I Like Soup!

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It is a fact. I am a big fan of soup. Thick soup, thin soup, creamy soup, chunky soup, all kinds of soup. It is warm, filling and depending on the soup, it can be low-calorie or decadent. It often tastes better a day or two after it is made so it is a great make ahead meal option.

The other day I decided I wanted to make albondigas soup. I read several recipes and came up with my own version. It turned out to be very tasty. A little spicy and very flavorful. Give it a try. Put your own spin on it. It really is okay if you play with your food. I won’t tell.

 
Terri’s Turkey Albondigas Soup
Ingredients:
1/8 cup olive oil
6 garlic cloves, peeled
2 bunches cilantro, leaves only
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 pound ground turkey
1 large egg, beaten
1 egg white, beaten
½ cup dehydrated onion (optional)
½ to 1  cup quick cooking rice (brown or white, uncooked)
2  Tablespoons oil
1 bunch leeks or Mexican green onion, trimmed, washed and thinly julienned
1 bunch carrots, peeled and diced
1-2 cups shredded cabbage
1 to 2 jalapeno chiles, stemmed, seeded and thinly julienned (leave out if you prefer)
6 medium Roma tomatoes, cored, seeded and diced
2 quarts chicken stock
2 Bay Leaves
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon cumin
3 tablespoons lime juice or white vinegar

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine the olive oil, 1/8 cup chicken broth, garlic, cilantro and 1 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper in a blender. Puree until smooth adding more broth if needed to achieve a paste like consistency.

In a large bowl, mix together the turkey, egg, egg white, onion and cilantro paste. Add the rice and mix only until combined. Add a bit more rice if the meat is a little “loose”.  Roll into small walnut-sized meatballs in the palms of your hands and place on a tray that has been prepared with cooking spray.  Don’t overwork the meatballs.  If possible, leave a little space between meatballs so they don’t stick together.  Put the tray in the oven and bake for 25 minutes.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large stockpot over high heat. Saute the leeks/onions and carrots with the remaining 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper for 2 to 4 minutes. Add the cabbage, jalapeno and tomatoes and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are limp, about 3 minutes longer. Pour in the chicken stock and add the oregano, cumin and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, 15 minutes.

Transfer meatballs to the simmering stock and cook an additional 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the lime juice/vinegar and serve hot garnished with cilantro leaves and sliced jalapeno.

For a heartier dish, add a handful or two of rice, barley or quinoa with the stock

Serve with corn tortillas and a salad for a complete meal!