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Turkey Meatball Soup

November 4, 2010

This is a basic broth-based soup that can work with a wide range of vegetables.  Turkey meatballs are a great way to add flavor and variety from your typical chicken soups of winter.

Hot Soup!


  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 leek, chopped and rinsed
  • 5-6 small carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small head broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 6 cups chicken stock or water, or a mixture of the two
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. adobo seasonings
  • 1 tbsp. pepper
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh sage (cut in half if using dried)
  • 3 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano (cut in half if using dried)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/3 lb. ground turkey (I used 93/7 lean)
  • olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 package greens or several handfuls of chopped greens such as spinach or beet greens
  • Salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste

1. Melt butter in a large soup pot.  Add leek, saute over medium heat.  Add carrots and sweet potato, then cover with broth and bring to a boil.  Add broccoli, beans and barley, reduce to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes.  Add more water if necessary to keep everything covered.

Seasoned breadcrumbs from scratch

2. Mix breadcrumbs through oregano together.  I keep bread in the freezer to make breadcrumbs as I need them in the food processor.  This is especially easy if you have a small food processor attachment for your stick blender.  Add turkey and eggs to breadcrumb mixture and stir until just combined.

Make sure your pan is hot before you add the meatballs

3. Heat a large heavy pan with olive oil over medium-high heat.  Spoon meatballs onto the pan, about 1 heaping tablespoon per meatball.  Do not roll or compress to shape- this will give you a tougher meatball.  Brown on all sides, but don’t worry about cooking all of the way through- they will finish cooking  in the soup. You may need to add more olive oil as you cook to keep the pan coated.  Do not crowd the pan; you may need to cook in two batches, setting aside the first while you finish the second.

Browned meatballs

4. When the barley is mostly cooked, bring the soup back to a light boil and add the meatballs.  Simmer until barley is finished and meatballs are cooked through.  Add greens to wilt if you prefer.  Add 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with parmesean cheese and hot sauce.

Yield: One giant soup pot, or about 8 servings

One Comment leave one →
  1. willie permalink
    November 5, 2010 6:15 pm

    That looks good!

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