Friday, December 9, 2016

Sweet Potato, Kale and Turkey Meatball Soup

This not-so-great picture was snapped on my iPhone a few months ago, it was my last bowl of soup from a magical masterpiece soup I made out of what was leftover in my fridge one day. I snapped a photo as a way to say- "Goodbye...I thought you were amazing! I hope we meet again". I savored and looked forward to every bite. Yes, it was one of the first pots of soup I made in a while since it was newly autumn and I don't tend to make many soups during the hot summer months. So maybe it was just that... "a magical moment of time", loving the fact that "soup season" had returned, OR maybe it was just the perfect amount of leftover ingredients that made this combo so great!

Like I said, it was thrown together with ingredients to empty and clean out the fridge. That is one way to make the grocery budget to last a little longer! I chopped it all up and stirred it all together and I was surprised at it's deliciousness- I savored each bowl for 3 days and then when it was gone....I licked the bowl clean... and cried. So a few weeks later I tried to re-create it, trying to remember exactly what I did and what I added. It just wasn't exactly the same the second time. And I already knew going in...that magic could only happen once in a great while :) BUT it was still pretty fantastic, so I thought it would be worth writing down and sharing with you dear friends. You deserve to give it a whirl too, right?!? Maybe your leftover's soup will give way to a magical moment in time. The take-away is that you should most definitely use up and get creative in the kitchen with your leftovers- you may just never know what could conspire. Happy cooking, friends!
Sweet Potato Kale Turkey Meatball Soup Recipe
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 handful of green onions finely chopped
1-2 TB of grated fresh ginger
1-2 TB of grated fresh tumeric
4-5 garlic cloves finely minced
2-3 cups of bite-sized chopped carrot circles
4-5 cups of bite-sized cubed sweet potatoes
3 TB of finely chopped fresh parsley
3 TB of finely chopped fresh cilantro
2-3 TB of fresh thyme leave
1 TB of dried Italian herb seasoning blend
pinch of (about 1/4 ts.of each) cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, paprika
2 cups of tomato sauce or leftover marinara pasta sauce
3 cups of finely chopped kale
4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
4 cups of water
juice from 1 lime
spoonful of honey
splash of apple cider vinegar

1 pound organic (or free range) ground turkey
1 pound of free range ground turkey breakfast sausage(seasoned with paprika, garlic, sugar, oregano)

8 ounces of rice pasta noodles (spiral, spaghetti, whatever)

First, chop up your onion and garlic and the rest of the veggies and get them sautéing in a large 8 quart soup pot. Saute until onion and garlic are soft and then add the herbs, kale and keep cooking for a few more minutes and then add in all the liquids. Let cook on medium heat until the sweet potatoes and carrots are soft. While this is cooking together you can...

Mix your thawed ground turkey and sausage together, and add a pinch of sea salt and ground pepper. Then add a sprinkle of Italian seasoning blend and a little ground garlic, ginger and paprika. I add about a 1/2 ts. of each spice and a drizzle of olive oil and mix it all up together and then scoop out 1 TB-sized amounts of meat and roll them into a meatball. Place them on a parchment baking sheet and 2 pounds should make about 24 meatballs. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. 

About the time the meatballs are done, they will be ready to add to the soup. Dump those in hot from the oven and add the pasta. Stir in the pasta and let it get soft in the broth from the soup for 10-15 minutes. Then the noodles will be soft and you are ready to serve up. You can top with a fresh herb for serving. I would say parsley or cilantro would taste best. 

I made this soup with turkey meatballs because I had those in the fridge to use up. But you could easily make this soup vegan by taking out the meat and adding in leftover pre-cooked beans (garbanzo or white would be my first choices) or cooked green lentils. It would be easy to dump those in from the cans too if you have those as pantry items. 

A great thing about this soup is the leftovers. The sweet potatoes start to break down and make the soup very creamy and thick. The first day cooking you can still get it to be a little creamy if you start to mush up some of the cooked sweet potatoes. But over time the sweet potatoes just start to melt into the soup by themselves and it makes it extra yummy!

Happy cooking, let those creative juices flow and make a masterpiece soup out of what you got!

Much love, xoxo

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