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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Make-it-your-own Turkey Meatball Soup

This isn't so much of a recipe as a method...  you can make this soup your own by adjusting the amounts or seasonings to your family's taste.  (This method of soup making works great for all kinds of chicken or turkey soup.)

Reach into your produce drawer and pull out whatever savory vegetables you have...  a stalk or two of celery (or just the tops, if you've chopped them up when preparing celery sticks) and a carrot or two.  Grab an onion (fresh from the pantry, or the half-an-onion that you put in a ziploc bag when you only needed a half of one yesterday).

Finely chop the vegetables, you want roughly equal amounts.  Put a large pot on your stove, turn the heat to medium-low and put in an equivalent amount of tablespoons of butter per cup of veggies.  (I know that explanation is crystal-clear, but just in case you're confused, what I mean here is that if you have about 2 cups of veggies then put 2 T of butter in the pan, 3 cups of veggies then 3 T of butter, etc. etc.)  Stir this around and let the veggies cook until they are soft and your kitchen smells awesome.  Then sprinkle an equivalent number of tablespoons of flour over the veggies and stir until nicely combined.  (Again, it's obvious to you I'm sure what I mean here but just in case...  if you melted 39 T of butter (because you had 39 cups of vegetables) then you should add 39 T of flour, etc. etc.)

After this mixture has cooked for a minute or two while you've stirred it around, turn the heat down to low and pour in some chicken broth. (I usually don't have chicken broth actually, but if you have some homemade then great, or canned, that's fine too...  I generally add the powdered or cubed stuff to water and microwave and stir it up and voila, I have broth!)  Again, the same magical match-the-amounts thing applies: add the equivalent amount (in cups this time) of broth to the mixture.  Add it slowly and whisk all the time that the broth is going in.  It will not glob up and make lumps and be disgusting if you make sure to have the heat on low and add the liquid in a small stream and be sure to whisk all the time.  Oh, and chew gum while counting backwards from 30 at the same time, that's the key to a successful soup, believe me!

Just kidding, you don't have to chew the gum.  That was a joke.

OK so now go ahead and add another equivalent amount of broth.  So actually that means that you are adding DOUBLE the amount of broth.

Math is so cool.

And it's late at night and I'm punchy.

So back to the soup.  At this point I would like you to add some turmeric to your yummy soup. This can be to taste, if I am making a full pot of soup to serve about 6 people, then I'd add about a teaspoon.  The turmeric will make your soup all beautifully golden yellow and very healthy, and it will also stain your wooden spoon if you aren't careful to immediately rinse it.  (This I know by experience.)

You should also add some other lovely herbs at this point.  I recommend adding equal amounts of dried parsley, dried thyme, and dried (or rubbed) sage but you can add what you particularly like.

UND NOW, add the frozen meatballs.
Since this is turkey meatball soup it'd be a shame to forget them.

Last step is adding some rice or another small pasta or grain.  I suggest brown rice, but that's because I'm all healthy and superior. 


Now let the pot of yummyness simmer for about 30-40 minutes until the rice is cooked and the meatballs are heated through.

Sadly, I don't have a photo. You'll just have to imagine it...

Meanwhile here is an image that will certainly inspire you as you prepare soup for your family.

"May I have some more, sir?"

Here's what you'll need (ingredients-wise) for a pot of soup that should make 6-8 servings.
  • a stalk or two of celery, or just the tops & leaves
  • a carrot or two... or three
  • an onion, or so
  • 3 T flour
  • 6 cups chicken broth (or bouillon cubes/granules dissolved in water)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1/2 cup brown rice (or a small pasta like orzo or tiny shells, or quinoa or some other small grain)
  • 1 bag of store-bought frozen turkey meatballs or your own homemade meatballs, frozen