Could it be!? After a brutal summer of 90+ temps daily, we are finally experiencing our first bits of fall here on the NC coast, woo-hoo! Yesterday was cool and rainy, just the kind of day that calls for a good bowl of soup. I am a huge soup fan and although the hot summer didn’t have me bringing out my soup pot very often, now that fall has arrived I will be on a mission to try out a new soup each week. This week I decided to come up with my own version of Italian Wedding Soup, which I’ve never really been a fan of because mystery meatballs out of a Progresso can kind of creep me out (lol) and the canned version is really the only version I’ve known of this soup until I spotted a Pinterest recipe for it that sparked my interest. While the recipe I found looked delicious I wanted to create my own lightened up version using lean turkey instead of sausage to form the little meatballs, both because J and I try our hardest to maintain a clean diet during the week and because now that baby P is pretty much eating what we eat I try to be more mindful of the sodium content and level of process to our foods. Another reason I love my new original recipe (and soups in general, for that matter) is that it is a great way to sneak in some leafy greens and veggies and lets be honest, who doesn’t love the clean-up (or lack-there-of) that comes along with a one pot meal!? Give this a try on your next rainy day or freeze up some mini-meatballs for a quick-fix meal down the road, either way – happy soup weather to you! 🙂
- 1 lb. lean ground turkey
- 1/3 cup bread crumbs
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp. fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup parmeasan cheese
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 4 oz. frozen chopped spinach, prepared
- 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds (optional, this will just give it a more “sausage-like” taste without using the sausage)
- 1/8-1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 8 cups chicken stock + 1 cup water
- 1 cup dried orzo pasta
- 1 can (15 oz.) cannellini or great white northern beans
- 1 large bunch kale (or other dark leafy green, swiss chard would be great in this too!), stems removed and chopped (about 4 cups)
Step 1: Start by making your meatballs. Combine first 10 ingredients (turkey-salt and pepper) and mix by hand until just combined (don’t over mix!). Roll into small 1-inch meatballs (makes about 50!) and place on a tray or sheet pan and refrigerate until ready for use. SHORTCUT ALERT: You can prep these tiny meatballs ahead of time and freeze individually on a baking sheet lined with wax paper then transfer to a zip-lock bag once they are frozen and store for whenever you’d like to make this (or any!) soup!
Step 2: In a LARGE (emphasis on large because you will need it to fit 50 mini meatballs without overflowing, lol) dutch oven or pot, heat olive oil and add diced carrots and onion, season with salt and pepper and saute until just soft. Add the chicken stock and water to the pot and bring to a boil.
Step 3: Once soup is boiling add your mini meatballs one at a time, allow liquid to return to a boil the reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes then add your orzo pasta to the pot. Cook until pasta is done (about 5-10 more minutes) and meatballs are cooked through, then check for seasoning and add your beans and chopped kale to the pot, cook for about 5 additional minutes until the kale has wilted. Serve with extra parmesan cheese and enjoy!