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


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

Keywords: meatball soup, meatball soups, meatball soup recipe, arabic meatball soup, middle eastern meatball soup, meatball soup recipes, lamb soup, turmeric soup,



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  1. Yet another winner! How do you come up with so many recipe home runs?? This was delicious. I was afraid it would be “too” brothy but I was dead wrong. The flavors are over the top, led by the lime. I used our homegrown ground turkey (yes, we raise our own poultry) and drained it on paper towels for 30 minutes to avoid soggy meatballs. The meatballs were tender and tasty, and the lower fat ground turkey avoided the fatty broth that would have resulted from our ground lamb (yes, we raise sheep also!). A keeper!

  2. I had something that appeared very simliiar some years ago with chicken meatballs and I’ve been craving it lately. Thankful for Google, because I was searching, “meatballs and mint” (the mint made it memorable) and I was rewarded with this recipe. Made it ‘almost’ exact per recipe, though I had to sub curry for tumeric. In light of the ratios, I figured it was mostly for coloring anyway. It was lovely and as good as I remembered. I used ground chicken (did not add any binding) and it was so light and beautifully aromatic. I served it with just a bit of jasmine rice for the one who needs a more substantive meal. 🙂 So different. So good. So memorable. Its the kind of meal you crave… Thanks so much, super pleased to find you!

      1. Sylvia – I wanted to circle back and let you know that much to my delight, Impossible Sausage works like a champ too. I have used both the spicy and regular….(totally prefer the regular) and because I was super pressed for time, I coarsley chopped the mint (like the other greens) and just tossed them in the broth for the 10 minutes before adding the “Meatballs”. And because I like a little heat, I’ve also experimented with a pinch or two of red pepper flakes. A-MA-ZING. I’m totally hooked.

        (PNW) Suse!

        1. Awesome- and glad you are making this your own! The soup base is so tasty you ready could add anything I think!

  3. One of our favorite soups, this is delicious. It is also an amazingly nourishing and warming postpartum meal that I make for all the new mamas after having a baby and is always a hit.

  4. Wow. The soup is very flavorful and delectable with simple ingredients. I used half of lemon instead of lime and ground chicken. This will be my staple recipe. Thanks!

  5. This soup is DELICIOUS! Thank you! But for the meatballs, I opted for ground chicken (lamb and beef would release a lot of fat if they’re dropped raw into the broth). Since I could not make the ground chicken mixture as in the recipe bind enough to form meatballs, I added an egg and some breadcrumbs, until it felt like the mixture would hold. Which it did! Amazing flavour, and I’ll definitely make it again!

  6. I came across this recipe yesterday in search of something new to do with my ground lamb. I followed the recipe to the letter (except for just a teeny bit more garlic ;)). I am pleasantly surprised at how wonderful it turned out! This will definitely be added to my regular rotation of soups. Thank you!

  7. Go easy on the lime juice. Start with one squeeze, stir well, then taste the broth and add in small amounts to brighten the flavor. Too much lime can make the soup sour. Otherwise this is a really nice soup.

    If you plan to have it for several meals, pour off the portions of soup and dip out enough meatballs for later, before adding the greens to cook. This dish looks and tastes best when the cooked greens are bright green and just tender.

    A recipe worth keeping in regular rotation.

  8. I love cooking and very seldom make something I
    Refuse to eat. The meatballs fell apart in the soup and the taste was over deplorable. Not sure where the 5 star rating came from? Yuk! Sorry, I do not mean to hurt anyone’s feelings but just was not good.

    1. Hummm… that sounds awful. Sorry about that. What type of ground meat did you use for this? Just curious as this has never happened to me.

  9. This is a great recipe…we used homemade lamb stock with left over lamb shanks, added fresh diced fennel with the onions. Made 45 balls from 1 pound of ground lamb, added another pound of balls to the leftovers and broccoli stem medallions (need my veggies)…otherwise followed recipe. Love the use of tumaric. Cilantro, scallion and lime combo…yummy. We’ll make it again.

  10. A great recipe! I substituted chicken stock with beef broth since my mom doesn’t eat any chicken products. I also didn’t add cilantro since my family is not a huge fan, and even then it was delicious!

  11. I don’t usually leave reviews, but I made this for dinner tonight and it was fantastic! I used a bit less broth because I didn’t want a ton of leftovers (regretting that now!) but other than that followed the recipe exactly. Served it with fresh naan bread on the side and it was a big hit. Will definitely be making again.

  12. This is wonderful EVERY time I make it! I use ground chicken and chicken broth for ease and sometimes add in wild rice after. So good, so refreshing and easy to make. I usually try to batch make but it hardly lasts :p Thanks Sylvia!

  13. Amazing! I pan seared the lamb meatballs before dropping them in the stock. Otherwise, everything was spot on.

    1. Glad you enjoyed! Next time, just try dropping them in broth- I know it seems really strange ( to drop them in raw) but it is actually really good too!

  14. This will become a regular on our family menu! Absolutely loved this when I made it and can’t wait to make it again. Definitely a good one for cold and flu season as well as a more spring summer light dish

  15. The soup looks amazing! Can you freeze it? Want to make this for our Sabbath dinner and don’t want to rush the last minute. Thanks.

    1. That is a good question. I’m sure you can, but have not tried. You may loose the lovely green color though?

      1. Thank for for this great recipe Sylvia,
        Made this a short while ago. Turned out absoultely delicious!! Used ground lamb. We are Turkish and I usually make grilled kofte kebabs with ground lamb so I am used to the wonderful flavor. You are right about the salt and the lime taste. Added extra lime and salt but used the concentrated lime in those lime shaped bottles. My sons are going to love this. I may add fresh parsley in addition to the cilantro next time. What do you think?

  16. I picked up chicken broth, but just reread the recipe and realized you have chicken stock listed, Will it make much difference?

  17. Thank you very much for this recipe! I just made this for dinner and it was a great success with my housemates, everyone went back for seconds!

  18. I have been longing and Instagram-stalking for soup w/ meat balls for weeks now – and this one drives me over the edge. It looks so delicious and fresh yet cozy. Done. I’m making a version for the blog these days. Thanks for the inspiration!

  19. Oh this looks incredible! I have some kofte spice I purchased in Turkey this summer and I can’t wait to try this recipe with it!

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