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overhead: bowl of creamy turkey lentil soup with tadka
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5 from 1 vote

Indian Turkey Lentil Soup

This lentil soup uses ground turkey with vegetables and tempered spices. Make this turkey lentil soup for a flavorful, comforting meal!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time42 mins
Total Time57 mins
Servings: 6
Calories: 353kcal
Author: Kevin


  • 2 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey or other ground/minced meat
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  • 1 tablespoon ghee or clarified butter or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium red onion diced
  • 1 large carrot peeled and diced
  • 3 stalks celery chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger or ginger paste
  • 2 Roma tomatoes diced
  • 1 serrano chile finely diced
  • 1 cup dried red lentils (See Note 1)
  • 4 cups chicken stock

Tadka - Spice Tempering

  • 2 tablespoon ghee or clarified butter or vegetable oil
  • 2 kashmeri chiles broken in pieces
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika


  • Chopped cilantro leaves


  • Add 2 tsp. oil to a preheated skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add and brown ground turkey and kosher salt until meat is no longer pink. Set pan of turkey aside.
  • Preheat dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat. When pot is hot, add oil and sauté the onion, carrot and celery for 6 minutes. Add garlic and ginger. Stir to combine and continue to cook for 2 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic
  • Add the Roma tomatoes, Serrano chili, lentils and chicken stock. Stir and simmer covered for 30 minutes.


  • In a small bowl, combine cumin and mustard seeds. In another bowl, combine the spice powders. Have all of your spices ready because this will move quickly.
  • In a sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Once oil is shimmering, add chiles, cumin and mustard seeds (be careful as this splatters in the hot oil ). Add turmeric and paprika spices. They should sizzle and bubble a little, that's the spices blooming, and it's exactly what you want. Do not burn them, cook 10 seconds tops as you shake the pan back and forth slightly. Pour into a dish and set aside.
  • Either keep the lentil soup chunky or use immersion blender (blending stick) or high speed blender to puree until smooth. Add cooked turkey to the lentils. Stir to incorporate and continue to cook another 10 minutes. Ladle into soup bowls and pour tadka over each.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with warm khubz, barbari bread, or naan.


  1. The masoor dal (husked & split red lentils) can be substituted using arhar dal (husked & split pigeon pea lentils).


Sodium: 685mg | Calcium: 54mg | Vitamin C: 8mg | Vitamin A: 2401IU | Sugar: 6g | Fiber: 11g | Potassium: 883mg | Cholesterol: 46mg | Calories: 353kcal | Trans Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Fat: 13g | Protein: 31g | Carbohydrates: 29g | Iron: 4mg