93% lean ground turkey panko breadcrumbs grated parmesan egg italian seasoning olive oil carrots yellow onion garlic bay leaves parmesan rind quinoa chicken stock or broth lemons cannellini beans kale S&P
Add the ground turkey or chicken, panko breadcrumbs, grated parmesan, egg, & Italian seasoning to a medium bowl. Season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Use your hands to mix just until combined – take care to avoid over-mixing. Gently roll the meatball mixture into heaping tablespoon-sized balls – take care to avoid pressing the meatballs together too compactly.
Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to a large, heavy-bottomed pot with a lid such as a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot & shimmering, add the meatballs to the pot. Working in batches as needed to avoid overcrowding the skillet, cook the meatballs 2 minutes per side, until deeply browned. Transfer to a plate & repeat with any remaining meatballs.
Once the meatballs have browned, soften the carrots & onion. If needed, add in an extra splash of olive oil to the pot. Add the diced carrot & onion, seasoning with 1 teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Stir to combine. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the veggies begin to soften slightly, 4-5 minutes. Add the Italian seasoning to the pot, stirring to combine. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
Add the meatballs back into the pot, along with the garlic, bay leaves & parmesan rind (if using), quinoa, chicken stock, & lemon juice. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer. Cover & cook 10-12 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through and the quinoa is tender. Stir the white beans & shredded kale into the soup, then simmer 4-5 minutes longer, until heated through. Carefully taste & adjust seasoning as needed.
Remove & discard the bay leaves, parmesan rind, & spent garlic (though it’s okay if a few softened garlic cloves stay behind!). Ladle the Italian wedding soup with chicken meatballs into individual bowls. Finish each bowl a spoonful of fresh pesto, extra shaved parmesan, & finely chopped fresh herbs as desired.
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