What's for Dinner: Meatball-Tortellini Soup

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Meatball-Tortellini Soup

Meatballs go hand-in-hand with spaghetti, but they also can add a wonderful flavor and texture to soup. Pair them with cheese tortellini and you've got an amped-up version of Italian wedding soup.

The original recipe called for beef, but I used ground turkey to cut down on calories (fewer than 500 a serving). If your kids complain when they see you stirring in what looks to be a lot of spinach, not to worry -- it will cook down to slim strands. Don't forget to grate a little Parmesan on top -- it adds just the right amount of saltiness. Serve with warm, crusty bread.

8 ounces ground turkey

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 clove garlic, grated

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 carrots, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 quart chicken broth

3 cups water

9-ounce package cheese tortellini

4 cups loosely packed baby spinach (about 3 ounces)

Combine ground turkey, Parmesan, 2 tablespoons parsley, egg, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl; mix with your hands until just combined. Form into 1-inch meatballs and set aside.

Heat olive oil in pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add meatballs and cook, turning, until golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove to a plate.

Add carrots and celery to the pot; cook, stirring, until just softened, about 5 minutes. Add broth and water; bring to boil. Return meatballs to pot along with the remaining parsley and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Simmer until meatballs are just cooked through, about 2 minutes.

Add tortellini and cook until they float to the top, about 4 minutes. Add spinach and cook, stirring, until wilted, 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Top with more Parmesan.

Serves 4.

-- Adapted from Food Network Magazine

Gretchen McKay: gmckay@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1419.

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