Monday, March 18, 2013

sophistikitchen: spring vegetable soup with turkey meatballs

hello! it's been awhile, but i made a fantastic soup for dinner tonight and had to share the recipe.
...happy sophisticating...

turkey meatballs
1 1/3 pounds 96% fat free ground turkey
seasoned breadcrumbs - about 1 cup, give or take
1 egg, whisked
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 a yellow onion, grated

to the grated onion, add the minced garlic and ground turkey. begin to work together with your hands and then add your egg and breadcrumbs. this is an art, not a science. you don't want the mixture so wet that it's insanely sticky, but not so dry that it's brittle or crumbly. the onion, when grated, produces quite a bit of juice, so just add enough of the breadcrumbs to give the mixture some body. once the mixture is fairly well mixed (don't over do it!), get hands damp and roll into 1 1/2" balls.

line them up on a baking sheet, covered with wax paper. cover baking sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or so before using. this produced about 48. i used half for the recipe that follows. these freeze beautifully as well!

spring vegetable soup
4 c low sodium chicken broth
2  water
3-4 carrots or a large handful of baby carrots, chopped
3-4 celery stalks, cut in half vertically then chopped
7-8 white mushrooms, sliced
1/2 package frozen peas
1 C spinach, stalks removed, roughly chopped
1 package Trader Joe's frozen brown rice
2 bay leaves
1 T fresh rosemary, minced
1 T garlic olive oil, divided
sea salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
turkey meatballs (recipe above)

heat 1/2 T garlic olive oil in a pan over medium/high heat. once hot, put all turkey meatballs in pan and keep moving. the idea is to "seal" the meatballs so they hold together in the soup and stay moist. no need to brown, though it's okay if you do. keep them moving in the pan and, once all white/brown, turn off heat and set aside.

meanwhile heat remaining 1/2 T garlic olive oil in a pot. once hot, add chopped carrots, keeping them sautéing for about 4 minutes. salt and pepper with each step. add onion, saute 2 more minutes. add celery, saute 2 more minutes. add mushrooms, saute 2 more minutes. toss in meatballs from pan and continue to saute until most of the liquid is absorbed and you're getting a slight char on some of the veggies. add broth and water, rosemary and 2 bay leaves. let simmer for 10 minutes, ensuring that meatballs are cooked through. add peas, spinach and brown rice - bring back to a simmer for another 5-10 minutes. salt and pepper to taste, remove bay leaves and serve! top with a little grated parmesan, if you feel so inclined.