove any debris. This is important because sometimes little stones can end up in the bag.
- Do not salt the soup until the very end to avoid toughening the lentils during the cooking process.
- Once the lentils are finished cooking, pull the dutch oven off the heat to avoid overcooking.
Yes, rinse the lentils before cooking to remove any debri or stones that could be in the bag. I also like to soak mine in cold water to make sure I didn't miss anything, then rinse again. Soaking them also is known to aid in digestion and reduce the cooking time a bit too.
Yes, lentils pack about 18 grams of protein per 1 cup serving. They also are high in fiber and vitamins like folate. Overall, they are just a really healthy legume to eat.
Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop. It makes a great lunch in a thermos too!
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