May your Thanksgiving dinner stay off of your thighs. ~ ‘Twas The Night of Thanksgiving’, C.J. Beaman
There is a collective gentle sigh as we see the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers. Despite our best intentions to limit our portion sizes, the intentions remained just that – intentions. Folks generally go all out with the food for this holiday of gatherings, and there were more than usual number of dishes offered to us everywhere we went. Late sunrises and cooler-than-usual dawns thwarted our plans to wake earlier to walk off the extra calories. So a week after the turkeys also sighed a collective relief that they survived to live a little longer, we were craving simpler meals at home.
A clear soup seemed in order. Having experimented with several soups using ingredients that are always on hand, this is a variation on my signature soup (stay tuned for the recipe!). Besides being easy to prepare, a soup has the advantage of warding off the chill. Further, I can make a large pot of it and warm it for another meal in a couple of days. Just like the Healthy Meat Sauce and Whole Wheat Spaghetti I wrote about last week, this Turkey Meatball Soup begs to be clutched in warm bowls and enjoyed on a couch. Toss some chestnuts into the roaring fire while you are at it too.
- Loads of these meatballs can be made in advance and frozen. I had made a bunch of them for a Turkey Meatball Pasta dinner and froze some at the time. Now they came in handy and the soup was ready in just 30 minutes. If you have turkey leftover from Thanksgiving, go ahead and use that instead of making the meatballs. Just skip step 1 in the recipe.
- The recipe is also easily made using chicken stock for added flavour. Here I have used only water, preferring to let the soup take its flavour from the turkey, carrots and Napa cabbage, these latter vegetables being naturally sweet.
- I like to keep the skin on my potatoes. When added to the pan, the skin quickly crisps slightly and keeps the potato from breaking apart. It also adds some bite to the soup, especially if I am serving the soup as a stand-alone meal.
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- 2 lb ground turkey
- 2 tsp pepper
- 1 white part of cooked salted duck eggs, diced finely (optional)
- 1 egg white, beaten
- 1 medium Napa cabbage, cut to medium-sized pieces
- 2 carrots, chunked
- 3 - 4 potatoes, chunked
- 2 cups fried beancurd/tofu cubes ('tau pok' 豆泡 )
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 6 cups water or chicken stock
- Cilantro for garnish
- Meatballs: Mix ground turkey, salted duck egg whites and pepper. If not using salted egg whites, add 2 tsp salt. Shape mixture into balls and set aside. Once well mixed, add beaten egg white as a binding agent. These can prepared in advance and frozen. This made 16 2" meatballs.
- Fry shallots in ½ tsp of oil till it just starts to give off a fragrance. Push shallots to one side of the pan or wok.
- Add ½ Tbsp more oil. When heated, add carrots and cook for about ½ minute or till the outer edges begin to cook. Keeping high heat, add in the potatoes and quickly toss to coat the potatoes in the oil. About ½ minute.
- Carefully add water and bring to a boil. Add the meatballs and boil for another 30 seconds.
- Lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Carrots and potatoes should be nicely softened.
- Add beancurd/tofu cubes in the last 5 minutes.
- Garnish with cilantro. Serve with salad, couscous or rice.
Any leftover turkey from Thanksgiving can be used instead of making meatballs. Skip step 1.
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