Meatballs go hand-in-hand with spaghetti, but they also can add a wonderful flavor and texture to soup. Pair them with cheese tortellini and you've got an amped-up version of Italian wedding soup.

The original recipe called for beef, but I used ground turkey to cut down on calories (fewer than 500 per serving). If your kids complain when they see you stirring in what looks to be a lot of spinach, not to worry - it will cook down to slim strands. Don't forget to grate a little Parmesan on top - it adds just the right amount of saltiness. Serve with warm, crusty bread.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Meatball-Tortellini Soup

Ingredients:

• 8 ounces ground turkey

• 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping

• 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided

• 1 large egg, lightly beaten

• 1 clove garlic, grated

• Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin

olive oil

• 2 carrots, diced

• 2 stalks celery, diced

• 1 quart chicken broth

• 3 cups water

• 9-ounce package cheese tortellini

• 4 cups loosely packed baby spinach (about 3 ounces)

Directions:

Combine ground turkey, Parmesan, 2 tablespoons parsley, egg, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl; mix with your hands until just combined. Form into 1-inch meatballs and set aside.

Heat olive oil in pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add meatballs and cook, turning, until golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove to a plate.

Add carrots and celery to the pot; cook, stirring, until just softened, about 5 minutes. Add broth and water; bring to boil. Return meatballs to pot along with the remaining parsley and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Simmer until meatballs are just cooked through, about

2 minutes.

Add tortellini and cook until they float to the top, about 4 minutes. Add spinach and cook, stirring, until wilted, 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Top with more Parmesan.

Serves: 4.

Adapted from Food Network Magazine

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