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Corn and Turkey Meatball Lentil Soup with Whole-Wheat Pita Chips

“When my mom immigrated to the U.S. from Venezuela with her parents, they had little money and making healthy meals for not too much money was hard. So my mom told me that they always ate beans—black beans and lentils were her favorites. And that is why I want to show you how to make our own special lentil soup—it is one of my favorite ones to make with my mom and it has a special meaning to me as well. It reminds me (and my mom) of all we, as a family, have accomplished in the U.S. and it tastes yummy too!" - Ana Bernazzani, Age 8, New Hampshire

Makes 6 Servings 


For the Meatballs:

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 slices whole-wheat bread
  • ¾ pound lean ground turkey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves

For the Lentil Soup Base:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 ½ cups sweet kernel corn
  • 1 ½ cups carrots, peeled and diced into ¼-inch pieces
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 2 ½ cups tomatoes, diced
  • 1 ½ cups lentils, rinsed
  • 11 cups fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese for topping
  • Whole-wheat pita chips


  1. To make the Meatballs: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. In a food processor, make breadcrumbs from the bread. In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs with the turkey, eggs, and basil and mix thoroughly. Roll into 1-inch meatballs and place on a baking sheet. Bake, turning the meatballs every 3-5 minutes to prevent them overly browning, for about 25 minutes.
  2. To make the Lentil Soup Base: In a large sauté pan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, corn, carrots, celery, and tomatoes and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and the tomatoes are reduced.
  3. Add the lentils and stir, then add the chicken broth, chili powder and cumin. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Stir one more time, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 45 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Stir in the turkey meatballs, being careful not to break them when you stir. For the best-tasting soup and a little more thickness, let it simmer all together for an additional hour. Serve hot with mozzarella on top. Enjoy with a side of pita chips for dipping!

621 calories; 22g fat; 71g carbohydrates; 42g protein

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