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It's that time of year when soup sounds warm and comforting. I have a handful of soup recipes that I fall back on and rotate through my cooking schedule. One of my favorite recipes is Turkey Meatball and Kale Soup.
Turkey meatball and kale soup is flavorful and filling. A light broth filled with vegetables and meatballs.
There are several versions of Meatball and Kale Soup online. I first made Turkey Meatball and Kale Soup from a recipe by the Savory Lotus. Along the way, I have made adjustments to the recipe and I thought I would share how I make Turkey Meatball and Kale Soup.
This recipe could easily be made with ground beef or ground chicken too. For this recipe, I try to cut down on the carbohydrate count by substituting almond flour and coconut flour for bread crumbs.
This healthy recipe can work with a low carbohydrate diet or for someone who needs to avoid gluten in their diet.
Made with homemade broth, lean ground turkey, coconut and almond flour, and vegetables including kale, carrots, and celery.
While the ingredient list might make you think this soup doesn't have a lot of flavors, I believe that you will be pleasantly surprised by how flavorful this recipe is.
I always start my soups with homemade broth. It is healthy and provides more flavor than canned broth. You also have control over the ingredients used to make the broth. If you have never tried making your own broth you will be amazed at how easy it is.
I make a batch of broth every time we have turkey or a whole chicken.
Check out my bone broth recipe here.
The meatballs in this soup are so good. I always make a double batch and freeze half of the meatballs for use in another recipe later.
Meatball ingredients include lean ground turkey, almond flour, coconut flour, and parmesan cheese. The meatballs are flavored with parsley, Italian spices, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. They are cooked in olive oil.
The meatball mix starts out very sticky but cooks quickly and the cooked meatballs are firm and hold up well to simmering in the soup.
Kale and Vegetables
If you have never tried kale or tried it raw, you may expect it to be tough and bitter. Cooking the kale makes it tender and it adds great flavor and nutrients to the soup.
I remove the kale stems, but you can chop them into 1-inch pieces and cook until tender. Kale stems can also be sauteed or pickled. I usually save the stems, freeze, and then add to a homemade vegetable broth.
Havard, School of Public Health provides a great overview of the benefits of Kale here. Take a minute to read all the reasons adding kale to your soup is a good idea.
Other vegetables include chopped carrots, celery, and onions.
Meatballs: This soup includes meatballs made from ground turkey, but you can substitute ground chicken, ground beef, or even ground pork.
If you don't have almond flour or coconut flour and you can use bread crumbs to form the meatballs.
Kale: If you don't have kale, you can use chopped fresh baby spinach.
Broth: If you prefer, you can use vegetable broth in place of chicken. If you don't have homemade, you can make a quick substitution with a broth base like Better Than Boullion that you can pick up a jar at a big box store or your local grocery. store.
How to Prepare Turkey Meatball and Kale Soup
This soup starts with preparing the meatballs. If you are lucky enough to have premade meatballs made ahead, all you need to do is pull them out of the freezer and cook in a frying pan.
If you are starting from scratch, you will mix the meatball ingredients together and form a one to a two-inch meatball.
Cook on all sides until the internal temperature of the meatballs is 160 degrees F. I always check the internal temperature of meats and baked goods to make sure they are done but not overdone.
I measure internal temperature by using a temperature probe like this one. Knowing the internal temperature of meat and baked goods has saved many flops in the kitchen.
Set the meatballs aside.
Next, chop your vegetables. Sauté carrots first, then celery, and finally onions and garlic.
Add broth to stock pot and add cooked vegetables. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Add meatballs and simmer for 30-40 minutes.
Finish with kale and parmesan cheese for garnish.
Healthy Soup Recipes
October 2020 Update: This recipe was updated with new images, preparation tips, and substitution ideas.
February 2021 Update: Post updated with new images, updates to ingredients, preparation, and recipe card.