Many cultures have their own versions of soup with meatballs. Mexican cuisine has albondigas, Italian-Americans have wedding soup, Vietnamese phở often includes meatballs, and then there’s Chinese lion’s head soup . . . it seems that the formula of meatballs + broth has virtually universal appeal.
Today’s recipe is my own take on meatball soup, combining elements from Mexican and Italian recipes, and adding a few Californian touches. Made with ground turkey breast and brown rice, the meatballs are lean but flavorful. The broth is studded with chunks of slightly spicy Poblano peppers, along with thinly sliced carrots and ribbons of tender lacinato kale. Make this on a cold winter evening for a perfectly comforting dinner.
Mexitalian Meatball Soup (printer-friendly version)
1 1/4 lb. ground turkey breast
1/3 C. long grain brown rice
1 Tbsp. Garlic Gold Sea Salt Nuggets
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
3 Tbsp. olive oil
5 medium cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, diced
2 medium carrots, sliced into thin half-moons
3 poblano peppers, diced
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 bunch lacinato kale, de-stemmed and sliced into 1/4-inch ribbons
6 C. low sodium chicken broth
1 (15-oz) can cannellini beans (including liquid)
1. Combine the ground turkey breast, rice, Garlic Gold Nuggets, and ground pepper in a medium mixing bowl. Use your hands to mix together until evenly combined, then shape into 1-inch meatballs. Set aside.
2. In a medium (5-quart) soup pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil and garlic over medium heat. When the garlic begins to bubble but has not yet browned, add the onion, carrots, peppers, and salt. Stir, then cover for 5 minutes. Remove cover, add kale, stir, and sauté uncovered for 5 more minutes. Until vegetables are softened and wilted, but not quite beginning to brown.
3. Add the chicken broth and cannellini beans, stir, then cover the pot. When the broth has come up to a simmer, gently drop in the turkey meatballs, cover the pot again, and turn down to low. Let simmer for an hour and a half.