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

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.

alphabetizing's Review

August 22, 2013
For all the work that goes into this, it's totally underwhelming. Pretty bland and if you cook quinoa like it's SUPPOSED to be cooked, it's not really a great binder for the meatballs--my boyfriend had trouble getting them to stick together, and the meatballs just kept getting bigger as a result of trying to mush them together. Would need to overcook the quinoa a little to dry it out some more for a better meatball I think. You lose a lot of the fresh basil taste in the cooking, and the broth needs more seasoning. It's just really kind of boring and way too much work for the results we got. Big bummer, because it SOUNDED so good in theory, and smelled great during prep. Will not make again. Going to freeze the rest for emergency days, because we don't feel like eating anymore this week but it was too expensive/time consuming to throw out.

ElsieS's Review

August 19, 2013
I really wanted to like this recipe, but it was very disappointing. I used 99% fat free turkey, and the meatballs were too large and very dry. The broth was not very tasty either. If I were to try this again, I would use regular ground turkey, and make the meatballs bite-size and barely brown them before adding to soup.

kate5644's Review

September 09, 2013
We loved this recipe! I think the trick is to use pre-seasoned Jennie-O turkey (the Italian version). Our meatballs were super tasty. I also used 6 cups of chicken stock. When I got to the end of dishing out 6 servings it became clear we needed just a bit more stock, so I added a cup into the mix and that worked out great. I also did a full teaspoon of red pepper flakes which gave it just the right amount of kick. We will definitely be making this again!

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.

sukeedog's Review

September 01, 2013

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.

Swishla's Review

August 28, 2013
Based on the mixed reviews, I wasn't sure we'd like this. To our surprise, we enjoyed it a lot. I added the minced onions to the meatballs (ooops), used egg beaters instead of eggs (I almost always do) and made the quinoa with chicken stock. I guess my quinoa was dry because I had no trouble with the meatballs staying together but I used 93/7 turkey breast blend. I also eliminated the olive oil from the recipe and used a healthy splash of chicken broth to deglaze the pan before sautéing the vegetables. The broth was kind of bland at first taste, so I added a healthy sprinkle of poultry seasoning. However after allowing the soup to cool a bit, the flavor was spot on. We will have again. I think for flavor, you really need to use a good chicken broth/stock. We will definitely have again.

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.

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!