This ground turkey vegetable soup is absolutely packed with hearty and healthy vegetables. It’s filling, satisfying, and incredibly easy to throw together.
In this time of cozy, indulgent comfort foods it’s nice to have some lighter recipes to pepper in between the goulashes and the creamy pastas and the decadent pies.
This turkey vegetable soup is one such option. (And it’s such a good one.)
It’s made with lean ground turkey and a TON of veggies: onions, carrots, celery, shredded cabbage, and zucchini. So each bowl is super filling, warming, and packed with plenty of texture and flavor.
Keep this recipe in your back pocket for nights when you want something veggie-packed and not-too-heavy, or make a batch on Monday, and enjoy it for lunch all week long.
- Ground turkey: I call for 93% lean ground turkey here, but feel free to use 85% if that’s what you keep on hand.
- Shredded cabbage: Even if you’re not a huge cabbage fan (I’m not), you might be surprised at how well it works in this soup. It adds a ton of bulk and texture without being “cabbage-y.” Give it a try, even if you’re on the fence about it! If you’re shredding an entire cabbage, you’ll have quite a bit of shredded cabbage leftover. Go make these BBQ Chicken Sandwiches with some of the leftovers!
- Tomato paste: Tomato paste adds a nice depth of flavor to the soup without making it taste like tomatoes. You’ll need just 3 tablespoons, so check out my post What to Do With Leftover Tomato Paste for ideas on what to do with the leftovers.
How to Make Ground Turkey Vegetable Soup
1. Shred cabbage: If you don’t usually shred cabbage, it’s super easy. Just remove the outer leaves of the cabbage and then quarter it. Slice away the solid white stem from each piece and then lay a piece on its flat side and finely slice it into shreds.
2. Start vegetables: Cook garlic, onions, carrots, and celery until the onions begin to soften and turn translucent around the edges.
3. Lightly brown turkey: Add the turkey. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to break the turkey into crumbles as it cooks.
4: Add tomato paste: Once the turkey is no longer pink, add tomato paste. Cook until the tomato paste begins to stick around the edges of the pan, 2 to 3 minutes. This will cook the raw taste out of the paste and give it a richer flavor.
5. Simmer: Add broth, cabbage, basil, and oregano and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes and then add zucchini. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, until all vegetables are softened.
6. Add salt and pepper to taste: Depending on the type of broth you used, you may need to add quite a bit of salt. Salt generously! Serve and enjoy!!
- Beef vegetable soup: You can swap the ground turkey for ground beef and chicken broth for beef broth for a richer beef vegetable soup.
- Shredded chicken or turkey: If you’d like to substitute shredded cooked turkey or chicken, add 2 cups of cooked, shredded meat at the very end.
I don’t like cabbage. Can I leave it out?
I wouldn’t recommend it. The texture of the cabbage kind of acts as the “noodles” in this soup, so without it, it’s just not going to feel balanced or bulky enough. As mentioned above, I’m not a huge fan of cabbage, but I really love it in this soup. Try it, and you might be surprised at how much you like it.
Can I freeze this soup?
Yes! This is one of my favorite soups to keep in the freezer for when I need something light and easy for dinner. It freezes extremely well, and the only vegetable that has a particularly noticeable texture change is the zucchini, which will be softer after freezing and reheating, but not unappealingly so.
To freeze, simply transfer the soup to individual containers and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat the soup, defrost in the refrigerator overnight and reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave.
For more information, tips, and tricks on freezing soup, check out my post How to Freeze Soup.
Can I make this in advance?
Absolutely. This soup reheats very well. You can make it up to 3 days in advance. Store in the refrigerator and reheat over medium heat on the stove, stirring occasionally.
More Easy Soup Recipes
- Advance Prep: While this soup cooks up quickly, there is quite a bit of chopping involved. You can precut all the vegetables up to 48 hours in advance. Just remember that they are being added in 3 stages, so store the cut onions, carrots and celery separately from the cabbage and the zucchini, which should both be stored on their own.
Ground Turkey Vegetable Soup
- Non-stick cooking spray
- 4 garlic cloves pressed or minced
- 1 medium white or yellow onion diced
- 2 medium carrots peeled and diced ¼ inch
- 2 celery ribs diced ¼ inch
- 1 pound 93-percent lean ground turkey
- 3 tablespoons (50g) tomato paste
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 6 cups shredded cabbage
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 small zucchini chopped
- Salt and pepper
- Heat a large pot over medium heat. Spray pot with non-stick cooking spray or a drizzle of olive oil. Add garlic, onions, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to soften and turn translucent around the edges, about 5 to 8 minutes.
- Turn heat to medium high and add the turkey. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to break the turkey into crumbles as it cooks.
- Once the turkey is no longer pink, add tomato paste. Cook until the tomato paste begins to stick around the edges of the pan, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add broth, cabbage, basil, and oregano and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes and then add zucchini. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, until all vegetables are softened.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy!!
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