A Weight Loss Soup recipe that is packed full of veggies! This homemade Turkey Vegetable soup is really low calorie because it’s basically a bunch of veggies, broth, and ground turkey. Ground turkey is a great way to bring in tons of flavor! So you will actually want to eat it! It’s really quite delicious, and the first meal I make whenever I kick off a diet! Originally published January 12, 2021.

weight loss soup recipe in a bowl with fresh herbs.

Eric and I were sitting at the table working earlier today, when a truly terrible song started playing on the radio. I started making gagging sounds in the background, knowing it was likely a David Bowie song. (Eric has been obsessed lately). Anyway, I stopped paying attention and then half a minute later I realized “hey, I like this part! This song is okay toward the end!” No, said Eric, I changed the song. This is the Strokes. 

Well, so much for that. I thought maybe good ol David was growing on me. I think I’m just not cut out for extreme 80s music.

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turkey vegetable soup in two bowls on a wooden charger plate with parsley and thyme garnish on the side.

Eric has been on a HUGE David Bowie kick the last few months (no doubt started from this scene in the movie Frances Ha, a fabulous film by Greta Gerwig, the one who did the latest Little Women rendition.) He’s even reading a book all about David Bowie right now. Don’t get me wrong, I like all of his main hit songs, like the Modern Love song playing on that clip. It’s the obscure ones that make me want to claw my eyes out.

weight loss soup in a white bowl with a spoon.

What is Weight Loss Soup?

Have you heard of Weight Loss Soup? It’s from one of those diet trends from the 80s (the 80s: a strange era indeed). I told my brother I was making Weight Loss Soup and he said, oh, like the Celery Soup mom used to always make when she was on a diet? I don’t remember any celery soup and quite frankly it sounds disgusting, unless there is a lot a cream involved, which would definitely make it not-so-diet. (Mom? Celery Soup?? Tell us more.)

Basically the idea behind this diet (called the GM Diet) was to make a really basic soup, mostly cabbage and broth, that you can eat anytime during the diet because it’s super low calorie. The first day you eat all fruit. The second day you eat all veggies. Day four of the diet says, “Consume only bananas and milk.” That’s where they lost me. I’m no nutritionist, but this sounds like a recipe for disaster!! Bananas and milk?? Wth?

The 80s were weird guys. (Just try listening to some obscure David Bowie songs.) But they were onto something with the Weight Loss Soup. Broth and a ton of vegetables really is a super low calorie, delicious meal option if you are trying to lose some weight. I’m not a doctor; don’t take diet advice from me! This soup is delicious and low calorie, and it’s the first thing I make every time I kick off a new healthy eating plan. I turn to it when I get bored with salad. It has about 250 calories per serving, if you divide it into 12 servings.

close up overhead shot of turkey weight loss soup in a white bowl with fresh herbs.

I’ve rounded the soup out with some ground turkey to make it nice and hearty. Yes, of course this adds more calories! But it will keep you full longer, and it adds a ton of flavor, making your soup taste restaurant quality (yes, really!). I got the turkey tip from Des and Kadee over at Oh So Delicioso, their recipe inspired today’s version! If you are not following them, you should, they have amazing recipes! Love following them on Instagram too, OhSoDelicioso.

Turkey Vegetable Soup Ingredients

See the full recipe in the recipe card below!

  • Ground turkey
  • Onion 
  • Garlic 
  • Seasonings (kosher salt, black pepper, oregano, garlic powder, smoked paprika, celery seed, basil, crushed red pepper, and dried thyme)
  • Broth (chicken or turkey broth)
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Potato 
  • Coleslaw mix (or fresh cabbage)
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Canned white beans
  • Zucchini and yellow squash 
  • Garnishes (optional – chopped parsley, pesto, and parmesan cheese)

How to Make Weight Loss Vegetable Soup

Here are the main ingredients you will need for Weight Loss Soup! Basically the entire produce section at the store.

ingredients for weight loss soup including vegetables, ground turkey, and white beans.

These veggies are mostly suggestions. You can replace ones you don’t like, or omit them entirely and add a little extra of the other ones. No soup nazis around here! Yes soup for you!

draining fat from ground turkey, adding spice to ground turkey in a pot.

This recipe calls for 2 pounds of turkey, but you can use 1 pound or 1 and 1/2 pounds and it will still be really great. Drain the turkey fat and add in some garlic and spices. This brings in tons of flavor and is basically calorie free!

adding chicken broth to soup, a picture of Better Than Bouillon Turkey Base.

Next add in a heck-ton of broth. I like to use either chicken broth or turkey broth, or a combination! This time I used 8 cups of 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. OR, if you happen to have a turkey carcass, use this Homemade Turkey Stock. (if you are throwing away your turkey carcass after Thanksgiving, you’re a criminal.)

chopped celery and carrots on a cutting board, chopped sweet potato with a knife.

Next chop up all your veggies and add them in, adding the hardest vegetables first so they start cooking right away.

You can add as much cabbage as you want, really. The original Weight Loss Soup was mostly cabbage and broth because cabbage is super low calorie. (Ew.) This time I added about 2 cups, but I’ve definitely added the whole bag before. You can of course chop your own cabbage, I’m just lazy. The coleslaw bags are so convenient!

adding cabbage to soup in a pot, chopped zucchini and yellow squash on a cutting board.

Wait until your carrots are almost tender before adding in the squash. They only take a few minutes to cook, we don’t want them getting mushy.

ground turkey vegetable soup in two bowls on a wooden charger plate with fresh herbs on the side.

How to Serve Ground Turkey Soup

I love to garnish this soup with pesto! It is a powerhouse of flavor! Guess why, because it’s full of nuts and cheese and oil and other calorie-laden ingredients. Go figure! Leave it out if you are really counting calories. Parmesan is great on this soup too, but see above about calories. I also love to garnish with parsley, and that one is calorie free basically!

I promise though, this soup is so good, even without any garnishes or side dishes. It is hearty and will keep you full for hours so you don’t go a-snackin.

If you’re making this for deliciousness reasons instead of diet reasons, feel free to serve it alongside a pile of Instant Pot Brown Rice, a basket of Homemade Crescent Rolls, or a chunk of crusty buttered bread, like The Best Garlic Bread of Your Life!

turkey vegetable soup (weight loss soup) recipe in a white bowl with a spoon.

How to Store Diet Soup

Leftover weight loss vegetable soup will last in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 2-3 months. 

To reheat, thaw overnight in the fridge if frozen, then warm either in the microwave or on the stove. 

homemade turkey vegetable soup (weight loss soup) being lifted from the pot on a spoon.

Diet Soup Recipe FAQs

Is soup a good way to lose weight?

While that does depend on the type of soup you’re serving, soup in general is a great way to get tons of vitamins and nutrients in. A veggie-heavy, high-protein soup like this one is a great way to fill up in a healthy way.

What soup is best for weight loss?

This Ground Turkey Vegetable Soup is great for weight loss. It’s loaded with good-for-you vegetables, tons of lean protein thanks to the ground turkey, and tons of healthy seasonings. It’s filling, healthy, and so flavorful, so you won’t want to stop eating it on Day 2.

Is it OK to eat soup everyday?

Totally! Well, maybe not just any soup. But this turkey vegetable soup definitely is. It’s such a simple, easy way to reach your everyday veggie needs. (To be clear, you shouldn’t eat ONLY soup. A healthy diet includes a wide variety of foods.)

weight loss soup in a pot with a wooden spoon shot from overhead.

More healthy-ish soup recipes you are going to love!

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Turkey Vegetable Soup

4.89 from 220 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 15
A Weight Loss Soup recipe that is packed full of veggies! This homemade Turkey Vegetable soup is really low calorie because it’s basically a bunch of veggies, broth, and ground turkey. Ground turkey is a great low calorie way to bring in tons of flavor! So you will actually want to eat it! It’s really quite delicious, and the first meal I make whenever I kick off a diet!


  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and minced (at least 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 & 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 & 1/2 cups celery, chopped
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups coleslaw cabbage, or more to taste
  • 1 (14-oz) can diced tomatoes , (I like fire roasted)
  • 1 (14-oz) 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. 



Source: adapted from my friends Des and Kadee over at Oh So Delicioso!


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 169kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 539mg | Potassium: 736mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 5528IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Calories: 169
Keyword: soup, Turkey, weight loss
Did you make this? I’d love to see it!Mention @thefoodcharlatan or tag #thefoodcharlatan!

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  1. 5 stars
    Followed the recipe to a “T” and it was excellent. My husband, who is not a big vegetable fan, loved this soup. Definitely a keeper

  2. 5 stars
    Absolutely wonderful recipe!! I’m not a huge fan of ground turkey but this soup really hit the spot. I left out the white beans and topped with parmesan. Loved the taste and the calorie count!

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve made this soup several times now, and my whole family loves it! It’s healthy and hearty, so I love making it for them. And if you want to drop a few pounds, this soup is perfect! You could also make a whole grain to go with it, or a chunk of sourdough bread. Yum

  4. 5 stars
    This was amazing. I made it to have for lunches all week. Every day I couldn’t wait to eat. It was fantastic. I skipped the zucchini and the sweet potato.

  5. 5 stars
    A wonderful weight watchers soup, Karen. Yummy, delicious, and satisfying!! I used ground beef and broth this time but will use chicken another day for a different taste…..plus add some poultry seasoning with that. My husband and i loved this and highly recommend!!!!

      1. Hi Elizabeth! We don’t calculate WW points for our recipes. If you’d like to check there are online WW calculators and you can plug in the ingredients to see. Enjoy!

  6. 4 stars
    Is it just me or did this recipe make an insane amount of soup? I could feed a small army with this! LOL! Overall is was pretty tasty though

  7. 5 stars
    Karen, Saw this soup on your blog right after the holidays. I’m not a ground turkey fan but this soup change my mind. It was absolutely delicious. All those veggies made it so healthy and oh so flavorful. Being a new widow I’m in a funk with cooking. Not my favorite pastime at the moment. This was worth every bit of effort it took. Not that bad really

    1. I’m so sorry for your loss Judy, I can understand why you’re in a funk. I’m so glad this soup was what you needed! Thanks for reaching out, it’s so good to hear from you.

  8. 5 stars
    This was delicious! I used ground chicken and forgot about the sweet potato but it was still so good. I will definitely make it again and I forwarded the recipe to my daughter!

  9. 5 stars
    We love this soup! Cooking it right now for the third time. We actually used ground bruschetta chicken instead of turkey and it’s delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

  10. 5 stars
    Loved this soup. The flavor was great. It had a tiny bit of spicey taste but I love a warm soup that has some spiciness to clear out the sinuses. I overcooked mine so I’d just recommend not doing that to retain the texture of the ingredients.

    1. Hi there! Yes, you definitely can. Just throw it in a labeled ziplock bag or any freezer safe container you like. It will keep for 2-3 months. Enjoy!

      1. Hi Karen! Omg!! I just made this soup and it is amazing! Love, love, love it! I’m eating it right now as I’m writing this. 😋 Made it just as you have it listed. I will definitely be making this again and again. Thank you! 😀

        1. Ahh yay I’m so happy you loved it Virginia! Thank you for telling me so! Fun fact, I almost named my daughter Virginia, love your name 💕 happy soup cooking!

  11. 5 stars
    Zowie! Love this soup. Very flavorful! Yummy, yummy, yummy! I used leftover turkey and the drippings to make this. It was great!

    1. Sounds amazing Mary, great idea to use leftover turkey! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review, you are so nice :-)

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