Cooking, Baking & Cocktail Shaking

Ground Turkey & Vegetable Soup

Happy Sunday! This week Pam from The Meltaways is hosting a Soup themed #SundaySupper. It’s cold outside, so the #SundaySupper crew is putting the soup on to help warm you up. This Ground Turkey & Vegetable Soup is a family favorite.

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Let’s talk about my mom for a second. Now, I love the gal, but she isn’t always the best cook. Cooking is more my dad’s thing. My mom, not so much. When I was over my mom’s house a few weekends ago, she put a half-frozen chicken breast in the oven and fed it to me for dinner. It tasted like rubber. Yuck! I’ll give her credit, she tries. She can whip up a box of brownies like a pro, boil a hotdog with the best of them, and mix up some Kraft mac and cheese in a jif, but when it comes to home cookin’, that’s more my dad’s area.

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There are a few exceptions when it comes to my mom’s cooking. When I was growing up, I looked forward to three things: her roast beef with veggies and beefy egg noodles, cheese bread, and this recipe for ground turkey & vegetable soup. The recipe was originally my great-grandmother’s and has been handed down and adapted over the years. Hands down, my mom’s version of this soup is the best. She turned the recipe into a family favorite. The only thing I changed was replacing the ground beef with ground turkey and measuring out the ingredients so the flavor is consistent each time I make it. I make a huge batch so I can freeze it for easy weeknight cooking.

This soup is full of bold flavors, fresh veggies, and healthy ground turkey. The base of the soup is what makes this soup so unique and delicious. It’s made with chicken stock, V8 juice, spaghetti sauce, and ketchup. You heard correct…spaghetti sauce. It sounds odd, but it tastes wonderful.

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It was my mom’s idea to use Hunt’s traditional canned spaghetti sauce in the soup to add flavor and thicken the sauce. The ketchup adds just the right sweetness to the soup, while the V8 juice gives the broth richness.

My mom knew what she was doing when she adapted my great-grandmother’s recipe. My brothers and I would get excited whenever she announced that she was making this soup for dinner.

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Thanks for making this such a special recipe, Mom! And, no more rubber chicken, please.

Ground Turkey & Vegetable Soup

Yield: 8-10 servings

Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 and 1/2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 and 1/2 cups celery (3 stalks), chopped
  • 2 cups carrots (4 large carrots), cut into rounds
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cups vegetable juice (V8)
  • 32-ounces chicken stock
  • 1 (24-ounce) can Hunt’s traditional spaghetti sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 cups cabbage, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 1 pound frozen green beans


  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over high heat. Add the ground turkey, salt, and pepper. Brown the ground turkey until it’s almost cooked through.
  2. Turn the heat down to medium-high and add the celery, carrots, and onion to the pot with the ground turkey. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  3. Add the vegetable juice, chicken stock, spaghetti sauce, ketchup, cabbage, bay leaves, dried basil, and seasoned salt. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil then turn the heat down to low. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add the frozen green beans and cook uncovered for another 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
  4. To freeze: Cool the soup completely before transferring the mixture to freezer bags. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost the soup in the refrigerator before reheating.
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57 Responses to “Ground Turkey & Vegetable Soup”

  1. #
    CCU — February 24, 2013 at 1:45 am

    Dam if this soup does not looks so totally appetising my friend, wonderful job :D



  2. #
    Stacy — February 24, 2013 at 4:24 am

    That looks great! Your mom is a soup genius, despite her apparent other culinary shortcomings. Can’t wait to give it a try!


  3. #
    DB-The Foodie Stuntman — February 24, 2013 at 6:04 am

    This sounds like a hearty soup. I’m surprised the ketchup and spaghetti sauce aren’t redundant but you do specify that each ingredient plays a specific role. Could you substitute tomato pureé for your spaghetti sauce?


    • Jennie replied February 24th, 2013 at 8:33 am

      Hi, DB! I like the canned spaghetti sauce b/c it has all of the spices mixed in. You could substitute, but you would be losing some essential flavor boosters.


  4. #
    Lane @ Supper for a Steal — February 24, 2013 at 8:19 am

    I never would have thought to add spaghetti sauce or ketchup to soup, but it does look wonderful. I like that you used turkey instead of ground beef.


  5. #
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — February 24, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Your soup would be so perfect with a big piece of Italian bread!!! I love this recipe!


  6. #
    Jen @JuanitasCocina — February 24, 2013 at 9:20 am

    Are we related? Our moms sound very similar! LOL!


  7. #
    [email protected] & Trinkets — February 24, 2013 at 9:27 am

    This soup looks wonderful, Jennie! I can’t believe that there’s ketchup in it.

    P.S. I love your pretty bowl.


  8. #
    Arlene @FlourOnMyFace — February 24, 2013 at 9:42 am

    What a unique recipe. It’s sounds very interesting and I love the idea of using ground turkey!


  9. #
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts — February 24, 2013 at 10:03 am

    This reminds me of something my mom used to make, sounds so good! It is crazy snowy here today, this sounds perfect!


  10. #
    MLuisa My cute bride (@Mycutebride) — February 24, 2013 at 10:11 am

    It sound tasty and interesting! My husband loves homemade spaguetti sauce, so I gess he might love this soup. I hope mine will look as well as yours!


  11. #
    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) — February 24, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Aww your mom sounds just like my mom!


  12. #
    Krayl @AnAppealingPlan — February 24, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Wow. What a combination of ingredients! Great recipe to bring in lots of variety.


  13. #
    Susan — February 24, 2013 at 10:48 am

    Jennie you crack me up! Thank your mom and grandmother for me for this soup, it looks awesome! I love any type of tomato saucy soup!


  14. #
    Tara — February 24, 2013 at 11:23 am

    That looks simply delish and I love the bowl!! Great story too!


  15. #
    Amanda @ MarocMama — February 24, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    I’ve always found it amazing the ingredients in some of my favorite dishes from when I was growing up. This looks really great – thank you for sharing your family recipe.


  16. #
    Hezzi-D — February 24, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Vegetable is such a comfort food. I’ve had it with beef but never with ground turkey.


  17. #
    Diana @GourmetDrizzles — February 24, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    What a nice soup… looks so hearty and soothing especially on these cold days that we’ve been having lately! ;-)


  18. #
    Conni @FoodieArmyWife — February 24, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Gorgeous soup – and beautiful bowl! :)


  19. #
    Dorothy at ShockinglyDelicious — February 24, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Intriguing…never put ketchup in soup, and now I have to try it!


  20. #
    Mallory @ Total Noms — February 24, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Jennie, this sounds so delicious! Never would have thought to use v8 or pasta sauce in a soup.


  21. #
    Cindys Recipes — February 24, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    I cook with V-8 too! Love the flavor bonus!


  22. #
    Sarah Reid, RHNC (@jo_jo_ba) — February 24, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    This is a soup I can get behind!


  23. #
    Terra — February 24, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    What a hearty soup, that looks so full of flavor! This just warms my heart to see a true family recipe, thank you for sharing such a special recipe! Hugs, Terra


  24. #
    Brianne @ Cupcakes & Kale Chips — February 25, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Sounds delicious, and looks gorgeous, Jennie. I love “secret ingredient” recipes. And your mom sounds like my mother in law. Ugh, eating at her house is dreadful!


  25. #
    [email protected] — February 25, 2013 at 9:08 am

    Love this soup! So hearty and full of flavor!


  26. #
    Bea — February 25, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    This is how my DH refers to his Mom’s cooking :) Your Mom must be a trooper I give her credit for trying :)

    This soup sounds fantastic!!!


  27. #
    Angie @ Big Bear's Wife — February 25, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    never thought to put ground turkey in my veggie soup! I must do that next time!


  28. #
    Renee — February 25, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    I’m laughing at the rubber chicken. She must have cooked it until it was done and them some more.
    I’ve honestly not heard of adding spaghetti sauce or ketchup to a soup. Interesting though. I do love the use of ground turkey.


  29. #
    mommasmeals — February 25, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    I just love ground meat in a soup!!! That’s where you had me with this bowl!!


  30. #
    Liz — February 25, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Giggling at the thought of rubber chicken…too funny (when it’s not served to you, I mean :)). I’m glad your mom has passed along a delicious soup recipe…it sounds terrific!


  31. #
    Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom — February 26, 2013 at 1:53 am

    Love that you made one of your mom’s (good) recipes and that your dad cooks too! Mine too! I loved seeing them BOTH in the kitchen cooking while I was growing up! love the soup yo!


  32. #
    chatteringkitchen — February 26, 2013 at 4:55 am

    Looks like comfort in a bowl


  33. #
    Kim Bee — February 26, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Now this is a soup I can bite into. I love soup with loads of meat. Makes me happy.


  34. #
    Laura | Small Wallet, Big Appetite — February 26, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    While my mom does know how to cook she hates doing it, cooking is definitely more my dad’s arena as well. I am glad you were able to share one of her recipes that she does do well, it looks so hearty and delicious.


  35. #
    Family Foodie — February 26, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    This soup looks absolutely amazing! I can’t wait to try it. BTW your photography rocks!


  36. #
    Linda-There and Back Again — February 26, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    My mom isn’t much of a cook either. This soup would be right up her alley. It looks like a rich chili. And with ketchup, my Picky Eater would probably love it!



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