I love making lean turkey meatballs and I also love hot, hearty Mexican inspired soups. When I was stumped on what to make this week, I came up with the idea of putting them together into one incredible and comforting one pot dish! This Mexican turkey meatball soup was absolutely packed with flavor, lean protein and veggies to make a hearty meal in a bowl. It was just the ticket on a super chilly night here in New Jersey. First, I made the meatballs. In a large bowl I combined lean turkey, chopped cilantro, sharp cheddar cheese, an egg, Greek Yogurt, Worcestershire sauce, and lots of seasonings and spices for big flavor. I love putting Greek yogurt into my meatballs because it keeps them super juicy and adds fantastic flavor! With clean hands, I mixed that all together until it was uniform and almost dough like.
I used a tablespoon to scoop up two tablespoons of the mixture and roll it into a tight meatball, then set it aside on a board. I just repeated that until the mixture was gone and had 16 gorgeous turkey meatballs.
Then it was time to put together the layers of flavor of the Mexican turkey meatball soup! I got out my beloved dutch oven and heated a big dash of canola oil in it over medium high heat. I wanted to lightly sear the meatballs to just get a nice golden crust on the outside, so I browned them in two batches of 8. I wasn’t worried about them being cooked through because they were going to finish cooking in the soup, so it only took a couple of minutes per batch. Doing this also gave the first layer of flavor in the bottom of the pot! When all of the turkey meatballs were browned and removed, I added in the fragrant veggies.
Diced onion, diced jalapeno, frozen corn and frozen peas went into the pot and I let them get soft and fragrant for a minute. Then to thicken the soup, I added in quinoa flour and let it cook off for another minute. Tomato paste went in next and that cooked for another minute while I kept stirring.
Then I deglazed the pot with a big dash of tomato vinegar and a dash of Worcestershire. Tomato vinegar can be found in any oil and vinegar shop and it is so amazing! Red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar would also work here. I scraped up the gorgeous brown bits at the bottom of the pan, that is where all of the flavor is. Then I poured in a can of drained black beans, lots of chicken stock and crushed tomatoes. The turkey meatballs went back into the pot submerged in the liquid, as well as a pinch of salt. I brought the mixture to a boil, then reduced it to a simmer to cook for 2 hours uncovered.
It smelled so amazing as it cooked that I was practically salivating. When Marc came home he said he could smell it from the driveway! The meatballs and the soup base ended up in this gorgeous symbiotic relationship where the meatballs absorbed so much flavor from the liquid and the liquid absorbed so much flavor from the meatballs. When it was done I just scooped it into big bowls and garnished it with sliced avocado for a creamy addition, crispy tortilla strips for some crunch and a sprig of cilantro for pretty green. Then I served it piping hot! Let me tell you, this Mexican turkey meatball soup was glorious. It wasn’t spicy, there was just this slow warmth that crept up on me and comforted my soul. Enjoy the hearty goodness friends, the handy printable is just below!