Friday, September 30, 2011

Turkey Meatball Soup

This soup is fab! It's my take on Italian wedding soup. There are big juicy meatballs, loads of silky smooth spinach leaves that embrace your tongue with a velvety hug, carrots, cannellini beans and rice!
This is a great alternative to rich, cream infused soups that fill you up and weigh you down with fatty goodness. My turkey meatball extravaganza will leave you just as full while imparting way more nutrition! I made a massive batch of it and froze them in portion sized ziplock bags. That way, when I'm pressed for time all I do is reach into my freezer and defrost one of these delicious bundles!

Meatball Ingredients:
1 lb ground turkey
1 large clove of garlic, grated in a microplane
1/2 cup grated parm
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon dried oregano, parsley and basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
a handful of fresh Italian parsley
1 egg

Broth Ingredients:
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 quart chicken stock
1 rind of parmesan
2 carrots
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 5oz bag of fresh spinach..or more.. they wilt
2 celery stalks
1 can cannellini beans
1/2 cup rice (any variety..wild is nice)

Mix all the ingredients for the meatballs except the turkey and breadcrumbs until well incorporated. Add the turkey and mix well with your hands. Add the breadcrumbs until combined. Using two spoons, scoop out even sized amounts (it's OKAY if their not perfect:) and roll into balls. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment. When completed, place in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile saute the onions in olive oil on low heat. You want them to really wilt and melt. After ten minutes add the garlic and cook on low for another 5 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and add your carrots and celery. Saute for 2 minutes. Add the rice and cook for three minutes. Add more olive oil if necessary. Add the broth, 1/2 quart water, bay leaf and parm rind. Cook for 40 minutes on low heat. Add the cannellini beans, meatballs and fresh parsley. Cook for 10 minutes. Finish with spinach and cook until it wilts into the soup. Serve with freshly cracked pepper and grated parm.

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