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Seems like Jack Frost is blowing wintry weather across the country. And in some unusual places, too. Snow is no stranger to we Northerners. I welcome it–dare I say, relish it! If for no other reason than it forces the creepy crawlies to either freeze or hibernate, and keeps the local wildlife from feasting on my plants. While I don’t mind the snow, I hate to be cold. I’m a complicated woman.  That’s why as soon as the temperature dips, my soup pot wakes from it’s summer slumber. There is just something about a hot bowl of soup that warms you heart and soul.

So naturally, we have a soup & bread night several times a month. It’s just the right thing to do during the colder weather.  Turkey meatball soup is wonderfully flavorful and hearty without being heavy. Perfect to take the chill off, or to make a sick family member feel loved. And it’s on the lighter side. But you don’t have to tell anyone if you don’t want to. Your secret is safe with me.

Soup’s on!

1 pound of extra lean ground turkey

¼ C. plain dried breadcrumbs

2 Tbs. water

1 egg

¼ C. finely grated parmesan cheese

2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley

2 garlic cloves, minced

¾ tsp. kosher salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

8 C. chicken broth (or more)

1 C. sliced carrots

1 C. orzo or other mini pasta

4 C. (packed) chopped bok choy (Asiatic vegetable in the cabbage family)

Beat the egg and water together until frothy. Stir in the breadcrumbs and let them hang out a bit while we assemble the rest of the meatball ingredients.

Put the ground turkey into a large bowl, and add the chopped parsley, garlic, salt and pepper.

Finely grate some parmesan cheese.

Throw the cheese  into the mix.

By now the breadcrumbs have absorbed the egg/water, and has become kind of paste like in consistency. Pour that into the bowl, then knead, squish, and squeeze everything until it’s distributed throughout the meat.

Wet your hands and pinch off a small amount of the meat mixture.

Roll it around between your hands to form a bite-sized meatball. Repeat.  Again and again…to infinity.

Only kidding. If the meat mixture starts to get to sticky, wet your hands again, and keep rollin’.  I usually end up with around 60 meatballs, or so. That sounds like a ton, but remember–these are bite-sized meatballs at only 1/2-inch in diameter.  Put the bowl o’ meatballs in the refrigerator to chill out for a bit while you assemble the rest of the soup. (At least half an hour.)

By the way–if you are an out-of-the-box kind of thinker, these meatballs would be absolutely delish in pasta sauce!

Pour the chicken broth into a stock pot, and heat it over high heat.

Grab the bok choy. Bok choy is an Asiatic cabbage. The ribs have a similar texture to celery, but without the strings. It’s lovely in soup.

Lop off the bottom end of the bok choy, and remove the outer leaves. They can be a bit fiberous.

And being that things like greens tend to hang on to dirt between the layers, give it a good rinse with cool water. Be sure to inspect both sides of the leaves and rub off any visable dirt with your fingers under running water.

Split the leaves in half by running a knife through the center of the rib to the end of the leaf.

Even cut in half, the leaves are pretty huge. Roll the leaves around the rib a few times to make them easier to cut.

Chop the leaves in 1/4-inch pieces.

Aren’t they gorgeous?

Give the carrots a good scrub, and slice them into thin coins.

By now, the chicken broth should be boiling. Reduce the heat to medium. Dump in the carrots, and pour in the orzo. Orzo is just a tiny, rice shaped pasta. If you can’t find it, any tiny pasta will do.  Simmer for about 7 minutes, or until carrots are soft.

Plop the meatballs in one by one. Once they are all in there, gently stir the pot. Continue simmering for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, stir in the bok choy. Allow the soup to simmer for about another 5 minutes, or until the meatballs are done, and the bok choy is soft. Then grab your ladle and get ready…

…for love in a bowl, my Friends. Love. In. A. Bowl.

 

Turkey Meatball Soup

http://comfortablydomestic.com

Serves 6

 

1 pound of lean ground turkey

¼ C. plain dried breadcrumbs

2 Tbs. water

1 egg

¼ C. finely grated parmesan cheese

2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley

2 garlic cloves, minced

¾ tsp. kosher salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

8 C. chicken broth (or more)

1 C. sliced carrots

1 C. orzo or other mini pasta

4 C. (packed) chopped bok choy (Asiatic vegetable in the cabbage family)

 

  1. Beat the egg and water well in a small bowl. Stir in the breadcrumbs, and set aside for 5 minutes.
  2. Place the turkey in a large bowl with the parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper.
  3. By now the breadcrumbs have absorbed the egg & water, and has thickened to a paste-like consistency. Add the breadcrumb mixture to the rest of the meat ball ingredients. Mix and knead with your hands until well blended.
  4. Wet your hands, pinch a small piece of the turkey mixture, and roll it between your hands to form small, bite sized meatballs. I usually get between 55-60 meatballs. Chill the meatballs in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  5. Pour the chicken broth into a large stock pot, and bring it to a boil over high heat.
  6. Reduce the heat to medium, and add the carrots and the orzo. Simmer for about 7 minutes or until carrots are soft.
  7. Add the meatballs, one at a time, and continue simmering for 10 minutes.
  8. Stir in the chopped bok choy, and continue to simmer until meatballs are done, and the bok choy is soft; about 5 more minutes.
  9. Taste and add additional salt & pepper, to taste. This is a thick soup. Add more chicken broth to thin it out, if you like.

10.  Ladle soup into bowls and serve with crusty bread.

 

 

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