Disclaimer: I created this recipe in collaboration with Produce for Kids. We love their recipes and everything they do for the community. All opinions are my own.
This soup is a take on the classic comfort food Spaghetti & Meatballs. Orzo is actually a pasta, not rice! On a cooler day, this is a perfect dinner and it’s actually quite healthy, too. YUM!
In our house, making meatballs is a family event. Yes, it’s messy and takes a bit longer, but it’s something fun we can do on a weekend afternoon. We put some Motown music on and have a blast! The Stevie Wonder station on Amazon Prime is the best! I love to double or triple the batch to freeze for other meals. These turkey meatballs are delicious and filled with veggies.
In this cold weather, I can eat soup daily. I actually HAVE been this month, as I’m prepping some fantastic recipes for this site. I hope you all like soup! It’s a sign that my birthday month is also National Soup Month.The meatballs are the perfect size for soup or your favorite spaghetti sauce. Keeping them small makes a large batch, which is perfect for my girls who LOVE meatballs. I use a teaspoon to scoop and then we roll in our hands. If you’re making a large batch, I recommend freezing AFTER cooking. You can quickly bake the rest of the batch in the oven, instead of browning them in the pan. To freeze, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread out the meatballs. Freeze for 8-10 hours, then transfer to a freezer bag. This ensures there’s not a big clump of meatballs in your freezer. You can easily take out as many or little as you want.
Browning the meatballs in batches before adding to the soup adds flavor to the pan AND the meatball–the brown on the outside is GOOD. This process takes a bit of time, but I handle this job while the girls are rolling their meatballs. Like I said: it’s a group effort!
This soup is packed with veggies, but it still has a perfect comfort food feel–not as heavy as your regular spaghetti and meatball meal. If your family isn’t a fan of vegetables, just try the ones you like. I know that Olivia usually doesn’t like cooked zucchini, but in the soup she gobbles it up!
- 1.25 lbs ground turkey
- ¼ cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 1 T Italian Seasoning
- 1 T extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup sweet peppers , Pero Farms Mini Sweet Peppers are perfect!
- ½ cup onion
- 1 carrot , peeled, like Earthbound Farm Organic
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 T extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup onion , diced
- ½ cup carrot , chopped
- 1 small zucchini cut in half moons
- 3 T tomato paste
- 2 tea Italian seasoning
- Salt & Pepper , to taste
- 1 can white beans , rinsed and drained
- 1 cup orzo
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups of baby kale , like Earthbound Farm Organic baby kale
- Toppers: grated Parmesan cheese.
First, meatballs. In a chopper, add onion, carrot, garlic and green pepper. Pulse to chop finely. In a small ramekin or bowl, add Italian seasoning and olive oil. Stir.
In a large bowl, add turkey, breadcrumbs and egg. Mix with hands to combine. Add chopped veggies and Italian seasoning mixture. Combine, adding more bread crumbs if necessary.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray. Using a teaspoon, make tiny meatballs rolling in hand before placing in hand. Brown meatballs on both sides, placing on a plate after cooked. Repeat until all are cooked. Set meatballs aside until later.
Heat a soup pot over medium high heat and add olive oil. Add onion, carrot and zucchini. Cook, stirring frequently until onion becomes translucent.
Stir in tomato paste and Italian seasoning. Add white beans and stir.
Slowly pour in chicken stock and meatballs. Add orzo. Allow to bubble for 10-12 minutes on medium-low heat. Add kale and bubble for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
To serve, top with extra Parmesan.
To save time, make meatballs earlier. I love to have my kids help me roll them as a fun family activity. While they do take a bit of time to make, the flavor is worth it!
If you have a smaller family, cook orzo on side and pour soup over in bowl. This ensures leftovers don’t get too thick.
Have you heard of the Power Your Lunchbox Pledge? Produce for Kids is encouraging families to eat a healthier lunch with delicious recipes and ideas. The campaign runs until February 15! Every online pledge received, there will be a $1 donation to Feeding America® and their kids’ nutrition programs. How cool is that?
Aside from pledging you can also spread the word on social media! Simply show off your healthy lunchboxes on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using #PowerYourLunchbox. This is a great way to get even more ideas from other parents, too!
Visit the Power Your Lunchbox page for tips, snack ideas and more!