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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Dorie Greenspan's Ginger-Basil Turkey Meatball Soup

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post


Here's a one-bowl meal with plenty of vegetables, noodles to slurp and meatballs you can use in many other meatball-loving dishes.

If you choose gluten-free bread crumbs, the whole dish is gluten-free.

Do not skip the extra step of cooking the soaked/drained rice noodles; otherwise, they tend to soak up the soup broth once all the ingredients are combined.

Make Ahead: The meatballs can be cooked and refrigerated up to 4 days in advance, covered in some of their cooking broth. (Refrigerate the remaining broth separately.) The soaked/cooked noodles can be refrigerated a day in advance; reheat in warm water for 10 minutes before adding to the soup.) The soup vegetables can be prepped and refrigerated in a zip-top bag a day in advance.

Tested size: 4-6 servings


2 1/2 quarts homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth
2 large eggs
1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta, excess liquid drained
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots or onion, rinsed in cold water and patted dry
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (may substitute cilantro)
1/4 cup plain dried bread crumbs (see headnote)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon peeled, grated fresh ginger root
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound ground turkey, preferably organic (light or dark meat; may substitute chicken)
8 ounces/224g dried rice noodles, such as Taste of Thai straight-cut thin rice noodles
4 cups chopped, sliced and/or shredded mixed vegetables, such as carrots, onions, mushrooms, cabbage (Napa or green), mustard greens, kale and spinach
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh herbs, such as cilantro, basil, parsley and/or mint, for serving
Sriracha (optional)
Soy sauce (optional)
Toasted sesame oil or olive oil, for serving (optional)


For the meatballs: Bring the broth to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat, then cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low while you put the meatball mixture together.

Use a fork to break up and lightly beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the ricotta, shallots or onion, basil, bread crumbs, garlic, ginger, lemon zest, salt and pepper, stirring to blend. Add the ground meat; use the fork and then your clean hands to turn and gently combine the mixture, which will be sticky.

Use a medium cookie scoop (one with a capacity of about 1 1/2 tablespoons) -- my favorite tool for this -- or a tablespoon measure to scoop out 24 to 30 portions. Roll them between your palms to shape into meatballs.

Uncover the pot of broth; drop in the meatballs, adjusting the heat as needed so the broth barely bubbles at the edges; cook for about 10 minutes, turning the meatballs over once, until cooked through. (Depending on the size of your pot, you might have to do this in batches.) Use a slotted spoon to transfer the meatballs to a large bowl.

After the meatballs are done, the broth will be a little murky. If you’d like it to be clearer (I always do), line a strainer with dampened cheesecloth (or a triple layer of dampened paper towels) and pour the broth through. Rinse out the pot and return the broth to it.

For the soup: Put the rice noodles in a large bowl and cover them with very hot tap water. Soak for 20 minutes, replacing the water after 10 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Just before you’re ready to serve the soup, drop in the soaked noodles; cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain. (This step will help prevent the noodles from absorbing too much of the soup broth.)

Meanwhile, reheat the broth over medium-high heat; once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium. Drop in the cooked meatballs; let them warm through for 5 minutes, then stir in the 4 cups of vegetables and cook for 5 minutes or until they are tender. (If you’re using carrots, they’ll remain slightly firm.) Taste, and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Divide the noodles among deep soup bowls. Ladle over the broth, meatballs and vegetables. Scatter the herbs on top, and, if you’d like, let everyone have a go at the Sriracha, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil or olive oil. Serve hot.

Rating *****[9]


From cookbook author Dorie Greenspan.

Tested by Richard Kerr.

Nutritional Facts
Calories per serving (based on 6): 390
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 10g 15%
Saturated Fat: 4g 20%
Cholesterol: 125mg 42%
Sodium: 620mg 26%
Total Carbohydrates: 46g 15%
Dietary Fiber: 4g 16%
Sugar: 7g
Protein: 26g

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