Lemony Chicken-Feta Meatball Soup With Spinach
Some might be suspicious of the rolled oats called for in this recipe, but used in place of breadcrumbs, they help create a light and tender chicken meatball. A half-cup more is simmered in the broth, which thickens it and provides a pleasant texture. The meatballs, made with ground chicken, feta and fresh dill, swim in a lemony, spinach-filled broth that’s comforting and light, perfect for lunch or dinner. Serve any leftovers with a fresh squeeze of lemon juice to brighten the soup.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1pound ground chicken or turkey, preferably dark meat
- ½cup crumbled feta
- ¾cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1small red onion, halved (1/2 diced, and 1/2 grated, then squeezed with a paper towel to remove excess liquid)
- ⅓packed cup fresh dill leaves and fine stems, finely chopped
- 1tablespoon ground cumin
- ½teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 3tablespoons olive oil
- ½teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more for serving
- 4cups low-sodium chicken broth or water
- 4packed cups baby spinach (about 5 ounces)
- 2lemons (1 juiced and 1 cut into wedges for serving)
Step 1In a medium bowl, add the chicken, feta, 1/4 cup oats, the grated onion, most of the dill (reserve about 2 tablespoons for garnish), the cumin, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric and 1 teaspoon salt. Gently combine without squeezing too hard or overworking the meat. Lightly wet your palms and shape the meat into small balls, a little smaller than the size of a golf ball, about 1 1/2 inches. (You will have approximately 25 balls.)
Step 2Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or wide pot over medium until shimmering. Add the diced onion, season with salt, and cook until it begins to soften, about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon turmeric and the red-pepper flakes, and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Push the onions to the sides as best you can, then add the meatballs. (They will be close together, and that’s OK.) Cook until browned on two sides, 5 to 7 minutes total.
Step 3Pour in the broth and remaining ½ cup oats, then gently tilt the pot to the right and left to distribute the oats and broth without disturbing the meatballs. Bring to a gentle boil, then immediately reduce the heat to maintain an active simmer. Season with salt. Cook, gently stirring occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom, until the oats have softened and the meatballs are cooked through, about 4 minutes more.
Step 4Stir in the spinach and lemon juice until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes more. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Spoon into bowls, top with pepper and the remaining dill. Serve with lemon wedges.