This vegetable soup with pesto turkey meatballs was created out of one of those “oh no, what am I going to make for dinner?” nights. I try to keep ground turkey on hand for a healthy and versatile source of protein, but find that it needs some love in the flavour department. I had recently made basil pesto (previous post) and frozen it, and a lightbulb went off: why not make pesto turkey meatballs?
Of course, half-way through making the soup my two-year-old Charlie insisted that he wanted pasta (go figure). Good thing these meatballs were a perfect addition to some whole wheat pasta tossed with a bit of extra chicken stock and some fresh parmesan cheese. They were a hit, and just like Charlie said, it will make you “big and strong like my Dad.”
Left alone, this soup is a very brothy dish and reminds me of something my Mom would make me when I wasn’t feeling well. Should you wish, you could add chopped kale or some other vegetables or small pasta to add some substance depending on how important it is for you to keep it gluten-free.
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 3 Tbsp. basil pesto
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken stock
- 2 litres chicken stock (gluten free)
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsely
- salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400F and grease a non-stick cookie sheet with olive oil.
- In a medium bowl, combine the turkey, pesto, egg and salt, using your fingers to gently mix the ingredients together.
- Using a small 1-ounce scoop or a teaspoon, form the meat mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls. Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet, spacing apart. Drizzle with olive oil and bake until cooked through and slightly browned, about 15 minutes.
- In a heavy pot on medium, heat the olive oil and add the onion. Cook until transparent, stirring. Add the celery and carrots and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, until fragrant and slightly softened.
- Add the 1/2 cup of wine (or chicken stock) to deglaze and cook until reduced by half.
- Add the 2 litres of chicken stock and the meatballs and simmer for 15-20 minutes on the low heat setting.
- Season with the parsley, salt and pepper and serve.