Saturday, September 25, 2010

Turkey Meatball Soup

This recipe comes from a cookbook called Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld.  Yes, that would be comedian Jerry Seinfeld's wife!  The premise of the book is to puree a bunch of vegetables and then incorporate them into recipes, thus, increasing the meal's nutritional value.  I have tried several of the recipes in this book with good success (and yes, I have no scruples when it comes to veggie deception!).  This cooking method is made easier by spending an hour or two up front, pureeing a bunch of veggies and freezing them in 1/2 cup servings.

This particular recipe can be made by simply cooking the vegetables in the soup and then pureeing the soup in the blender.  In this case, rather than simply hiding the vegetable flavor in an ordinary recipe, I think the addition of sweet potato and carrot puree to the tomato-based soup actually enhances the flavor and helps balance the otherwise acidic tomatoes.

I paid full price for my cookbook, but spotted it recently at Kohl's for a mere $5.00 - a good investment if you have a family of picky eaters!

Turkey Meatball Soup
Adapted from Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld

3 ounces whole-wheat pasta shapes, such as bowties or wagon wheels
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, with their juice
1/4 cup carrot puree (or 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots)
1/2 cup sweet potato or squash puree (or 1 cup finely chopped)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups beef or chicken broth

3 slices whole-wheat bread, cubed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup sweet potato puree (or 1/2 cup chopped sweet potatoes, microwaved for 5 minutes and mashed with fork)
1/4 cup nonfat milk
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 pound lean ground turkey

  1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Add one tablespoon olive oil to a large pot and saute onion and garlic.  Cook, stirring often until the onion is softened but not browned.  If you don't have veggie puree, add the carrots and sweet potatoes, too.
  3. When everything is softened, put in a blender or food processor and add tomatoes.  Puree until smooth.  Return to pot.  Add salt and broth.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes.  If your tomatoes are still too acidic, add up to 1 tablespoon of brown sugar.  (Just don't tell Jessica or health expert, Joy Bauer.)
  4. Meanwhile, begin the meatballs.  PUt the bread in a large bowl.  Add the egg, sweet potato puree, milk, Parmesan, 1 teaspoon salt and paprika, and let soak until the bread is very soft.  Stir to break up the bread, add the ground turkey and mix until smooth.  Form into mini-meatballs about 1/2-inch in diameter.  
  5. Add the meatballs to the pot.  Simmer, covered, until the meatballs are no longer pink in the center, 12 - 15 minutes.  Stir in the pasta.  Serve with Parmesan.


  1. I've enjoyed all the wonderful recipes you've posted for ground turkey. I have only used ground turkey in tacos and chili and definitely will use this one and the lasagna!

  2. Thanks, Rebecca! It's fun to share and preserve the favorites!

  3. Looks healthy and delicious! Wish I had time to cook something like this...

  4. I just tried this recipe yesterday, having bought the book myself. I stumbled upon your blog while searching for pictures of meatball soup!

    I have to say, this is a great recipe. To increase the nutritional value even more, I steamed some spinach and served it alongside the soup. My family "drowned" the spinach leaves in the thick soup. Yum! A one-dish wonder, indeed!

    (I'm now following your blog) ;)

  5. And easy way to get through some of these recipes is to shortcut using baby food, they are just pureed fruits and veggies anyway. And there are so many varieties out there. I used babyfood squash and sweet potato puree in the mac and cheese recipe and it was great.