- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 bunches cilantro, leaves only
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound ground turkey or chicken, preferably dark meat
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 2/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 large leek, trimmed, washed and thinly julienned
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 1/4 head white cabbage, cored, and thinly sliced
- 1 to 2 jalapeno chiles, stemmed, seeded and thinly julienned
- 3 medium Roma tomatoes, cored, seeded and diced
- 2 1/2 quarts chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons white vinegar
In a large bowl, mix together the turkey or chicken, egg and cilantro paste. Add the bread crumbs and mix only until combined. Roll into small walnut-sized meatballs in the palms of your hands and place on a tray in the refrigerator.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a large stockpot over high heat. Saute the leeks and carrots with the remaining 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper for 2 to 4 minutes. Add the cabbage, jalapenos and tomatoes and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are limp, about 3 minutes longer. Pour in the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until nearly smoking. Add the chilled meatballs in batches, shaking the pan to prevent sticking, and brown on all sides. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
When all the meatballs are browned, transfer to the simmering stock and cook an additional 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and serve hot.
For a heartier dish, add a handful or two of rice or small-shaped pasta along with the stock