Weight Loss Soup (Turkey Vegetable Soup)

2 pounds ground turkey
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, smashed and minced (at least 1 tablespoon)
2 and 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon basil
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 6 fresh thyme sprigs
10-12 cups chicken or turkey broth
4-5 large carrots, chopped
1 and 1/2 cups celery, chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
2 cups coleslaw cabbage, or more to taste
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes (I like fire roasted)
1 (14 ounce) can white beans
1 zucchini, chopped
1 yellow squash, chopped
chopped parsley, to garnish (optional; low calorie!)
pesto, to garnish individual bowls (optional and not low calorie!)
parmesan cheese to garnish, optional (not low cal!)

In a very large soup pot (at least 6 quart capacity), add 2 pounds ground turkey and a chopped onion. Bring to a saute over medium high heat, crumbling the turkey.

Turn off the heat and drain the fat. (I like to do this by lining a small bowl with foil, tilting the pot to the side, and removing the grease with a spoon to the bowl. Then I refrigerate it until the fat is hardened and throw it away.)

Turn the heat back on to medium. Add 4 cloves minced garlic and all the spices: 2 and 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (add less if using table salt), 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon celery seed, 1 teaspoon basil, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, 1/2 teaspoon thyme if using dried thyme. Cook the mixture until the spices and garlic are fragrant.
Add 10-12 cups broth. I used 8 cups chicken broth that I had on hand, then another 4 cups of water with 4 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon Turkey Base. I LOVE this turkey base, it brings so much amazing flavor. You can use all chicken broth if that’s what you have, or use water and either chicken/turkey base. 1 cup of water + 1 teaspoon base = 1 cup broth.

Turn the heat to high to bring to a boil. Add all the vegetables except the squash. Start with the harder veggies and add them as you go: chop the carrots and add them in, then the celery, sweet potato, and 2 cups coleslaw cabbage. All of these veggie amounts can be adjusted. Don’t like sweet potato? Leave it out and add more carrots. Soup is very forgiving. Add the thyme sprigs along with the broth if you are using fresh thyme.

Add the can of diced tomatoes, including the juice. Drain the can of beans and add to the pot.

Once the soup comes to a boil, lower the heat to a medium simmer, so it’s bubbling but nothing too wild. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until the carrots and sweet potato are almost fork tender.
Add the chopped zucchini and yellow squash. Continue simmering for another 5-10 minutes, until the squash is tender.

If any foam has gathered on top of your soup, you can skim it off with a spoon. If using fresh thyme, remove the stems and discard.
Serve the soup hot! I like to garnish each bowl with a spoonful of pesto and some shredded parmesan (although that does add extra calories). Parsley is a delicious garnish that is calorie free.

Slow Cooker Instructions:
Follow instructions through step 3 (sauteing garlic and spices with turkey). Add mixture to a slow cooker, then add all the broth and veggies except the zucchini and yellow squash. Cook on low for 4-5 hours, or on high for 2-3 hours, until the carrots are tender. Add the zucchini and squash and continue to cook for another half hour or so, until tender. Enjoy!

Servings: 12

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