Autumn is the perfect time to serve up a hearty, warming and cozy soup! And if that soup is really easy to make? Even better! This Turkey Sweet Potato Soup checks all of those boxes and more – it’s really hearty and filling thanks to the sweet potato chunks and ground turkey. Plus, the addition of rice thickens the soup to make it even more “stick to your ribs.” And a few select spices add a ton of warm flavors that really complement the sweet potato. Finally, this soup is simple to make with only a few basic steps!
Turkey Sweet Potato Soup Ingredients
Here’s what you will need to make this easy Turkey Sweet Potato Soup:
- Ground turkey: I used 93% lean ground turkey. For me, this is the perfect amount of fat to give some extra flavor and tenderness to the turkey. But feel free to use whatever kind of turkey you prefer.
- Sweet potato: one large one will do.
- Onion: any type will work! I used yellow onion.
- Oil: just a tablespoon to start the turkey and onion cooking in the pot. I used olive oil, but you can use any neutral oil like vegetable oil, canola oil, etc.
- Rice: I used long grain white rice, because I always have it on hand and it cooks fast. But you can use any type of rice you like! I’ve even tested this recipe with a mix of wild and brown rice which was really delicious. I will give more info on substituting different types of rice down below.
- Broth: turkey, chicken, or any type you have on hand.
- Salt and Pepper: I used Kosher salt for this particular recipe, which is coarser than fine grain salt. If you are using fine grain salt, reduce the amount a bit, taste and add more if necessary (I always do this anyways!).
- Spices: there are a few different spices going on here – I used paprika, cumin, and coriander. I talk more about the spices next!
Spices For Turkey Sweet Potato Soup
I selected the spices cumin, coriander and paprika for this soup (in addition to salt and pepper). The combination of these spices (especially the cumin and coriander) add a warm, savory flavor profile to the soup that set off the more neutral flavors of the turkey, rice and sweet potatoes. Here’s more info about these spices and why they work so well in this Turkey Sweet Potato Soup:
- Cumin: this spice has a warm, slightly pungent flavor. Cumin is often used in chili and taco seasoning, but don’t worry! There isn’t enough cumin in the recipe to make the entire soup taste like tacos. Instead, it adds some depth and earthiness to the soup.
- Coriander: I really love coriander and I feel like this spice is totally underrated! This is actually the ground seed of the cilantro plant, but doesn’t taste much at all like fresh cilantro. It’s earthy, nutty, yet with an almost lemony brightness as well.
- Paprika: there are several varieties of paprika. Here, I used regular paprika, just the basic kind you can buy in the grocery store spice isle (not sweet or smoked paprika). The flavor of regular paprika is pretty mild and just a little bit sweet. But, it adds a beautiful color to foods! Here, it helps the broth turn a beautiful, warm orange-y color that is super inviting for a cozy soup! If you have sweet or smoked paprika, those would taste wonderful in this turkey sweet potato soup too.
Spice Substitution Ideas
If you happen to not like one of these spices, feel free to experiment with your own flavor combinations. You can always add a little, taste, and add some more. But, I recommend adding ground spices during the beginning of the cooking time, because allowing them to cook with the dish (versus adding them at the end) really enhances their flavor.
Some other spice ideas I think would go well with this soup are: onion powder, dried thyme, bay leaf, sage, red pepper flakes. If you have some other ideas or end up trying some of these, do let me know!
I know I always say this, but this recipe is really easy you guys! Yes, it really is! I only have a couple tips for you so you can make this recipe perfect the first time:
- Try to cut the sweet potatoes as close to the same size as you can. It’s not worth spending a ton of time going for perfectly uniform cubes, so just try your best without going overboard! The reason why you want evenly sized cubes is so they will cook evenly. You don’t want mushy little pieces that are falling apart while you have larger sweet potato pieces that are still hard.
- Here is how I like to cube my sweet potato for even pieces: After peeling, lay the potato on its side and slice it crosswise into 3/4 inch slices. Then stack up 2 or 3 of those slices and cut across again to make sticks. Then cut crosswise again to make cubes.
- As I mentioned in the ingredients section, if you are using fine grain salt instead of Kosher salt (which is coarser), use a little less salt than the recipe calls for and adjust as needed. This is because more fine grain salt fits into 1 tsp. measure than coarse since each individual grain of rice is smaller.
- The recipe calls for 6 – 8 cups of broth. That’s because depending on how hard your soup is boiling and your particular rice, more or less water will be absorbed by the rice and/or evaporated into the air. So, during the cooking time or after, you may need some more liquid to thin the soup out. But, this is subjective! Add as much or as little extra broth to get the thickness that you like.
You can substitute other types of rice instead of the white rice if you want. Brown rice and wild rice would both be amazing. As I mentioned, I did make this soup with a wild/brown rice mix and I loved it! The rice grains actually ended up holding their shape a bit better and had more texture than the white rice. But, I didn’t end up using that in the final recipe because the wild rice took too long to cook. So for me, speed beat out and I went with the white rice.
If you want to substitute a different kind of rice that takes longer to cook, just boil the soup for the amount of time called for on the bag of rice, but check the rice for doneness 5 – 10 minutes before the end of the cook time.
Also, add the sweet potato chunks during the last 15 minutes of the cook time. That way they won’t end up being too mushy if you have a rice (like wild rice) that takes 35 – 40 minutes to cook. And, you will want to have extra broth or water on hand in case the particular rice you are using ends up absorbing more liquid. Keep an eye on the soup during a longer cook time, stir on occasion, and add more liquid if needed.
And what if you don’t even want to add rice at all? Try adding black beans instead! If you go with beans though, the broth will be thinner because the starch in the rice helps to thicken up the broth.
Storing Sweet Potato Rice Soup
This soup will keep well in the fridge for 3 – 4 days. However, the rice will continue to absorb the broth and will get progressively softer, and the broth will therefore get thicker. I actually don’t mind that (it still tastes really good!), but if you are making this for guests I would definitely serve it immediately.
Alternatively, if you want to preserve more of the rice texture even a day or two after cooking, you can try using wild rice and/or brown rice, following the instructions in the above section “Rice Substitutions,” since I found that did hold its shape better over time than the white rice.
If you’ve tried this recipe for Turkey Sweet Potato Soup, please let me know what you thought about it in the comments down below, I would love to hear from you! You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to see more delicious recipes from Nibble and Dine!
And you can check out some of my other favorite filling and easy soup recipes here:Print
A hearty, well-seasoned soup that will warm you right up in cold weather!
- 1 tbsp. oil
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1 large onion, chopped (about 2 c.)
- 1 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 2 tsp. paprika
- 2 tsp. coriander
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes (about 4 c.)
- 1 c. long-grain white rice, rinsed
- 6 – 8 c. broth, any type (turkey, chicken, beef, etc.)
- Heat the oil in a large stock pot over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chopped onion and ground turkey. Stir and cook for 2 – 3 minutes, breaking up the ground turkey into small chunks with a wooden spoon.
- Stir in the salt, pepper, paprika, coriander and cumin. Continue to cook for an additional 2 – 3 minutes or until the turkey is no longer pink and the onions are softened.
- Add in the sweet potato chunks and rice. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in 6 cups of broth and turn the heat to high to bring to a boil. Once the broth is boiling, turn the heat down to maintain a gentle boil, partially covering the pot with a lid (leave about a 1 – 2 inch opening).
- Gently boil the soup for 15 minutes or until the rice is cooked and the sweet potato chunks are tender. Check on the soup periodically during the cook time. If most of the liquid has been absorbed, stir in some additional broth.
- Taste the soup and add more salt and/or pepper if needed. If needed, thin the soup out with more broth.
Keywords: turkey sweet potato soup, turkey rice soup, turkey sweet potato rice soup, sweet potato rice soup