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January 16, 2023

Healthy Ground Turkey Soup With Lemon & Vegetables (Whole 30, Paleo)

This healthy leftover lemon garlic ground turkey soup will warm you up with its hearty savory broth and its immune-boosting lemon and garlic.  It’s the perfect excuse to use up those Thanksgiving turkey leftovers and fight off those cool-weather colds!  It is also gluten-free, paleo, and dairy-free!

Because of the seasonal flu, I decided partly out of want and partly out of necessity to make a leftover turkey soup recipe that incorporated some immune-boosting effects but also tasted damn good too.

Why you’ll love this ground turkey soup recipe

  • From start to finish this soup only takes about 15 minutes once you have all your ingredients prepped. If you’re sick and slow-moving it’ll take ya about 20 minutes (trust me, been there) till you get to slurp your first spoonful.
  • It’s perfect to use up these Thanksgiving turkey leftovers
  • It’s a perfect comfort dish when you’re sick. It’s well known that when you are sick, your taste buds go on vacation so almost everything tastes blah and bland, and boring. So I needed a broth that wouldn’t upset a sore throat but would wake up those taste buds.
  • Adding turkey meatballs to the soup (optionally) provides variety and a different texture than the ground turkey, adding a more substantial and satisfying bite. They also add visual interest and can make the soup feel more hearty and filling. The meatballs are also seasoned differently than the rest of the soup, providing additional flavor variety.

Lemon and garlic-flavored

I decided to throw together a lemon and garlic broth, sauteed in some healthy kale, potatoes, and other veggies, and then add in the leftover turkey, plus a few pumpkin sage meatballs for some added protein.

Garlic is known to help your immune system, lower your cholesterol, and lemon naturally helps to soothe any sore throats.

I seasoned the soup with a combination of garlic, cumin, anise, and honey for a robust savory flavor. But you can also try adding dried oregano, basil, bay leaf, or cilantro (let me know in the comments how it went!).

Ingredients:

For the soup:

  • olive oil
  • carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large potato, cubed
  • sweet onion, chopped
  • minced garlic
  • kale, or spinach
  • leftover cooked turkey meat, ground
  • lemon peel of 1 lemon
  • lemon juice
  • cumin
  • red pepper flakes (optional)
  • gluten-free chicken broth, or vegetable stock
  • liquid coconut aminos
  • anise seed
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the meatballs

Instructions

For a fully detailed description of ingredients and directions, scroll down to the recipe card.

For the soup:

  1. Warm a large skillet with the olive oil in the bottom of it over medium heat.  Add in the carrot, potatoes, onion, and minced garlic for 4-5 minutes or until the potatoes start to become a bit tender.
  2. Add in the kale, leftover turkey meat, lemon peels, lemon juice, cumin, and red pepper flakes, and cook an additional 3-4 minutes or until the kale becomes darkened and wilted.
  3. Add the chicken stock, amino, and anise seed to the skillet and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before topping with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy.

For the Turkey Meatballs:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400*F. Lightly coat a mini muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Combine all of the meatball ingredients together with your hands and roll them into 1″ balls. We are using here turkey leftovers, they are already cooked. If you are using fresh ground turkey meat, cook it beforehand. Place each ball in one of the mini muffin tin holes.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes, carefully flip with kitchen tongs, and bake for another 10 minutes, or until golden born on the outside. Remove and let cool.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can this ground turkey soup be made in a slow cooker?

Yes you can! It will make the potatoes fork-tender. Add all ingredients to the slow cooker, and cook on high for 3-4 hours, or low for 6-8 hours.

What should I serve with this homemade ground turkey soup?

You can’t go wrong, serving this Whole30 potato soup with a side salad or warm greens like this roasted broccoli. If you’re not adhering to a strict diet, then you could always serve it with some crusty bread (I like Against the Grain gluten-free baguettes), organic sour cream (I like Horizon Organic), crumbled cooked bacon, and shredded parmesan cheese.

Ground turkey soup tips and variations

  • If you don’t want any heat at all, omit the red pepper flakes. If you like it hot add in more than the called for ¼ tsp.
  • If you have leftover sweet potatoes from your Thanksgiving feast and need a great excuse to use them up, use them in place of the regular potato in the recipe. Mmmmm!
  • Having a hard time finding anise seed?  You can sub it out for star anise (1 star anise) or in a bind you can also use fennel seed for a similar taste (about 1 teaspoon of fennel seed for this recipe).
  • No aminos?  No prob.  You can use soy sauce if you are okay with the recipe not being whole30 and paleo. If you need your substitution to stay gluten-free, make sure you are using a gluten-free soy sauce.
  • Cook the meatballs separately and add them to the soup just before serving, so they don’t lose their texture in the soup.
  • It’s perfectly fine to substitute ground turkey with ground beef instead

Storage, Freezing, and Reheating Instructions

  • Store any leftover ground turkey soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Freeze this soup once cooked and cooled in an airtight, freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
  • Reheat this soup from frozen or chilled by warming it in a pot over medium-low heat. Or place your soup in a microwave-safe bowl with a loose-fitting lid on it until bubbling and heated through. Microwave your soup on high for 60 seconds, stir it with a spoon, and check its temperature.  

More Whole30 & Paleo Soup Recipes

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Healthy Ground Turkey Soup With Lemon & Vegetables (Whole 30, Paleo)


  • Author: Jessica Kirk
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This healthy ground turkey soup with lemon and garlic will warm you up with its hearty savory broth and its immune-boosting lemon and garlic. It’s the perfect excuse to use up those Thanksgiving turkey leftovers and fight off those cool-weather colds! It is also gluten-free, paleo, and dairy-free!


Ingredients

Scale

For the soup:

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large potato, cubed
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 23 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 cup kale (or spinach)
  • 24 cups of leftover cooked turkey meat, or pumpkin sage meatballs!
  • lemon peel of 1 organic lemon
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • 4 cups gluten-free chicken broth, or vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoon liquid coconut aminos
  • 3/4 teaspoon anise seed
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the meatballs:

  • 1/2 cup ground leftover turkey (cooked), process a food processor for best results
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon liquid coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon almond flour

Instructions

For the soup:

  1. Warm a large skillet with the olive oil in the bottom of it over medium heat.
  2. Add in the carrot, potato, onion, and minced garlic for 4-5 minutes or until the potato starts to become a bit tender.
  3. Add in the kale, leftover turkey meat, lemon peels, lemon juice, cumin, and red pepper flakes and cook an additional 3-4 minutes or until the kale becomes darkened and wilted.
  4. Add in the chicken stock, liquid aminos, honey, and anise seed to the skillet and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before topping with salt and pepper to taste and enjoying.

For the meatballs:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400*F. Lightly coat a mini muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Combine all of the meatball ingredients together with your hands and roll them into 1″ balls. We are using here turkey leftovers, they are already cooked. If you are using fresh ground turkey meat, cook it beforehand. Place each ball in one of the mini muffin tin holes.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes, carefully flip with kitchen tongs, and bake for another 10 minutes, or until golden born on the outside. Remove and let cool.

Notes

  1. You can sub anise seed out for star anise (1 star anise) or in a bind you can also use fennel seed for a similar taste (about 1 teaspoon fennel seed for this recipe).
  2. Use organic lemon for the peel! Non-organic lemon peel will contain harmful substances like pesticides
  3. Cook the optional meatballs separately and add them to the soup just before serving, so they don’t lose their texture in the soup.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Meal
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 4 servings
  • Calories: 426
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Sodium: 1542mg
  • Fat: 27g
  • Saturated Fat: 7g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 18g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 50g
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Protein: 95g
  • Cholesterol: 299mg

Keywords: ground turkey soup,healthy ground turkey soup

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Recipe rating

  1. The lemon adds a nice tangy kick and the vegetables add a great crunch. I will definitely be making this again and again!