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slow cooker pasta and turkey meatball soup

I’m doing my best to not just make all of the “week’s worth” of slow-cooker recipes into soup recipes. But it’s hard! I love soup!!! Especially this one. It is so lite, so lemony, so satisfying, so M-mmmm good!

mmm good

My brother-in-law, Roger, is visiting for the week. He, Dave, and Connor devoured it. Which is a good thing I suppose, since I’m running out of room in the fridge. The thing is bulging at the seams with the ingredients for the upcoming recipes and with all the leftover baby back ribs and beans from the other night.

sleepy dog beer flightConnor had the day off work, so Roger, Con, and I went to a couple of breweries yesterday afternoon and tasted some beer flights. Our favorite stop was the Sleepy Dog Brewery which has a Groupon promo going on right now. If you go, you have to try the Wet Snout Milk Stout, it is out-of-this-world good! I found out they have it on tap at Hopdoddy right now too. Guess where else we’ll be taking Roger before he heads back to the Illinois snow?! Ah, snow, this soup would be the perfect remedy for a snowy day, pretty great for a sunny day too!IMG_2032

Lemony Turkey Meatball and Orzo Soup

1 large egg
1 pound ground turkey
1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary
Zest and juice of 1 large lemon zest, divided
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
3 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
8 cups (2 quarts) chicken broth
3/4 cup orzo pasta
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, minced

1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves

turkey lemon orzo

In a medium bowl, lightly beat the egg. Add the ground turkey, Panko, salt, dried rosemary, and the lemon zest (set aside the lemon juice) and mix to combine well.
brown meatballsHeat oil in a large non-stick skillet, when oil is hot, use a 1- tablespoon scoop (or two spoons to make meatballs that are one 1-tablespoon in size – but the scooper is The Best!) to make the meatballs and drop into the skillet as you scoop them out. Do not overcrowd the pan. Use a spatula to turn the meatballs and brown on all sides.

transfer to pot

As the meatballs brown, transfer to a slow cooker and continue making meatballs and transferring as they are browned until all the turkey mixture is used. You should end up with about 30 to 32 meatballs.

saute onion and carrot

Sauté the onion and carrots in the same skillet, just long enough to bring up the brown bits on the bottom of the skillet, for a minute or two. Scrape into the slow cooker with the meatballs. Add the garlic and broth and cook on HIGH for 2 hours.

add pasta and juice

Add the lemon juice, orzo pasta, Parmesan, and fresh rosemary to the slow cooker and reduce the temperature to LOW and cook for 1 hour or until the pasta is tender.


Taste and season with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and more lemon juice, to taste. Ladle into bowls, garnish with parsley, more Parmesan, and strips of lemon zest.

Serves 6

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1 Anne { 01.29.16 at 10:22 AM }

Hi Linda! So…I have printed the last 3 slow cooker recipes and am so excited to make each one of them. And honestly, right now I’m so starving and just want to stick my entire head into your slow cooker of pasta and turkey meatballs. Keep ’em coming!! 🙂 xoxoxo

2 Linda Hopkins { 01.29.16 at 10:30 AM }

<3 Anne! I need to see your face soon! xoxo

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