What’s better on a cold, snowy winter day than a bowl of soul warming soup? Maybe eating that soup curled up on the couch with a good book, but since that wouldn’t be super easy to do, I’d suggest eating this Potato-Kale Meatball Soup at the dinner table and THEN curling up on the couch with a book.
This Potato-Kale Meatball Soup not only requires a short list of ingredients (don’t worry, several of the ingredients work double-duty in the meatballs and the soup part so there aren’t as many ingredients as the list makes it seem like there are at first glance), it is also hearty and filling too, which will help power you through the day.
Small, flavorful meatballs combine with potatoes, carrots, kale and tomatoes to make a chunky soup that is full of nutrition and flavor. Plus, it doesn’t take all day to make, which means you can easily whip up a batch of this soup on a weeknight when you don’t have much time to cook.
What Kind of Potatoes Should I use in this Potato-Kale Meatball Soup?
The potatoes in this Potato-Kale Meatball Soup will be cut into bite-size pieces and cooked until they are just tender.
Because they will not get mashed or pureed after they are cooked, they will taste best if they maintain their shape and hold together after they are cooked. That way, you will get to eat nice chunky pieces of potatoes.
While any type of potato will work in this soup, certain varieties of potatoes will hold up better and not fall apart when cooked.
Yukon gold potatoes or red potatoes are both ideal potatoes to use in this soup. Both of these varieties are lower in starch and have a waxier texture, which means they will hold their shape and not fall apart when cooked in this soup.
Russet potatoes, on the other hand, would be more likely to fall apart and take on a mushier texture because they soak up more liquid than waxy potatoes. That’s why I recommend the other two varieties over Russet potatoes for this soup.
What Variety of Kale Works Best in this Potato-Kale Meatball Soup?
There are many varieties of kale, including Lacinato kale, curly kale, ornamental kale, red kale, and Russian kale.
Any variety of kale will work in this Potato-Kale Meatball Soup, however, the most common varieties of kale in grocery stores in the United States are curly kale, red kale, and Lacinato kale, all of which will work in this soup.
What Does “Torn, Trimmed Kale” Mean?
If you’ve never used kale before, or are intimidated by it, don’t be! It’s very simple to use and I promise, knowing just a few things about how to prepare kale will help you make sure it turns out just perfectly in this Potato-Kale Meatball Soup.
To prepare the kale, cut off the stems so you are left with the leaves. Use a knife to cut the large, center rib out of each leaf. Discard the rib or save it for another use. Or, use your hands to tear the tender portion of the leaf away from the center rib.
Once you’ve removed the center rib, simply use your hands to tear the kale leaves into bite-size pieces.
Can I Use a Different Vegetable than Kale in this Potato-Kale Meatball Soup?
If you still can’t wrap your mind around the thought of using kale in this soup, or if you can’t find fresh kale where you live, let me give you options of other greens that you can use instead of the kale in this Potato-Kale Meatball Soup.
Of course, you’ll have to rename the soup based on whatever green you do use. Unless you want to play a trick on the people you’re serving, that is.
Other fresh greens that will work instead of kale in this soup are:
- Collard Greens
Swiss Chard (or any other variety of chard)
- Mustard Greens
- Beet Greens
- (For the above greens, prepare them and add them to the soup the same way you would the kale.)
- Spinach Leaves (stir them into the soup just before serving)
Can I Use Homemade Chicken Broth in this Potato-Kale Meatball Soup?
I call for low-sodium chicken broth in this Potato-Kale Meatball Soup and when I tested the recipe, I used store-bought broth. However, I regularly make homemade chicken broth (using this recipe) and if I have any made, I would definitely use it in this recipe.
If you choose to use homemade chicken broth, you may need to add a smidge of salt at the end if your homemade broth is unsalted.
If your homemade broth tends to be quite salty in flavor, then you can use no-salt-added diced tomatoes in the soup or use a combination of chicken broth and water instead of all broth. This will help keep the sodium level of the soup in check.
Can I Freeze this Potato-Kale Meatball Soup?
Yes, absolutely! Freeze this soup in an airtight container for up to 6 months. I’d suggest making a double or triple batch of the soup and freezing some of it in smaller portions so you can pull out a super quick meal on nights you don’t feel like cooking or have no time to cook!
Now I want to hear from you! Leave a comment below telling me what your favorite soup is. If you’re a “the more soup the merrier” kind of person, here are links to a few of my other favorite soups!
- 5 Ingredient Butternut Squash Soup
- Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
- Instant Pot Beef and Black Bean Chili
Potato-Kale Meatball Soup
- ¼ cup gluten-free quick-cooking rolled oats or almond meal*
- ¼ cup finely chopped onion
- ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/8 to ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 to 1 ¼ pounds ground turkey**
- 3 medium carrots, cut into ½ to 1-inch pieces
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth***
- 2 medium Yukon gold or red potatoes (about 10 ounces total), scrubbed and cut into ½- to 1-inch pieces
- 5 cups torn, trimmed fresh kale
- 1 14.5- ounce can diced tomatoes
- For meatballs, preheat oven to 425°F. Line a medium size shallow baking pan with foil or parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl combine oats, onion, parsley, garlic, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper (if using). Add ground turkey; mix well. Shape meat mixture into small meatballs that are about 1 ¼ inches in diameter (about 32 total meatballs). Place meatballs in prepared pan, leaving space between the meatballs.
- Bake meatballs for 16 to 18 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into two stacked meatballs registers 165°F. Set meatballs aside.
- Meanwhile, for soup, in a 4- to 6-quart pot, cook carrots and onion in hot oil over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes or until vegetables are lightly browned, stirring frequently and turning heat down if vegetables brown too quickly. Stir in garlic. Transfer vegetables to a bowl; set aside.
- Add broth and potatoes to the same pot. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 8 minutes.
- Add carrot mixture back to the pot along with the kale. Return mixture to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 4 to 6 minutes or until vegetables are just tender.
- Stir in undrained tomatoes and the cooked meatballs. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes more or until heated through.