I was trying to think of something special to make for my fiance after his long night at work this past Saturday night.
I knew I had some ground turkey thawed, but the thought of more spaghetti and meatballs gagged me a little and I didn't have the fixins' for tacos. I settled on my mad soup-making skills to make the most of what I had. I used my traditional Italian style meatball recipe, but put it into "the elixer of life," as I like to think of chicken stock infused with spinach, and served a big, piping hot bowl alongside a single garlic breadstick.
This is one of those things you sorta throw in what you have, but the basic recipe stays about the same. The aroma is enticing enough that upon entering an air-conditioned kitchen from 90 degree weather, even the sweatiest man is excited at the prospect of soup. All you'll hear is a gruff "let me go change, real quick" mumbled hurredly, and you'll walk into the dining room to a shining smile anticipating the steaming bowl in your hands.
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 c. bread crumbs
2 Tbsp ground Italian seasoning (separated)
1/2 c. Parmesan/Romano cheese
1 large can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 lb frozen soup veggies (tomato, okra, potato mix)
1 bay leaf
1 quart chicken stock
2 c. water
1 c. frozen spinach (thawed in microwave)
3/4 c. dried tortellini (or any small pasta)
Ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
For the meatballs, use your hands to mash together ground turkey, 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning, bread crumbs, cheese, salt & pepper. Roll between your palms into 1 inch balls. Cook in a little extra virgin olive oil in the bottom of a stock pot. Just brown all sides - the middle will cook in the soup.
Once the meatballs are browned, add remaining igredients except pasta and spinach. Omit salt if using canned stock, but add a fair amount of black pepper. Allow soup to come to a boil slowly. Add spinach and tortellini and cook until al dente. Turn to a simmer as long as you can stand it. The soup can be done anytime after the pasta and meatballs are cooked through, but the longer it has to simmer, the better it will be.
Satisfying and delicious! (Even on a warm evening LOL)