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Turkey Albondigas Soup
“Albondigas, Spanish for “meatballs,” star in the traditional broth-based Mexican soup. Our version uses turkey rather than beef or pork for the meatballs, and we've pumped up the volume of fresh vegetables in the mix.”
1 pound 93%-lean ground turkey
1 cup fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs, (see Tip)
1 large egg
2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
2 teaspoons dried oregano, divided
¾ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
½ teaspoon salt, divided
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large white onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
3 poblano peppers, (see Tip), diced
3 plum tomatoes, diced
6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
½ cup instant brown rice, or cooked brown rice
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 jalapeño, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1Line a large baking sheet with wax paper. Place turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, 1½ teaspoons cumin, 1½ teaspoons oregano, ½ teaspoon pepper and ¼ teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Mix gently until combined. Shape the mixture into 1½-inch balls and transfer to the baking sheet. (You should have about 20 meatballs.) Place in the refrigerator and chill for at least 20 minutes or until ready to use.
2Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrots and cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add peppers, tomatoes, the remaining ½ teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon oregano, ¼ teaspoon pepper and ¼ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add broth, increase heat to high and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
3Carefully submerge the meatballs in the simmering soup; return to a simmer and cook for 8 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in lime juice. Garnish with jalapeno and cilantro.
Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 2. Cover and refrigerate the soup and meatballs separately for up to 1 day. To serve, reheat soup in a Dutch oven and proceed with Step 3.
Tips: To make fresh breadcrumbs, trim crusts from whole-wheat bread. Tear bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. One slice of bread makes about ½ cup fresh crumbs.
Poblano peppers can be fiery or relatively mild; there's no way to tell until you taste them. Find them at most large supermarkets. Or substitute 2 green bell peppers plus one minced jalapeño pepper (or more to taste).