02 March 2012

Southwestern Split Pea Soup with Turkey Meatballs

southwestern split pea soup with turkey meatballs

About a week ago, I found myself with a container of cooked split pea puree leftover from when I made my homemade enchiladas. I meant to turn it into soup the next night, but other dinners got in the way. Yesterday, I finally used it for soup. I was inspired by a little bit of ground turkey in a container, dry corn tortillas, and mini bell peppers.

southwestern split pea soup with turkey meatballs
southwestern split pea soup with turkey meatballs

As I worked on the soup I wondered if anyone would actually be able to make it. I mean, who has a container of split pea puree in their fridge? Who has just a quarter pound of ground turkey in the fridge? But anyway, if you ever do find yourself with those two ingredients in the fridge, you now have a tasty way to use them up.

I used vegetables that many of you might have in the kitchen -- bell peppers, onions, a little red onion, an jalapeno, and a leek. The leek is optional, I just used it because it was in the veggie bin.

southwestern split pea soup with turkey meatballs

Although I call this "southwestern split pea soup", you'll find that I didn't add a single southwestern spice, like cumin. For the meatballs, I added finely chopped mini bell peppers, half a cup of oats, one egg, and a little salt and pepper. It's a little soggy at first, so I let it sit while the veggies sauteed to give the moisture time to soak into the oats.

southwestern split pea soup with turkey meatballs

The split peas? When I made them, I cooked two cups of dried yellow split peas with a chopped onion, garlic, and oregano. I kept adding water until the split peas broke down and thickened into a puree. After they cooked, they were mixed with some salt and a packet of Goya seasoning. All you'll need is three cups of puree, so why not use the extra to make those enchiladas I talked about, hmm?

southwestern split pea soup with turkey meatballs

Once the vegetables have sauteed for five minutes, I added a carton of chicken broth along with two cups of water. Stir in the split pea puree and bring the soup to a boil. The texture of the soup will be thin with a little substance. I don't like pea soups that are really thick because it's more like baby food than what I feel a proper soup should be. Let there be broth!

As the soup comes to a boil, roll out half tablespoon portions of the turkey and drop into the pot. Lower to a simmer, cover, and cook for 25 minutes.

southwestern split pea soup with turkey meatballs

Just prior to serving the soup, stir in ripped day-old corn tortillas. Oh, what's that? You don't just happen to have dry corn tortilla sitting on your counter because you forgot to put them away last night? This will probably work with normal corn tortillas, or just top each bowl with crushed tortilla chips and a dollop of sour cream.

All I could think about during the last mile of my run yesterday was coming inside and enjoying a warm bowl of soup! It turned out much better than I expected, considering I didn't do all that much to it. Like I said above, the soup is brothy, but has substance. It'll thicken upon standing because of the corn tortillas, so keep that in mind if you're making this ahead of time.

southwestern split pea soup with turkey meatballs

Print this recipe

Southwestern Split Pea Soup with Turkey Meatballs
Recipe by Christina Provo

Yields 5-8 servings

Ingredients -

1/4 pound ground turkey
2 mini red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
3 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 egg, beaten
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
4 mini red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded, deveined, and finely chopped
32 ounces chicken broth
2 cup water
3 cups yellow split pea puree
3 cups dry corn tortilla strips
Sour cream and sliced green onion for garnis

Directions -
  1. Mix together ground turkey with finely chopped bell peppers and red onions. Stir in oatmeal, beaten egg, and a teaspoon of salt. Set aside.

  2. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium. When hot, add onion, red onion, bell peppers, jalapeno, and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt; saute for five minutes.

  3. Pour in chicken broth and water. Stir in split pea puree and taste for seasonings, adjusting as necessary. Bring to a boil.

  4. As soup comes to a boil, roll half tablespoons of turkey mixture into balls and drop into the soup. Reduce heat to a simmer; cover and cook for 20 minutes.

  5. When meatballs have cooked, they will have risen to the surface. Stir in corn tortilla strips just before serving. Top bowls with sour cream and green onions. Ole!



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