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Swiss chard soup with turkey meatballs

Posted by Sheryl Julian  March 29, 2011 03:40 PM

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 escarmeatsoup.JPGI've been making meatballs almost every week since I wrote a recipe for the Sunday Supper & More column earlier this year. The recipe makes 48 minis and though I contemplated making fewer, there's nothing like having cooked meatballs in the fridge. For subs! For pasta! To nibble right out of the container -- cold and delicious!

When I went to buy Swiss chard, I spotted escarole nearby. I love it cooked and in salads. So this version of the soup contains escarole, which is ready to eat as soon as it wilts. 

escarole.JPGThe week I made this soup, we had also stewed a whole chicken. On Friday, all the leftovers, plus whatever was in the fridge, went into one pot. A fabulous mish-mash -- and nourishing.


Swiss chard and turkey meatball soup

Serves 6


The recipe makes many more meatballs than you need. You'll be delighted with the leftovers.



5 slices sandwich bread (enough to make 3 cups bread cubes)

1/2 cup milk

2 pounds ground dark turkey

3 eggs

1 clove garlic

1 cup grated Parmesan

1/2 cup chopped parsley

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper


1. Set the oven at 450 degrees. Lightly oil a rimmed (preferably nonstick) baking sheet.

2. In a bowl, combine the bread and milk. Stir well; set aside for 10 minutes.

3. In another larger bowl, combine the turkey, eggs, garlic, Parmesan, parsley, salt, and pepper. Squeeze the bread with your fingers to break it up. Add it to the turkey mixture and mix with your hands to blend them thoroughly.

4. Using wet hands, shape 48 walnut-size balls. Transfer them to the baking sheet. It’s OK if they’re very close. Brush the balls with vegetable oil.

5. Bake the meatballs for 20 to 25 minutes, turning once, or until they are golden and cooked through.



2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Salt and black pepper, to taste

1 can (16 ounces) peeled tomatoes, crushed in a bowl

2 quarts chicken stock

1/2 head Swiss chard, escarole, or other leafy greens, cored and coarsely chopped

1 cup Parmesan (for serving)


1. In a soup pot, heat the oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes.

2. Add the red pepper, salt, black pepper, and tomatoes. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.

3. Add the stock and 12 meatballs. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.

4. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan. Sheryl Julian 

About Dishing

What's cooking in the world of food.


Sheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.

Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.

Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.

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