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Escarole and Orzo Soup with Turkey Parmesan Meatballs

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This recipe, which I got from a friend, is like an Italian Wedding Soup with flavorful meatballs, mild veggies, and rice-shaped orzo pasta. I was recently invited to a friend’s home for the weekend and I took this for all the kids. They ate it up and wanted seconds!! This is a great soup that has plenty of good nutrition, but has comforting easy flavors for kids. I used escarole as a break from spinach. The escarole has a slightly tougher structure, so it stands up well to the cooking process and has a pleasant flavor. NO worries if you don't have escarole, you can easily use spinach or your favorite greens.

Ingredients

Food
Amt
Units
Prep
Notes
1 egg
egg
1
¼ cup bread crumbs
bread crumbs
¼
cup
2 tablespoons wheat germ
wheat germ
2
tablespoons
1 tablespoon flax meal, ground
flax meal
1
tablespoon
ground
1 pound turkey, lean ground
turkey, lean ground
1
pound
¼ cup parmesan cheese (fresh)
parmesan cheese
¼
cup
fresh
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
parsley
2
tablespoons
chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
garlic
3
cloves
minced
¾ teaspoon salt
salt
¾
teaspoon
¼ teaspoon black pepper
black pepper
¼
teaspoon
8 cups chicken broth (low sodium)
chicken broth
8
cups
low sodium
1 onion, diced (large)
onion
1
diced
large
1½ cups carrots, diced
carrots
cups
diced
⅔ cup orzo, uncooked
orzo
cup
uncooked
4 cups escarole, cut into bite-sized pieces (sub. spinach)
escarole
4
cups
cut into bite-sized pieces
sub. spinach
salt & pepper, to taste
salt & pepper
to taste

Method

Whisk egg and 2 tablespoons of water in medium bowl. Mix in bread crumbs, wheat germ and flax, and let stand 5 minutes. Add ground turkey, Parmesan cheese, parsley, minced garlic, salt, and pepper; gently stir to blend. Shape turkey mixture into 1 inch diameter meatballs. Place on baking sheet or plate cover and chill 30 minutes in refrigerator or 15 minutes in the freezer. In large pot, bring 8 cups chicken broth and ½ cup water to a boil. Add onions and carrots, reduce heat and simmer for 4 minutes. Add orzo and simmer another 4 minutes. Add turkey meatballs, and bring temp back up until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in escarole or spinach, and simmer until meatballs, orzo, and greens are tender, about 5 minutes longer. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.

Babyfood Option:

This is a great toddler dish, which can be pureed as little or as much as your baby needs. Consider reserving a portion for the baby before extra salt is added. For babies who are finger foods, the meatballs can be served separately once cut into tiny bites.

Prep time
25 min
Cook time
25 min
Cost per serving:
$2.32
Yields/Serves:
8 servings

Yum Ratings

😫😟😐😀😍 “I like it! It’s super yummy!” —Allison, age 3
😫😟😐😀😍 “It tastes like Italian Wedding Soup” —Joseph, age 6
😫😟😐😀😍 “I really like Italian Wedding Soup!” —Jessica, age 8
😫😟😐😀😍 “I like the turkey!” —Ava, age 4
😫😟😐😀😍 “Yum! I like the carrots!” —Zane, age 8
😫😟😐😀😍 “I like the taste!” —Asa, age 4
😫😟😐😀😍 “Super Yummy!” —Maria, age 10