We Eat | Dinner: Orzo and Turkey Meatball Soup with Kale

I love love love soup season and am so excited that the babies get to take part in it now too. I read that ground meat is good for them as it's easy to 'chew'. We're not really a meatloaf family, but I figured meatballs are perfect, plus they're easy to freeze so I can pop a few out for the boys to have for lunch or dinner.  So I remembered this meatball soup I've made before and whipped up a big batch. 

I served the meatballs to William and George over several days, with various sides. We break up the meatballs into little bits and they just feed themselves. I offered them with the orzo soup (minus a lot of broth) and also with crushed chickpeas, roasted carrots and baked pears for dessert. W&G loved the meatballs, liked the orzo pasta and carrots, tolerated the chickpeas, but I think the pears will always win out.

Orzo and Turkey Meatball Soup with Kale (based on this recipe)

1 large egg
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
12 ounces lean ground turkey
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

8 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth
1 onion, chopped
1 cup chopped peeled carrots
3/4 cup orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
4 cups kale

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk egg and 2 tablespoons water in medium bowl to blend. Mix in breadcrumbs; let stand 5 minutes. Add turkey, Parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper; gently stir to blend. Using wet hands, shape turkey mixture into 1 1/4-inch-diameter meatballs. Place on baking sheet; cover and chill 30 minutes.

 Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add a fair drizzle of olive oil. Add meatballs; don't crowd/cook in batches if necessary. Cook until browned on one side, then flip. Once both sides are browned, move to a cookie sheet and put in the oven for 10 minutes, or until cooked through*.

Add onion and carrots to a dutch oven with olive oil and cook until softened. Add chicken broth, bring to a boil and add orzo; reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered 8 minutes. Add turkey meatballs and kale and simmer until kale is tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

*Note: If you want to save pans, meatballs can be boiled in the broth with the carrots and onion, before the orzo is added.

Tip: Double the batch of meatballs and freeze half of them separated on a plate for several hours. Remove the plate and toss all the frozen meatballs in a bag and then it's easy to pull out just one or two at a time.

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