Our favorite mix for the meatballs is half beef and half lamb. Plus, the warming spices in these meatballs make this soup recipe perfect for sub-zero nights. Serve with crusty bread to sop up all the delicious broth.
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium leeks, white and pale green parts only, halved lengthwise, rinsed and thinly sliced
3 medium onions, coarsely chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
6 medium carrots, thinly sliced
4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
3 medium parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
1½ cups canned crushed tomatoes
1½ tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Meatballs & Garnish
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 scallion, finely chopped
2 small cloves garlic, minced
1 cup finely chopped fresh mint, divided
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ teaspoon ground pepper
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
¾ teaspoon ground cumin, divided
1¼ pounds lean ground beef and/or lamb
¾ cup whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs
1 large egg plus 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1½ cups whole-milk plain Greek yogurt
To prepare soup: Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add leeks, 3 onions and 5 garlic cloves; cook, stirring occasionally, until soft but not brown, about 10 minutes. Add carrots, celery, parsnips, 1½ teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Stir in potatoes. Increase heat to high and add tomatoes and thyme; cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, partially cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, to prepare meatballs: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, scallion and garlic; cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons mint, salt, pepper and ½ teaspoon each cinnamon and cumin; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Scrape into a large bowl and let cool slightly. Wash and dry the pan.
Add beef (and/or lamb), panko, eggs, 2 tablespoons mint and the remaining ¼ teaspoon each cinnamon and cumin to the onion mixture. Mix until well incorporated. Using a generous 1 tablespoon for each, form into 28 meatballs.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and add half the meatballs. Cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides but not cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to the soup. Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and meatballs. Simmer the soup until the meatballs are cooked through, about 15 minutes. Serve the soup topped with yogurt and the remaining ¾ cup mint.
To make ahead: Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
299 calories;14 g fat(4 g sat); 6 g fiber; 28 g carbohydrates; 17 g protein; 63 mcg folate; 43 mg cholesterol; 7 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 5,113 IU vitamin A; 17 mg vitamin C; 119 mg calcium; 4 mg iron; 487 mg sodium; 814 mg potassium
Vitamin A (102% daily value), Vitamin C (28% dv), Iron (22% dv)
The taste was so bland that I added double the amount of stated spices and it still wasn't anything to rave about. It took a LONG time to prep everything for this soup so I was doubly disappointed that it didn't have that scrumptious Mediterranean flavor.