Looking for a new soup to add to your winter repertoire? This Turkey Pesto Meatball Soup recipe is warm, comforting, and bursting with fresh Italian flavours!
This recipe is a total hug in a bowl. This time of year (a.k.a soup season) demands the feeling of warmth and comfort in our meals. It also leverages items you may already have on hand. I love keeping ground turkey on-hand because it’s such a healthy and versatile source of protein. Whether you decide to make homemade basil pesto or simply grab a jar from the store, this simple soup made from scratch is going to be a hit.Jump to Recipe
How to Make Turkey Meatballs
My mission is to always find ways to simplify recipes, while never compromising on taste. Was I unsure if an egg-free meatball would work? Maybe. But it DID, and it’s flavourful, moist and easy. This recipe uses ground turkey, basil pesto, a dash of parmesan cheese, and a little bit pinch of salt for good measure. I should have titled these “flavour bomb turkey pesto meatballs” to be honest… Ground chicken would work just as well.
How to Make This Soup Ahead of Time
My biggest tip here is to keep the orzo separate until ready to serve. Because orzo absorbs a lot of liquid it can become mushy when stored already added into the soup. Keep the cooked orzo in the fridge in a separate container, then add and heat up with the soup when ready to serve. I also recommend adding finishing garnishes like fresh parsley and extra parmesan (and even the spinach) until you are actually ready to enjoy the dish! And finally, if you are making a batch of this to enjoy at a later date, feel free to slightly undercook the veggies used, knowing they will be once again cooked and reheated later on.
Looking for Substitutions?
This soup is full of healthy spinach, carrots, onions, and herbs. Should you wish to make some changes here are some suggestions:
- Swap kale for the spinach
- Use ground chicken instead of turkey
- Sub a different type of small pasta for the orzo
- Add in other vegetables you prefer, in the same volume as the carrots and celery
- Use your preferred type of pesto instead of basil pesto
Homemade Soup Recipes
I love making soup! I love simmering it on the stove, filling my home with fragrant aromas. I also love how I can make a big batch and enjoy it the next day. There’s a reason why when we’re sick we crave it. It’s comfort and makes us feel good on the inside. Here are some of my favourite soup recipes:
- Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup: a true icon
- Cheater Chicken Noodle Soup: perfect for those sick days
- 10-Minute Corn Chowder: great for when you’re in a hurry!
- Tortellini Veggie Soup: a top-rated recipe for a reason! This soup from Fraîche Table is a must-make.
Turkey Pesto Meatball Soup
Turkey Pesto Meatball Soup
This Turkey Pesto Meatball Soup recipe is hearty, comforting, bursting with flavour and ready in just 30 minutes.
- 1 cup orzo uncooked
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
- 5 tablespoons basil pesto divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 carrots diced
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 2 litres chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 4 cups fresh spinach
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- salt & pepper to taste
Cook the orzo per package instructions, drain and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the ground turkey, Parmesan cheese, 3 tablespoons of pesto and salt, using your hands to gently mix the ingredients together.
Using a small 1-ounce scoop or a teaspoon, form the meat mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the meatballs and fry on all sides (in batches if needed) until the meatballs are browned and cooked through. Remove the meatballs from the pot and set aside.
In the same pot on medium heat, add the remaining olive oil and the onion. Cook until transparent (about 3 minutes) then add the garlic until fragrant (about 30-60 seconds). Add in the carrots and celery and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, until slightly softened.
Add the chicken stock, Italian seasoning, remaining 2 tablespoons of pesto, and meatballs to the pot. Simmer for 15-20 minutes on the low heat setting.
Stir in the cooked orzo and spinach, season with the parsley, salt and pepper as desired, and remaining fresh Parmesan on top of each bowl before serving!