Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Turkey Meatball Soup with Kale

I am a big fan of Community Supported Agriculture programs. I think that this simple, yet really brilliant, idea of bringing fresh produce from nearby farms directly to the consumer is something more folks should have access to. Before signing up, I had never seen (or tasted!) such a diverse range of fruits & veggies. It has forced me try things I would not have bought at the grocery store - but should have. Knowing where my food is coming from, how it is grown, and roughly how long it has been from field-to-table, is really empowering as a cook!

I will say, even after a bountiful summer, the boxes do occasionally get repetitive. Sure, you can never have too much fruit or luscious ripe tomatoes, but how about bin after bin of Swiss chard? Collards? Thirteen different varieties of kale, all of which sit and stare at you from your crisper as you've run out of ideas for salads, saut├ęs, and smoothies?

It was with a huge bin of kale looking square at me that I tweaked & changed a recipe for hearty, healthy, and completely delicious Turkey Meatball Soup with Kale. Akin to an Italian wedding soup, savory dainty turkey meatballs pack a flavorful bite combined with carrots, orzo, kale, and rich homemade turkey stock. The kale compliments the soup with it's earthy flavor, and the big bonus - you are eating your greens!
The homemade stock really makes this soup a delight. I highly recommend making your own and freezing it for all of your poultry soup bases.

Turkey Meatball Soup with Kale is a autumn staple in our house. Serve it as a course or a meal with crusty bread. Kale never tasted so good!

Turkey Soup with Kale
inspired by smitten kitchen
8 servings

10 cups of homemade turkey or chicken stock, store bought if necessary
2 cups sliced carrots, 1/4 inch thick pieces
1/2 a large head of curly kale, collard greens or other varieties of kale may also be used
1 package ground turkey
1 egg
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoons dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 panko bread crumbs
1 cup orzo pasta

In a large stock pot, bring the stock to a simmer.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the panko bread crumbs, egg, 2 tablespoons of water, spices, and salt & pepper. Whisk to combine. Allow the mix to "rest" for 5 minutes.

Take a cookie sheet and line with wax paper, set aside.

After resting, add the ground turkey to the bowl and mix well. I like to use my hands (while wearing gloves, don't judge! I hate getting raw meat under my nails!).

Using a tablespoon, scoop up a helping of the meat mixture and gently roll with your hands. Place on the wax paper lined baking sheet. Try to make the meatballs a uniform size and shape, so that they will cook about the same amount of time. Once all of the meatballs are rolled, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, wash, peel, and slice your carrots and put aside in a mixing bowl. Wash the kale and tear into bite sized pieces, making sure to discard any pieces of the stem.

Once your stock has come to a simmer, add the carrots & 1 cup of orzo, stir to combine. Simmer, uncovered, for 8 minutes.

After 8 minutes, gently add the meatballs and give a quick stir. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the kale pieces and stir well. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Adjust the salt & pepper to taste.

Serve & enjoy!

This soup freezes very well and we use it as a quick meal during the colder months. Just defrost slightly and slowly reheat on the stove.


  1. What a great soup! Perfect for this time of year. I love soup season :)

    1. Thank you! I'm pretty excited for soup season too! I love the summer, but give me a crisp day, a cozy fire, & a bowl of soup and I'm as happy as a clam!