This delicious turkey lentil soup only takes a few minutes to prep for a nutritious, fiber-rich, protein-packed dish that’s oh-so-satisfying.
Looking for a hearty dish to warm you up on a chilly fall or winter day? That’s the perfect time to whip up a batch of this turkey lentil soup!
I love making this recipe with homemade turkey broth. All you need is a turkey carcass and some water, so I always make a batch after Thanksgiving. You’ll use 4 cups of broth for the lentil soup, so you can save the rest for future recipes.
If you don’t have a leftover turkey carcass or time to make your own broth, don’t worry! You can use store-bought turkey broth instead.
However you choose to make this recipe, the result will be a delicious, nutritious, fiber-rich, protein-packed stew you’ll want to eat again and again! It’s the ultimate healthy comfort food.
How to make turkey lentil soup
This recipe takes a little time to come together, but all you have to do is chop and boil. It’s very minimal work for such a satisfying meal.
Step 1: Place the turkey carcass in a large stockpot and cover with water, breaking up the carcass if necessary. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 2 hours.
Step 2: Discard the bones and strain the stock through a cheesecloth.
Step 3: Place 4 cups of stock back in the stockpot. Save the remaining stock for another use or freeze it.
Step 4: Bring the stock to a boil, then add the lentils, onions, celery, and carrots. Simmer gently for 40 minutes or until the lentils are almost done.
Step 5: Add the diced turkey, rice, and Herbes de Provence. Continue heating for another 5 to 10 minutes, then season with salt and pepper before serving.
That’s it! In five easy steps, your delicious lentil and turkey soup will be ready to enjoy.
Is homemade turkey broth better than store-bought?
I always prefer homemade broth or stock whenever possible. It tastes better, it’s super easy to make, and you have much more control over the ingredients.
Most packaged versions of stock and broth are notoriously high in sodium. By making your own, you can cut out a lot of unnecessary salt. Additionally, your homemade broth will contain more collagen and nutritious minerals thanks to the turkey bones.
If you’re short on time or don’t have a turkey carcass, you can certainly substitute store-bought turkey broth. I recommend checking the labels and choosing the brand with the lowest sodium.
Cooking with lentils
Lentils are a great source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. If you don’t have much experience cooking with them, here are a few tips to get you started.
First, you always want to sort through your lentils prior to cooking to remove any small stones or other debris. After sorting, rinse the lentils thoroughly in cold water.
Cooking lentils is simple, but many things can affect their cooking time. Green and brown lentils usually take about 45 minutes to cook while red lentils only take 25 minutes.
Also, older lentils take longer to cook than fresher ones. Be sure to check on the lentils throughout and avoid overcooking so they don’t turn to mush.
Finally, make sure you don’t add salt until after the lentils are done. Adding salt during the cooking process will cause them to become tough.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Because turkey should only be stored for up to four days, you’ll want to factor in when it was first cooked.
For example, if you made the turkey two days before you made the soup, you should consume any leftover soup within two days.
Any additional turkey broth can be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for several months.
Other tasty lentil recipes
Lentils are an excellent source of plant-based protein that add heartiness to any meal. If you’re looking for more ways to incorporate them into your diet, here are a few of my favorite recipes that I know you’ll love:
- Lentil Swiss Chard Soup with Orange Zest
- Spiced Pumpkin Salad with Lentils and Goat Cheese
- Quinoa Lentil Chili
When you’ve tried this dish, please don’t forget to let me know how you liked it and rate the recipe in the comments below!
Turkey Lentil Soup (Low-Sodium)
- Turkey carcass
- Water (enough to cover the turkey carcass)
- 12 ounces lentils (checked and rinsed)
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- 1 cup celery (chopped )
- 2 large carrots (peeled and sliced)
- 2 cups cooked turkey (diced)
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
- Salt & freshly ground pepper
- Place the turkey carcass in a large stockpot and cover with water, breaking up the carcass if necessary. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 2 hours.
- Discard the bones and strain the stock through a cheesecloth.
- Place 4 cups of stock back in the stockpot. Save the remaining stock for another use or freeze it.
- Bring the stock to a boil, then add the lentils, onions, celery, and carrots. Simmer gently for 40 minutes or until the lentils are almost done.
- Add the diced turkey, rice, and Herbes de Provence. Continue heating for another 5 to 10 minutes, then season with salt and pepper before serving.