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Arabic Meatball Soup with Spinach and Lime |

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,