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


  • 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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