It’s Meatball Monday! Or is that supposed to be Meatless? I make the rules around here so Meatball Monday it is! The twist is we are having Wedding Fairy Approved Turkey Meatball and Kale Soup!
The September 2013 edition of Cooking Light arrived several days ago and the poor thing is already covered in sticky notes marking recipes to try (some I already have)! I marked this Turkey Meatball and Kale Soup but decided it was too premature to make hot soup. I made a mental note to make it in the Fall, yet I found myself buying lacinato kale and ground turkey at the market. Apparently my subconscious couldn’t wait!
I loved this soup! It’s bursting with flavor and is remarkably filling! I was intrigued by the turkey meatballs, which use quinoa as a binding agent. It actually worked surprisingly well. They were delicate in their uncooked state but only one fell apart due to operator error après cooking.
I am totally on board the lacinato kale (also called dinosaur kale) bandwagon. It is thicker, doesn’t taste as awful, and has great texture. I only got one, “What is this?!” comment from my fiancé, which is a vast improvement over the array of disgusted faces I usually get whenever I serve him regular kale. The things I endure for health.
½ cup cooked quinoa (I used half black, half red quinoa)
½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
6 garlic cloves, minced & divided
1 large egg, lightly beaten
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
½ cup chopped shallots
½ cups chopped celery
8 cups trimmed chopped lacinato kale (aka Dinosaur Kale)
¼ teaspoon crush red pepper
5 cups unsalted chicken stock (Bonus points for homemade!)
Combine turkey, quinoa, ¼ cup cheese, parsley, basil, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, 2 garlic cloves and egg in a large bowl. Mix gently just until combined. Working with damp hands shape turkey mixture into 24 meatballs. Mine only made 17, but obviously I was too generous in my portioning.
Heat a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan and swirl to coat. Brown half meatballs on all sides and repeat with additional teaspoon of oil and remaining meatballs.
Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil and sauté shallots and celery for 5 minutes. Add garlic and continue to sauté for 1 minute. Add kale, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper, and red pepper; cook 2 minutes. Add stock; bring to boil. Add meatballs and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer 10 minutes until meatballs are cooked through and kale is tender.
Serve soup with remaining ¼ cup cheese, lemon if desired (I didn’t think it needed it), and crusty bread. Crusty bread soaked in the broth will float anyone’s boat. For serious.