Rainbow Soup with Turkey Meatballs

by Mar 3, 2008

Rainbow Soup is a staple at our house. It is super easy to prepare, especially when you enlist the kids to help wash the veggies! Some kind of magic connection happens there too. When kids get involved in meal preparation, they are more likely to eagerly try (and even like!) the final product — really! Contrary to popular press, you don’t have to resort to deception in order to get kids to eat veggies.

Rainbow Soup with Turkey Meatballs
serves 4 – 6

1 onion, diced
2 large carrots, diced or cut into half-moons
2 stalks celery, diced
1 tablespoon canola or olive oil

14 1/2 oz. chopped organic tomatoes
32 oz. (4 cups) organic chicken stock (I use Imagine brand)
32 oz. (4 cups) water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano

3 small zucchini, cut into half-moons
1 small handfull green beans (4 oz), stem ends trimmed, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 small potato, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes

1. In a large stock pot, heat the oil on medium heat then add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.

2. Add the tomatoes and cook a couple minutes to concentrate the tomato juices. Then add the chicken stock, water, salt, oregano, zucchini, green beans and potato. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes until potatoes are fork tender. If you want to add the meatballs, do so after you bring the soup to a boil and before you start the 20 minutes simmer.

Turkey Meatballs for Soup
makes 20 meatballs, about 2 tablespoons each

1 pound ground turkey
1 piece whole wheat bread, crumbled into fine pieces
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
optional: 2 tablespoons parsley, finely minced
optional: 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

1. In medium bowl, mix egg and salt with fork. Add remaining ingredients and mix with fork until combined.

2. Using a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop (or by portioning that amount into your hand and rolling into a ball), scoop the meat mixture and drop into simmering soup. Repeat until you have all the meatballs you want in the soup then cover and simmer 20 minutes. You can freeze the remaining uncooked meatballs and use them another time.

Kitchen Coach Tips

  • This soup is a great base for just about any vegetable. Let the market (or what you have left in your fridge) drive you. I sometimes add chopped kale, chard, cabbage, yellow squash, kohlrabi, sweet potato, a can of diced green chilis, a can of rinsed beans — you name it!
  • Instead of using store bought chicken stock, I often simmer the carcass of a roast chicken from a previous night’s dinner in 8 cups of water. I get that simmering while I’m getting the veggies organized and it is usually ready by the time I need it. I simply strain out the bones and use this quick broth in my soup. (If you have chicken meat pieces you can certainly cut those up and add them back to the soup if you want.)
  • Portion out all of the meatballs, but only put half (10) in the soup and freeze the rest for another meal. Remember that they are uncooked. They do cook easily in a soup or tomato sauce. Add a little more time if you are using them straight from the freezer; or better yet, leave in fridge overnight before you plan on using them.

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