I have realized as I gather recipes for my blog that I really do love soups. I used to not be a soup gal, not gonna lie. But, I guess as you age you enjoy different things, like old people dishes ;). Soups just fit so well into the working mom schedule because I can make or prep a lot of it ahead of time, warm it up and bam… dinner is served! This Turkey Meatball Kale Soup recipe is definitely without a doubt one of my favorites.
No to toot my own horn, but honestly these little turkey meatballs are soooo delicious. And I have made a lot of meatballs in the last 3 years. Constantly trying to find soft proteins that my toddlers would eat led to a lot of meatballs, meatloafs, meatloaf muffins, etc. I am actually just now kind of coming out of my meatball stage to be honest. Calvin can safely eat basically all table foods without altering textures – so that’s exciting!
The meatballs are the most time consuming part of this Turkey Meatball Kale Soup recipe, but I promise it will be worth it! The good news is you can make the meatballs ahead and freeze a huge batch to have on hand. And honestly they don’t take that long, just a little tedious rolling them into little balls. But that’s when you turn on some music, pour a little glass of wine and just enjoy the process.
I have experimented with pan frying them, baking in oven, and cooking the meatballs completely in the soup. I find that they turned out the best when I pan fry them in a small amount of oil to basically brown the outsides and cook slightly, then finish the cooking process in the soup. They turned out perfectly delicious this way. The meatballs were slightly crispy on outside and unbelievably moist inside. I would not recommend skipping the browning stage as this adds some nice depth in flavor to them.
Meatballs are perfect to make at the end of the summer when you have an abundance of fresh herbs you need to use up from the garden. Meatballs freeze and hold up very well and that makes making soups such as the Turkey Meatball Kale Soup even easier!
As I’ve mentioned before I typically go towards versatile recipes, because it’s just more realistic. And let’s be honest when you’re grocery shopping with 2 toddlers it is basically impossible for me to actually purchase everything on my list. Meatballs are very versatile. Bread crumbs, panko, crackers? Basil, parsley, thyme? BBQ, soy, dijon mustard? I absolutely love that about meatballs – you can change up the flavors so easily. Keep the base recipe so that the texture is right and swap out spices and such to create a different taste each time.
If you do make these meatballs ahead you can also add to different soups such as my Healthy Slow Cooker White Bean & Spinach Soup. I used a pre-made chicken sausage in that recipe, but homemade meatballs would also be delicious.
I’m getting excited about making this soup again in a few days as I’m writing about it! Seriously – once you make it it will become a staple, just wait. After you have the meatballs prepared the rest of the soup comes together rather quickly. The entire soup is ready to eat in ~30 minutes after the meatballs are prepped, not too bad. I also find I like recipes like this Turkey Meatball Kale Soup that you can clean up all of the dishes while it is cooking. Then when the soup is done the kitchen is clean and everybody is happy (including mom!).
Look at all of that amazingly nutritious kale that is in there! This Turkey Meatball Kale Soup is just packed full of nutrients. Another awesome soup to have on hand to fight off all those nasty flu season bugs, or nurse you back to health if you have caught one. My Classic Chicken Noodle Soup is another staple in my house for winter season if you’re looking for other soup recipes to make check it out :).
Super Food – Kale
Kale is what we call a super food, because it has so many potential health benefits. Here are just a few of the health benefits of kale:
- Heart protective
- Blood pressure lowering
So, basically yeah – we should all be eating more kale.
I hope you warm up with a big bowl of this soup and relax on a cold winter night. Enjoy it! I’d love to hear from you on how you liked it, comments, suggestions are always welcome. 🙂
Turkey Meatball Kale Soup
The perfect meatball soup. This turkey meatball soup is loaded with nutrients to keep you healthy.
For the Meatballs
- ~2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb ground turkey I used lean
- 1 each egg
- 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 handful parsley chopped
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
For the Soup
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 2 each carrots chopped
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 64 ounces chicken stock
- 3 cups kale
- 1 cup ditalini pasta uncooked, i used elbow and ditalini because didn’t have quite enough
Mix the ground turkey, egg, parsley, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and panko until mixed well. Use your hands to get the most even mix.
Roll the meatballs into ~1/2 inch balls.
Heat the olive oil in pan over medium heat. Cook the meatballs for ~5-10 minutes until almost cooked through. Turning to brown each side. Set the meatballs aside while preparing rest of the soup.
Heat the oil over medium heat in large pot that you plan on preparing the soup in.
Chop the carrots, celery, and onion roughly. Add to oil and cook until softened ~5-10 minutes.
While veggies are cooking, mince the garlic. Add the garlic to the carrot, celery, onion mixture and cook for ~1 minute.
Add the chicken stock and meatballs to the veggie mixture. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer and cook for ~30 minutes until meatballs are cooked through and tender.
Add the kale and pasta and cook ~10 minutes until pasta is tender and kale is wilted.