There’s just something about a bowl of soup that warms the soul and we mean that in every sense of the word. When it comes to the warm and wholesome dish, there are thousands of recipes out there, and it can be hard to decide which one sounds the best. This recipe for turkey vegetable soup is a crowd-pleaser and it’s great for veggie lovers, turkey lovers, and anyone looking for a satisfying meal. We love that this soup takes no time to put together, and it’s a meal the whole family can enjoy.
Recipe developer Hayley MacLean came up with this wonderful dish that raises the bar for soup. “This recipe is great because it is so full of healthy, nutritious ingredients! All of the vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals and the turkey is such a great lean protein,” MacLean raves. “Everything comes together in a delicious bowl of warming goodness,” she describes. This soup will be a winner at plenty of events as well. MacLean suggests, “to serve [it] around the holidays, when there is plenty of leftover turkey in the fridge and lots of people around to feed! It is hearty, filling, and great to have a big pot of [it] to come to from [the] cold weather.” MacLean adds, “We’ve been enjoying it during our snow days!” Snow day or not, you’ll want to try this flavor-packed soup recipe.
The first step to any great recipe is making a list of the ingredients you will need. Start with some dried orzo, followed by olive oil. In the produce section, grab a yellow onion, carrots, celery, garlic, a few bell peppers, some baby spinach, and fresh parsley. As with most soup recipes, you will need chicken broth, and be sure to pick up a can of diced tomatoes as well.
Ideally, you’ll be making this soup after a big turkey dinner so you’ll have shredded meat on hand. Otherwise, look for packaged turkey breast in the supermarket. In terms of spices, get some bay leaves, fresh thyme, dried oregano, and frozen peas. Finally, some salt and pepper will add the final touch of seasoning.
Now that the shopping is out of the way, it’s time to get started on the actual cooking. This recipe is pretty straightforward and requires just a few steps, so you’ll be fine whether you’re a pro or a beginner. Starting with the orzo, follow the package instructions since each brand will have slight variations in cook time. Once it is cooked, remove it from the heat and set it aside.
“In place of orzo, egg noodles or bowtie pasta would be fun!” MacLean shares. “Anything you can scoop up with all the other ingredients in one perfect spoonful. For those going low-carb or gluten-free, the noodles can be omitted altogether and replaced with chickpeas or a similar bean!”
While the orzo is cooking or once you have set it aside, it’s time to get started on the veggies. Grab either a large pot or a Dutch oven and place it on your stove. Kick the heat up to medium and drizzle in the olive oil. Once the oil starts to shimmer, add the onion, carrots, and celery. Remember that you should have already chopped and diced the vegetables ahead of time, making this step super seamless.
Continue cooking for about 3 to 4 minutes, until the veggies start to soften. Then, add the garlic and cook for another minute, until fragrant. “This soup can definitely be made in a slow cooker!” MacLean notes. “I would sauté the vegetables first to retain that amazing flavor before adding them to the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients, though — and cook the pasta separately to avoid it overcooking and getting mushy!”
Once you finish sautéeing the first round of veggies, there are still a few more ingredients to add to the mix. Start with your broth and the diced tomatoes, which provide a flavorful liquid base for your soup. Then, throw in the bell peppers and the turkey. Next, unload all of the spices, including bay leaves, thyme, and oregano. Bring the mixture to a boil, and once bubbles reach the surface, reduce the heat to a simmer. Simply let the soup simmer for 15 minutes until all of the vegetables are soft.
When the vegetables are ready, toss in the peas and the baby spinach. Both will cook in no time, which is why we wait until the last step to add them to the mix. Cook them for about 3 to 5 minutes until the peas are heated through and the spinach has wilted. Now, it’s really starting to come together! Remove the soup from the heat and mix in the cooked orzo. Then, discard the bay leaves and the sprig of thyme.
It’s best to enjoy this soup immediately, garnished with some fresh parsley on top. “This soup is perfect served with a fresh green salad and a large piece of crusty sourdough on the side to sop up all of the broth — yum!” MacLean says. “A bit of Parmesan can also be sprinkled on top to kick things up a notch.” Anything left? Save it! “Leftovers can be stored for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the fridge, or frozen for later use up to 3 months,” MacLean notes.