This flavorful meatball soup recipe is one of my all-time favorites! Made with Midddle Eastern-spiced “kofta”, or meatballs, the warming broth is infused with turmeric, onion, garlic. The meatballs, surprisingly tender, are seasoned with mint and garlic.
For a burst of nutrients and color, fresh chopped spinach is added to the pot a few minutes before serving and the whole thing is garnished with lime and cilantro. The meatballs are traditionally made with ground lamb or a combo of beef and lamb, but for a lighter meal, fee free to use ground turkey or chicken. This soulful gluten-free soup, is seriously, the best, and I hope you give it a try!
While the meat is resting in the fridge, make the broth.
Saute onion and garlic until tender, add ground turmeric. Then add the chicken stock.
Bring to a boil, and let simmer on med low, uncovered for 10 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.
Bring the stock to a boil and drop the little meatballs raw, right into the pot and give a very gentle stir, letting them simmer on medium or medium low, for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While the meatballs are cooking, chop 2-3 cups fresh spinach ( or arugula or kale).
Chop cilantro and scallions for the garnish.
Serve and scatter a cilantro and scallions over top.
A delicious Middle Eastern-inspired Meatball Soup with Turmeric, Spinach and Lime. Easy, low carb and full of amazing flavor!
Meatballs (makes 20- 24)
- 1 lb ground beef, lamb, chicken or a combination ( lamb is traditional)
- 1 small onion- diced
- 4 garlic cloves- minced
- ⅓ cup fresh mint leaves or 2 tsp dried
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ teaspoon cracked pepper
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Mix the meat. In a food processor add the garlic, onion and mint, and pulse until finely ground. Add ground meat, spices, salt and olive oil and process, scraping down sides several times, until all fully incorporated into a paste like consistancy. Alternately, mix all the the ingredients in a bowl using your hand, kneading, until it is paste like, for several minutes. Place in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.
- Make the Broth. In a large heavy bottom pot, sauté onion in olive oil over medium heat, stirring until tender and translucent, about 5-6 minutes. Turn heat to medium low, add garlic and sauté 2-3 minutes. Add turmeric and pepper , sauté 2 more minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Salt to taste.
- Prep spinach, cilantro and scallions.
- Using wet hands, form, small, walnut-sized meatballs ( 1 inch in diameter) and set aside on a platter. You should end up with 20 to 24 small meatballs.
- Bring broth back to a vigorous boil and gently drop the raw meatballs into the pot, a few at a time, until all are in there -stirring gently with a wooden spoon. Turn heat down so soup is simmering gently ( medium or medium low heat). Simmer for 12 minutes, stirring once or twice, and skimming any impurities that rise to the surface. Meatballs will start to rise when done. After 12 minutes, add the spinach and cook for 1-2 minutes ( a little longer for kale). Add ½ of the scallions and ½ the cilantro and squeeze the lime.
- Taste for salt and acid. You really want to be able to taste the lime juice a little bit, so depending on the size of your lime and juiciness, you may need to add more. ( If, at this point the broth tastes “bland” to you, my guess is– it may need more salt – especially if you used a low sodium broth. Salt really brings out the other flavors. )
- Serve in bowls and garnish with fresh cilantro and scallions. Enjoy!!
It may seem strange to drop the raw meatballs directly into the broth, but this is the traditional way it is done. They turn out deliciously tender. Give it a try!
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