Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Missie Neville Crawford
Hands-on Time
40 Mins
Total Time
1 Hour
Serves 6

We like the tenderness of lacinato kale, but you can substitute other varieties in this soup.

How to Make It

Step 1

Combine turkey, quinoa, 1/4 cup cheese, parsley, basil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 2 garlic cloves, and egg in a large bowl; mix gently just until combined. Working with damp hands, shape turkey mixture into 24 meatballs (about 2 tablespoons each).

Step 2

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add 12 meatballs; cook 8 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove from pan. Repeat procedure with 1 teaspoon oil and remaining 12 meatballs. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add shallots and celery to pan; sauté 5 minutes. Add remaining 4 garlic cloves; sauté 1 minute. Add kale, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and red pepper; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add stock; bring to a boil. Return meatballs to pan. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes or until kale is tender and meatballs are done. Ladle 1 1/3 cups soup into each of 6 bowls; divide remaining cheese evenly among bowls. Serve with lemon, if desired.

Chef's Notes

MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit

Ratings & Reviews

Bebop Speaks

November 22, 2015
I liked this soup. Was too lazy to do the meatballs when I decided to fix it (yeah, that lazy) but will remake today with meatballs. I think my mother would enjoy this, so will take her some. I agree with another poster...very comforting. And as is typically the case...I keep adding spices until I get it to my taste instead of the recommended...some more than others.I won't add red pepper flakes this time around, but might add a little hot Italian sausage to savor it up even more. And didn't use quinoa, but used acini de pepe pasta instead.

bellymama's Review

February 20, 2014
My family liked this soup -- very kid-friendly. It's not going to shoot up to the top of our favorites list, but I'd make it again on a cold winter evening. It's comforting and healthy.

LindaMelvin's Review

February 13, 2014
We really liked this soup, used regular Kale , could not find the other in the store. I also added a teaspoon of Italian seasonings to the broth. We thought it had lots of flavoring. It did take a little longer to simmer then what the recipe said.Served with bread I made from my bread machine. I will certainly make this again. This soup would be very good to make for a luncheon plus it's a very healthy soup. It's also different because it does not have beans or bacon usually seen in recipes with Kale.

childrensworld's Review

January 15, 2014
Best soup I've made in a long time. Even the kids loved it. The only thing I did differently was add all the cheese to the meatballs and added extra garlic to the broth. This will be one of our regular soups from now on.

NDMother's Review

November 18, 2013

sbetsy's Review

October 29, 2013
This was delicious. I followed the recipe almost as written and got great results. I chose lean but not super lean ground turkey (antibiotic free, not the jennie o brand) that I got at publix and it wasn't dry. I accidentally added a little more of the fresh herbs than was required to the meatballs. Oops. I also added a splash of white wine to deglaze the pan between the meatballs and the shallots and celery step. I used a high quality organic chicken broth (imagine brand I think) and it was great. I used regular organic kale because that was all I could find. It was great. Even my picky husband enjoyed it.

qbk2005's Review

October 28, 2013

jmeleeS's Review

September 16, 2013
I made this soup yesterday for a weekend lunch and it was very tasty, but I am only giving the soup 2 stars because I had to make a lot of changes to get the soup in any form of edible. 1) I used roasted garlic flavored quinoa (quick cooking) in the meatballs and forgot to add the egg; didn't have a problem with meatballs staying intact; 2) I added 2 tsp each of garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika and italian seasoning to the meatballs (ditto on seasoning and additions to the soup base); 3) Used only 3 cups no salt added stock & 1 cup hot water for broth. Overall, this soup was filling and we enjoyed the textures & flavor profiles, but only after all the additions and changes I made to this one to have some robust flavors. I think the main ingredient that let our soup be delicious was the roasted garlic quinoa I used. Otherwise, this soup would have been bland, bland, bland. It has potential, but be sure to have seasoning on hand to spice it up quickly. Enjoy!

JRBMOM's Review

September 15, 2013
This was just not a good recipe. I thought it would be like Italian wedding soup but it lacked flavor and depth.

RuthMG's Review

September 14, 2013
I really wanted this recipe to work, turkey, kale, chicken stock, it sounds and looks delicious. After much work though, the family all decided it was really pretty bland. Kids said they would rather not eat again.