A delicious Middle Eastern-inspired Meatball Soup with turmeric, spinach and Lime. Easy, low- carb and full of amazing flavor! Use ground lamb, ground beef, ground chicken or ground turkey!  Love turmeric? Check out these 10 Amazing Turmeric Recipes (Plus Top 10 Health Benefits)

Meatball Soup with Turmeric, Spinach and Lime - inspired by flavors form the Middle East. This Easy, low- carb is healthy, light and full of amazing flavor! #paleo #keto #meatballsoup #broth #brothbasedsoup #meatballsouprecipe #lowcarbsoup #middleeastern

This flavorful Meatball Soup recipe is one of my all-time favorites! Made with Middle 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.

Best Meat for Meatball soup

The meatballs are traditionally made with ground lamb or a combo of beef and lamb, but for a lighter meal, feel free to use ground turkey or chicken.

Middle Eastern Meatball Soup with Cilantro and Lime - with the most delicious broth! Make with turkey, lamb, beef or chicken. | www.feastingathome.com
Kofta, sometimes called Köfte,  Kufta or even Koofteh- is popular throughout the Middle East– in countries like Lebanon, Egypt, Iran, Turkey, and Morocco, all with their own unique variation, depending on the region.
It’s usually prepared by mixing or pounding ground meat (beef and /or lamb) with onion, garlic, herbs and spices, and forming into balls or longer tube shapes, and threaded onto kabobs and then grilled.
But sometimes, these flavorful little meatballs are plopped right into the soup, raw.

How to make Meat Ball Soup

The secret to getting the meatballs so utterly tender is kneading the meat until it almost becomes a paste.
I actually place the meatball mixture into my food processor. You can also ask your butcher to “double grind” your meat.
After mixing the ground beef or lamb, with the spices and mint, refrigerate the mix for 15-20 minutes to let it firm up a bit, and then with wet hands, form into tiny tiny meatballs, the size of a walnut.

While the ground meat mixture is resting in the fridge, make the flavorful 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 simmering, chop 2-3 cups fresh spinach (or arugula or watercress).
Chop cilantro and scallions for the garnish.

Once the meatballs have simmered 12 minutes, they will begin to float. Add the chopped spinach, and simmer 2 more minutes. Then add ½ the cilantro and scallions. Squeeze the juice from a small lime, and adjust salt.
Meatball Soup with Turmeric, Spinach and Lime - inspired by flavors form the Middle East. This Easy, low- carb is healthy, light and full of amazing flavor! #paleo #keto #meatballsoup #broth #brothbasedsoup #meatballsouprecipe #lowcarbsoup #middleeastern
Meatball Soup with Turmeric, Spinach and Lime - inspired by flavors form the Middle East. This Easy, low- carb is healthy, light and full of amazing flavor! #paleo #keto #meatballsoup #broth #brothbasedsoup #meatballsouprecipe #lowcarbsoup #middleeastern

Serve and scatter cilantro and scallions over the top.

Meatball Soup with Turmeric, Spinach and Lime - inspired by flavors form the Middle East. This Easy, low- carb is healthy, light and full of amazing flavor! #paleo #keto #meatballsoup #broth #brothbasedsoup #meatballsouprecipe #lowcarbsoup #middleeastern
In the end, you’ll have a soul-warming bowl of Meatball Soup, low in carbs, high in protein and nutrients, and completely gluten-free.
It takes about 45 minutes to make, including the refrigeration time. To save time, you could mix the ground meat ahead, and let it rest overnight in the fridge, whipping up the soup in about 20 minutes, the next day.
Meatball Soup with Turmeric, Spinach and Lime - inspired by flavors form the Middle East. This Easy, low- carb is healthy, light and full of amazing flavor! #paleo #keto #meatballsoup #broth #brothbasedsoup #meatballsouprecipe #lowcarbsoup #middleeastern
I hope you love this Meatball Soup as much as I do. Please let us know in the comments below!
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Arabic Meatball Soup with Spinach and Lime | www.feastingathome.com

Arabic Meatball Soup

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 19 reviews


A delicious Middle Eastern-inspired Meatball Soup with Turmeric, Spinach and Lime. Easy, low carb and full of amazing flavor!


Units Scale

Meatballs (makes 20- 24)

  • 1 lb ground beef, lamb, chicken or a combination ( lamb is traditional)
  • 1 small onion- diced
  • 4 garlic cloves- minced
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves or 2 tsp dried
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cracked pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil


  • 10 cups flavorful Chicken Stock
  • 1 onion- finely diced
  • 12 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 lime
  • 23 cups finely shredded spinach ( or arugula )
  • 1/2 cups chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cups chopped scallions
  • Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Prep spinach, cilantro and scallions.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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. )
  7. 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!


  • Serving Size: Made with ground lamb
  • Calories: 291
  • Sugar: 2.8 g
  • Sodium: 60 mg
  • Fat: 22.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 8.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 9.5 g
  • Fiber: 2.2 g
  • Protein: 14.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 55.3 mg



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  1. I have made this ritually all year…one of my favorite flavorful light soups…mint, turmeric, cilantro and scallions is a no brainer for amazing taste

  2. I don’t need to try this recipe to know that it is a winner. One, it doesn’t contain the ubiquitous egg that is in virtually all recipes with meat balls. And two, the cilantro is not actually cooked. If you cook cilantro, it just disappears. When I look at a recipe calling for cilantro, the first thing I look for is to see whether it is cooked. I’ve read that sopa de albodigas, a very popular Mexican recipe is actually originally from the Spanish muslims. They brought it to Mexico when they invaded Mexico.

  3. Has anyone tried pressure canning these meatballs in a little broth, and adding the fresh ingredients and more broth when opening the jar? Canning recipes typically call for browning meatballs before canning. We love this recipe and have made it with lamb or muscovy duck, and lower-oxalate arugula instead of spinach.

    1. Hi Jodi- which meatballs? The Indian lentil meatballs? I fear they would fall apart if dropped in a broth. I suppose you could sear the meatballs and place them in the bowl and pour the broth over top, but not really sure how they would hold up. Let me know if you try it!

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