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.
-- Adapted from Food Network Magazine
Gretchen McKay: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1419.