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love your lunch: kale and carrot soup with turkey meatballs

You must have kale in every recipe. Just kidding. It just so happens to be in the last recipe I posted.


But before you start thinking I’m all green all the time, you should know it’s mostly about my determination with food failures. I’ve grown it, thrown it away, tried steaming it and making chips with no real affection found. This past summer, an army of ants ate all 6 of my kale plants from the roots up, tossing the plants up on the dirt to die. Kale failure again.

Somewhere along the way I just started putting a bunch of kale in my grocery cart almost every week. I knew if I had it in my fridge staring at me, along with how much I hate the feeling of letting food go to waste, eventually I’d start playing with it again. And I did. We really do like each other now but it’s taken us time. (Help the child in my life who might have to hear this story to illustrate real life friendship, but it kind of works, doesn’t it?)

shemadeitshemight | heatherbursch | bowl of turkey meatball soup

Years ago, I made a version of this soup with escarole. I thought it was so off-the-beaten path, and I hardly dared serve it to anyone besides Tim. Wilted greens floating in soup was not the daily fare of most people in my life.

shemadeitshemight | heatherbursch | kale carrot turkey meatball soup

I love that these things have changed over the last 5 years. I can now serve floating greens, and everyone is taking a crack at cooking these days.

shemadeitshemight | heatherbursch | parmesan turkey meatballs

I’d say this one wins for ease and taste. It’s not a slowly simmered soup with layers of flavor, but it’s surprisingly delicious for the little amount of prep and ingredients it requires. And the bonus is, after I made it my kids asked to have it again this week. It’s back on my list for dinner options and I’ve upped the quantities below to ensure you will love your lunch the next day as well. If you want, you can easily cut this recipe in half for a smaller quantity.

And for my gf friends, while I haven’t tried it in this recipe yet, I’m pretty certain you could just add some oats with spices blended in a blender or dried/toasted and chopped up gf bread with spices to the mix instead of breadcrumbs. Please let me know if you do!

Kale and carrot soup with turkey meatballs
Loosely adapted from Bon Appetit
Serves 6-8

2 lbs of ground turkey (I used a combination of ground white and dark)
2/3 cup of finely grated parmesan cheese
2/3 cup dried seasoned bread crumbs (If you don’t have seasoned bread crumbs add some garlic and spices)
4 tablespoons of parsley finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of pepper
16 cups of Chicken Broth or stock (stock makes it the most flavorful!)
6 – 8 cups of carrots diced (1 carrot equals about 1/2 cup)
10-12 cups of bite size kale leaves, stalks removed

Combine turkey, parmesan, bread crumbs, parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl with two forks or your hands. Don’t over mix. If the mixture seems dry and cakey, add a tablespoon or two of warm water to moisten the mixture a little. Too much moisture makes it hard for meatballs to stick together. Too dry makes for dry dense meatballs in your soup.

Sprinkle a little water on your hands and form mixture into about 24 meatballs, an inch or so in diameter. Continue to wet hands as you go so the meat mixture doesn’t stick to your hands. Place meatballs on a cookie sheet and chill for about 20 minutes.

shemadeitshemight | heatherbursch | ella making meatballs

When carrots and kale are chopped and ready, bring chicken stock to boil in a large saucepan. Once boiling, add carrots and cook for 8-10 minutes. Next add refrigerated meatballs and continue to simmer until meatballs are cooked through, about 10 more minutes. Give the broth a little taste and add salt/pepper as needed. Lastly, add kale all at once and simmer for 2 minutes until wilted and bright green. Remove from heat, slightly cool and serve!



Last Updated on June 15, 2022 by Heather Bursch

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