Winter Vegetable Soup with Turkish Meatballs

Winter Vegetable Soup with Turkish Meatballs

3 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, Soup Cookbook

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.

Ingredients 14 servings

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Original recipe yields 14 servings
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  • Soup
  • 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


  • Prep

  • Ready In

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1½ cups
  • Per serving: 296 calories; 14 g fat(4 g sat); 5 g fiber; 27 g carbohydrates; 17 g protein; 57 mcg folate; 43 mg cholesterol; 7 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 4,913 IU vitamin A; 16 mg vitamin C; 106 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 485 mg sodium; 791 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (98% daily value), Vitamin C (27% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 2
  • Exchanges: 2½ vegetable, 2 fat, 1 lean protein, ½ starch

Reviews 3

November 19, 2018
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By: Jen
I found this soup to be well worth the time it takes to prep, which isn’t really that long. The great thing about any soup base, is you can add spices, herbs, etc to enhance flavor as you like. Be creative! We have become so used to oversalted foods that we forget to just taste the vegetables! As for the reader who thought this was a recioe for canned soup - that is just the pop up ad that comes up for on sale items. You can turn off that function by pressing the sliding “on sale” button and they all disappear. Happy healthy eating :)
November 18, 2018
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I made this as written and must agree somewhat with the other reviews. May I offer a few tips? Use Greek olive oil it does make a difference! Where is the oregano and lemon? Adding a little Aleppo chili flakes adds a sweet heat that will perk up the cinnamon. If you have time, make homemade stock! Just save bones and veggie scraps. For the meatballs I used a dense dark bread, huge difference! Use the Panko to bread slices of eggplant to place on top, sprinkle with Feta. Serve the yogurt extra lemon and chili flakes on the side!! Enjoy!! Happy Holidaze!!raf
January 29, 2018
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By: Wendy McQuiston
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.
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