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Author Notes: While watching Top Chef (Seattle), one of the contestants made a carrot soup with turkey meatballs. After mulling this idea around in my head for a while, I decided to make my own version. Tasty turkey meatballs laced with shredded carrot and cardamom float in a thick, carrot and leek soup base, resulting in a soup that looks heavy, but is actually light and delicious. —d_ribbens
Serves 6 for dinner
Carrot Soup Base
- 2 pounds carrots
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 leeks
- 1-2 teaspoons salt (depending on your preferences)
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 cloves garlic
- 7-8 cups water
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/4 cup uncooked white rice
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 to 3/4 cups white wine
- Peel the 2 lbs of carrots. Save one or two carrots for the meatballs. Dice the rest into 1/2'' wide rounds. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. When the oil has heated a bit, add the carrots and stir to coat in oil. Brown the carrots a bit (to add flavor) while you prep the leeks.
- To prepare the leeks, cut off the dark green tops and discard. Slice the leeks in half, lengthwise, and rinse thoroughly under cold running water to remove all the dirt and sand. Slice the cleaned leeks and add to the pot with the carrots.
- Peel the garlic cloves and smash slightly to open them up. No need to dice - just toss them in the pot. Add the salt and pepper and continue to cook the veggies until the leeks are nice and tender and the carrots have begun to soften on the outside, approx. 10 minutes.
- Add the water and the 1/4 c uncooked white rice, along with the cardamom and cayenne pepper. Stir and simmer the soup on medium-low heat for 20-25 minutes until the carrots and the rice are completely cooked. This gives you time to prep the meatballs.
- Once the soup base is ready, remove it from the heat and break out your immersion blender. If you don't have one, you can do the soup in batches in a regular blender. Blend the soup until it's completely smooth. Add the white wine and apple cider vinegar. Taste the soup at this point and correct seasoning if needed. Put the soup back on the heat and bring it to a simmer on low heat (not too high or you will have exploding hot soup splatters). Add the turkey meatballs and cook on low for 15-20 minutes or until the meatballs are completely cooked. A meat thermometer inserted in the center of a meatball should read 165F. Serve into bowls and enjoy! For a fancy touch, you can garnish with a sprig or two of fresh herbs.
- 1 pound ground lean turkey meat
- 3/4 to 1 cups shredded carrot
- 1 finely diced onion
- 2 finely minced cloves of garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh herbs (I used sage and thyme, but parsley works too)
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup old fashioned oats
- 1 egg
- Peel 1-2 carrots and shred using a box grater. Mix the carrots and all the dry ingredients (not the eggs or the ground turkey) in a bowl until well-blended.
- Add the egg and the ground turkey and mix well with your hands or a fork until everything is evenly incorporated.
- Shape the mixture into golf-ball-sized meatballs and set aside.
- When the carrot soup has been blended, add the meatballs to the soup and simmer on low for 15-20 minutes or until the inside of a meatball registers 165F on a meat thermometer.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe for Autumn Soup