This recipe is special to me because it embodies everything I represent in a bowl: Using only real whole foods and clean ingredients, following Mediterranean diet principles, incorporating as many vegetables and herbs as I can, and introducing people to unfamiliar flavors in familiar ways while doing so with love. Nothing makes me happier than when people feel nourished & love through food and I also get to tell them how incredible it is for their mind & body too – making it soul food!
I have an affinity for Indian spices and enjoy using them in traditional and fusion cuisine, you will find this soup influenced by a little bit of Indian cooking, a little bit Mexican (albondigas soup) and my mom’s vegetable soup. The seasoning called for here is a Green Tikka Masala blend by Burlap and Barrel (this is not an ad or promo, just what I used). It’s a great one for making a large batch of soup for the week or having dinner and inviting guests to choose their garnishes.
Green Tikka Masala Chicken Meatball Soup
Makes 5-6 bowls
Meatballs (will make about 26) Ingredients:
1 pound ground chicken
1 cup of basmati rice
1 T. Burlap & Barrel Floyd Cardoz “Green Tikka Masala” Seasoning
3 T. finely chopped cilantro
3 cloves garlic, crushed or finely minced
1 T. ginger, grated (alternative to use ginger paste)
2 limes, zested (save for juicing into the soup)
2 T. Finely chopped mint
1/2 tsp. sea salt (I use Diamond Crystal)
2 jalapeno, de-seeded and finely chopped or pureed into a paste with a splash of olive oil
Soup Base Ingredients:
2 T. Extra virgin olive oil
1 large white onion, medium diced
2 T. Burlap & Barrel Floyd Cardoz “Green Tikka Masala” Seasoning
3 medium green zucchini squash, medium diced
1 small butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded & cut into 1/2 inch dices (optional to use 2 cups frozen or pre-cut butternut)
3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
1 T. minced or crushed ginger
1.25 tsp. salt (I use Diamond Crystal)
1.5 quarts of chicken broth or stock
2 cups full fat coconut milk
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (juice from the two zested limes used in the meatballs)
1 medium bunch cilantro, cleaned
1/4 cup chicken broth or stock or water
2 pinches sea salt
Jalapeno, sliced thin
Green onions, thinly chopped end to end
Lime, cut into wedges
Fresh mint, chiffonade
Cilantro, finely chopped
In a medium mixing bowl add the ground chicken along with all other meatball ingredients. Mix well with clean or gloved hands and roll to form into about 1-inch size meatballs. Place prepared rolled meatballs in fridge while preparing the soup base.
Heat olive oil in a 5-quart (or similar) stock pot over medium heat. When oil glistens, add the onion and butternut squash and cook, stirring frequently until onions are translucent. Add the Green Tikka Masala seasoning, ginger, garlic, sea salt, and zucchini. Stir another minute more then add the chicken stock and coconut milk. Taste seasonings and adjust for additional salt or Green Tikka Masala if desired at this point. Bring to a boil, then carefully add the raw meatballs, lowering individually into the pot. When all meatballs are added, keep on a simmer, cover the pot and allow meatballs to simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
Cilantro Sauce & Garnish:
While meatballs simmer, make the cilantro sauce and prepare your garnishes. The cilantro sauce serves two purposes, fresh herbaceous flavor AND when you finish your soup, it will make the color of the soup beautiful and green)
Add all ingredients for the cilantro broth into a high powered blender and blend until liquid smooth, start on low speed and gradually increase. You will add this bright green liquid into the soup when it is finished to season and brighten the color.
The garnishes are for serving family style and are optional.