This recipe from the September issue of Cooking Light Magazine is a total keeper and one that I am already anxious to make again. It was part of the magazine's "We Love Meatballs" feature….so much fun! It'll feed a crowd, 3-4 meatballs per bowl of soup is a pretty good portion and the recipe makes 24 of the little gems. I think the next time I make it I might even double the meatball part of the recipe and freeze half so that down the road I am never more than some store bought stock, a quick mirepoix, and a bunch of shredded kale away from a super tasty soup.
I am generally not a big fan of turkey or chicken meatballs. Why? Because I find their lack of fat tends to leave them dry and rather flavorless. Not so these little orbs. Infused with fresh basil, garlic, parsley, and parmigiano, they pack plenty of flavor and the cooked quinoa lends tenderness and some moisture. I didn't have celery on-hand as called for in the original recipe, so subbed some finely diced carrots that I had in my crisper drawer instead….hey this is soup, practically anything goes.
A single batch of this served four of us for dinner and I enjoyed the balance for lunch over the next few days, it reheats beautifully. For a little extra lean protein goodness, cook extra quinoa (the meatballs only require 1/2 cup cooked) and toss it into the finished soup….YUM!
Cheers – Steve
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
- 2 ounces parmigiano-reggiano cheese, grated and divided (roughly 1/2 cup)
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 6 garlic cloves, minced and divided
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 4 teaspoon EVOO, divided
- 1/2 cup chopped shallots
- 1/2 cup chopped celery (I used carrot)
- 8 cups trimmed and chopped lacinato (or curly) kale (about 1 pound)
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
- 5 cups low sodium chicken stock
- lemon wedges (optional)
- Combine turkey, quinoa, 1/4 cup cheese, parsley, basil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 2 garlic cloves, and egg in a large bowl; mix until just combined. Working with damp hands, shape turkey mixture into 24 meatballs (about 2 tablespoons each).
- Heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan and swirl to coat. Add 12 meatballs; cook 8 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove from the pan. Repeat procedure with 1 teaspoon oil and remaining 12 meatballs. Remove the 2nd batch from the pan. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the pan. Add shallots and celery to pan; sauté 5 minutes. Add remaining 4 garlic cloves, sauté 1 minute. Add kale, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and red pepper flakes, cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add stock; bring to a boil. Return meatballs to the pan. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes or until kale is tender and the meatballs are done.
- Ladle into bowls, divide remaining cheese between bowls and serve with a lemon wedge if desired.