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Healthy Italian Meatball Soup

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I'm Kris, trained chef, culinary nutritionist and busy mom, here to help you take the stress out of healthy eating with flexible meal planning, simplified meal prep and easy budget-friendly meals.

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I’m not typically a ‘hide it so they won’t know it’s there’ kind of mom. I want my kids to want to eat real food. To try different flavors and not be afraid of new foods. I know there are truly picky kids, kids with sensory issues, so there are some legitimate exceptions. But for the most part, I like my kids to know what they’re eating and enjoy all types of food. These meatballs are a happy medium between hiding veggies (you pack a LOT of veggies in one little meatball) and letting them enjoy the rainbow effect the plethora of veggies packed into these fun bite-sized balls creates. And really, any way to get them to eat more veggies, right?

Lucky for us mamas, on top of being delicious and kid-friendly, these meatballs are really easy to make, and versatile, like in my version of Italian Wedding Soup (I make them pretty big and hearty instead of tiny little bites because let’s be real, mama doesn’t have time for that!). I love it with little flecks of orzo pasta, but you can opt to leave it out- it’s just as good, and the fresh flavor of this warming three-season soup means it’s as delicious on a rainy day in the spring as it is on a snowy day in the winter.

 

 

 

More recipes using ground turkey:

 

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Healthy Italian Meatball Soup

Ingredients

Scale

Loaded Italian Meatballs:

1 lb. ground turkey or beef

2 cloves garlic; minced

1/4 cup green onions, sliced very thin

1/4 cup red bell pepper; diced very small

1 1/2 cups leafy greens (I use spinach) chopped finely

1 egg

1/2 cup almond flour or panko breadcrumbs

1 tbsp Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp sea salt

Soup:

1 tbsp olive or oil

1 small onion, diced

2 small carrots, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

3 cloves garlic

juice of half a lemon

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

4 cups spinach, chopped

sea salt to taste

1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan

1/2 cup orzo (optional)

parsley to top

Instructions

  1. To Prepare Meatballs: Preheat oven to 375. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Grease a nonstick baking sheet or line with parchment. Form mixture into 16-20 balls, depending on size desired. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
  2. Heat olive oil in soup pot to medium. Add carrots, celery and onion, season lightly and cook until onions are celery are translucent and carrots are starting to soften.
  3. Add garlic and stir to just cook. Stir in broth.
  4. Bring broth to a rolling simmer, add meatballs and cook for 8-10 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, cook orzo according to package directions.
  6. Stir in dark leafy greens and lemon juice. Let simmer for another couple of minutes. Stir in parmesan and orzo (if using) and season to taste.

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