Carrot and Turkey Meatball Soup


Do you see something on television that inspires you to head into your kitchen and create or re-create a dish?  James and I were watching an episode from the previous season of Top Chef, where the contestants were making a Thanksgiving meal for the judges.  Carla made this carrot and turkey meatball soup that had the two of us drooling!  She won the elimination challenge with this soup as well, so we were determined to recreate it at home.  Also, as I mentioned before, James loves everything made with carrots so I could tell that this soup is right up his alley.


I made some adjustments to the original recipe: cut back on the amount of butter (we didn’t need that much butter to sweat the vegetables), specify the amount of herbs in the bouquet garni, and flavored the soup with chicken broth instead of water. The original recipe makes twelve servings, which is way too much for the two of us.  I changed the recipe so that it serves six, but you can easily double or triple it to serve a crowd.  This is a great dish to bring to a Fall or Thanksgiving-themed potluck.  And if you have some extra time, make a batch of these cheddar chive biscuits and you’ll have a tasty, well-balanced meal.  Enjoy!


Carrot and Turkey Meatball Soup
Inspired by Carla Pellegrino of Top Chef Season 10, Episode 3
Serves: 6
  • Carrot Soup:
  • 2 tbsps unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsps extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 leek, white parts only, sliced
  • 2 medium white onions, sliced
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 5 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Meatballs:
  • 1.25 lb ground turkey
  • ¼ cup Asiago cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsps unsalted butter, for frying
  1. In a large soup pot, cook leeks and onions in olive oil and butter until caramelized, about 15 minutes. Add carrots and cook for 10 minutes. Add chicken stock, thyme, parsley, and bay leaf to the pot, and bring to a boil. Cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 45 minutes or until the carrots are softened.
  2. Discard the thyme, parsley, and bay leaf. In a blender, puree the vegetables and stock in a blender until smooth. Thin it up with water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. To make the meatballs: in a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients until well blended, and roll into 1-inch balls. In a skillet, melt butter and cook the meatballs until browned. Place on paper towels to absorb any extra fat.
  4. To serve, transfer the meatballs and the pureed soup back into the stockpot. Bring to a boil and serve hot.
*To make it easier to remove the herbs, tie them up in a bundle with kitchen twine, drop it into the pot, and discard the bundle when the soup is done.