Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Spinach and Orzo Soup with Turkey Parmesan Meatballs

Spinach and Orzo Soup with Turkey Parmesan Meatballs (Adapted from Bon Appétit)

For the meatballs

1 large egg
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
12 ounces ground turkey
1 ounce fresh grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

For the soup

8 cups chicken broth
1 cup chopped peeled carrots
3/4 cup orzo
4 cups baby spinach

To make the meatballs

In a medium bowl, whisk together egg and 2 tablespoons water - stir in panko and set aside for 5 minutes. Add turkey, cheese, parsley, garlic, salt, basil, oregano and peppers, Lightly mix ingredients together just until blended - try not to over-mix. Keeping your hands wet, shape mixture into small meatballs - place on a baking sheet and set in the refrigerator to rest for at least 30 minutes. I ended up making about 24 meatballs.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium to medium-high. Add meatballs and cook until golden and cooked through - if you have a smaller pan, do this in two batches.

To make the soup

While the meatballs are browning, bring chicken broth to boil in large saucepan. Add carrots and orzo - reduce heat and simmer until the pasta is tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in browned meatballs and spinach - let simmer until the spinach has wilted and the meatballs have heated through - about 5 minutes. Taste soup and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 4 hearty servings.

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