- 2 slices stale white sandwich bread, crusts removed
- 3/4 pound ground turkey
- 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano, plus extra for serving
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 rib celery, diced
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 head escarole (about 1 pound), coarsely chopped
- 8 cups chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
- 1/2 cup chopped canned plum tomatoes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the meatballs: Grate bread on a box grater or pulse into crumbs in a food processor. Place in a large bowl with 1/3 cup cold water. Let sit until water is absorbed. Mix in ground turkey, 1/4 cup Pecorino, parsley, egg, garlic and 1 teaspoon salt and mix. Season with pepper. Gently form into 3/4 to 1-inch meatballs, using lightly floured hands. Place on a baking sheet, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the meatballs and brown turning occasionally. Transfer to a platter.
For the soup: Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a pot. Add the onion, celery and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme and red pepper and cook 3 minutes.
Stir in the escarole and cook until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and tomatoes; bring to a gentle simmer. Return the meatballs to pot, cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into warm bowls. Drizzle some olive oil and pecorino cheese over each serving.
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