Meatball-Barley Soup

Homemade meatballs flavored with garlic and rosemary take center stage in this simple 1-hour soup recipe. Great Northern beans and barley add a healthy dose of protein and fiber to this hearty and filling dish.

Prep Time:
25 mins
Additional Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
1 hr
9 cups


  • ¾ cup soft whole-wheat bread crumbs

  • ¼ cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed, or 1 egg, lightly beaten

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced, divided

  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, or 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary, divided

  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper

  • 1 pound 90% or higher lean ground beef

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped

  • 2 medium yellow and/or red bell peppers, seeded and cut into bite-size strips

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 2 cups less-sodium beef stock

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 (15 ounce) can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained

  • ½ cup quick-cooking barley

  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach leaves


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine bread crumbs, egg, half of the garlic, half of the rosemary, and the ground pepper in a large bowl. Add ground beef; mix well. Shape the meat mixture into 1 1/2-inch meatballs. Place the meatballs in a foil-lined 15x10-inch baking pan. Bake about 15 minutes or until done in centers (160 degrees F). Set aside.

  2. Heat oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add carrot, bell pepper, onion, and the remaining garlic; cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beef stock, the water, Great Northern beans, barley, and the remaining rosemary. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes or until the barley is tender.

  3. Add the meatballs to the barley mixture; heat through. Stir in spinach just before serving.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

301 Calories
10g Fat
31g Carbs
25g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Serving Size 1 1/2 cups
Calories 301
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 31g 11%
Dietary Fiber 7g 25%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 25g 50%
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 49mg 16%
Sodium 400mg 17%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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