Weeknight Coconut Curry Noodle Soup with Turmeric Turkey Meatballs
Whoa. That title is a mouthful, huh? Well, so is this super easy, super delicious soup that is sure to become a mainstay on your weekly menu lineup. It's one of those amazing dishes that is both rich and healthy, filling but not heavy, comforting but not boring. In other words, it's kind of perfect. If you're not a fan of turkey or meatballs (or turkey meatballs), you can easily substitute chicken or shrimp or even make it vegetarian by using mushrooms or tofu (don't forget to sub veggie broth for the chicken broth if you're really trying to ditch the animal products). If you make one of these substitutions, I still highly recommend incorporating the recipe's meatball seasonings, as they really do add flavor and depth to the overall dish.
Now get those chopsticks ready, and let's get cooking!
(Note: This recipe is an adaption/amalgamation of several recipes over at Half Baked Harvest, one of my favorite food blogs.)
Coconut Curry Noodle Soup with Turmeric Turkey Meatballs
Makes 4 (generous) servings
1 pound lean ground turkey
4 scallions, minced, plus 2 scallions thinly sliced for serving
6 garlic cloves, minced, divided
2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced, divided
1 tablespoon Toasted Coconut Turmeric Blend or Spicy Turmeric Blend (although I suggest the Toasted Coconut Turmeric Blend here because that toasted coconut is just divine)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Grapeseed or vegetable oil
2 medium shallots, minced
1/2 cup Thai red curry paste
1 bunch hearty greens (kale, collard, mustard, or chard)
4 baby bok choy, sliced crosswise
2 tablespoons fish sauce or low-sodium soy sauce
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 (15-oz) cans coconut milk (not light)
1/2 cup minced fresh tender herbs (I suggest cilantro and basil)
12 ounces flat rice noodles (sometimes labeled as Pad Thai noodles)
Lime wedges, cilantro and basil leaves, and Sriracha hot sauce for serving
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground turkey, the minced scallions, half of the minced garlic, half of the minced ginger, the Toasted Coconut Turmeric Blend, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Try to be delicate about your mixing, as over-mixing causes dense meatballs. Roll the mixture into tablespoon-sized balls and place on baking sheet. You should have 20-24 meatballs.
Cook rice noodles according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking and prevent sticking. Set aside.
Heat about 2 tablespoons oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add half of the meatballs and brown them on all sides before transferring them back to the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining meatballs. It's ok if you've got a fairly dark layer of stuff on the bottom of your pot at this point. (Pro tip: That "stuff" is called fond, and it's what gives really great sauces and soups their deep flavor.) Add another tablespoon of oil to the pot and add your minced shallot, along with the rest of the garlic and ginger. Saute until fragrant (about 1 minute) and then add the curry paste and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add the fish sauce, chicken broth, and coconut milk and use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up the fond on the bottom of the pot to incorporate it into your broth. Add the greens and bok choy and bring to a boil before lowering to a simmer. Add your meatballs to the pot and simmer gently until the meatballs are cooked through. Add the minced herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Arrange sliced scallions, cilantro and basil leaves, lime wedges, and some Sriracha hot sauce on a communal plate or platter and place on the dining table.
Divide rice noodles among 4 bowls. Top with meatballs and broth. Allow everyone to customize their own soup with available toppings.