Hidden Veggie Meatball Soup

5 from 8 votes

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This Hidden Veggie Meatball Soup is what comforting soup ☁️ dreams are made of. Not only are the veggies blended into the broth, making the soup creamy and nutritious, but also the meatballs add protein and make this a complete meal.

Why You’ll Love Hidden Veggie Meatball Soup

You’re going to love this Hidden Veggie Meatball Soup because it checks all the 📦 boxes! Picky eater approved because you can’t tell there are 🥕 vegetables? Absolutely! Packed with protein and nutrients? You bet! Easy to prepare? Any night of the week!

Look no further for a soup that you will want to have on your repeat list. You likely even have all the ingredients you need for it on hand! This versatile soup is great to take on the go in a thermos as well.

How to Prepare Hidden Veggie Meatball Soup

💦 In a large pot, combine water, vegetable broth, shallots, celery, carrot, garlic, and bell pepper.

🔥 Bring to a boil, add salt, then reduce heat to simmer for 25-30 minutes until veggies are soft. Adjust salt to taste.

🧅 In a bowl, mix ground meat, egg, onion, breadcrumbs, salt, paprika, and oregano. Form small meatballs and set aside.

🥕 Remove whole veggies from the broth, and in a blender, blend with 2 ladles of broth until smooth. Return the mixture to the pot.

♨️ Bring the soup to a boil, add meatballs, and stir gently.

🍚 Next, add the rice, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 15 minutes.

🧂 Taste the soup and add salt if needed. If the rice absorbs too much broth, add water to thin the soup.

🌿 Then remove from heat, garnish with fresh parsley, squeeze lemon into each bowl, and enjoy!

Nonna’s Tip

Hot soup (or any hot liquid, for that matter) will steam and expand in a blender, which can push the lid of the blender off and cause a mess and burn hazard. When pureeing hot soup, do it in batches. Fill the blender 1/3 to 1/2 full, remove or loosen the center cap from the lid of the blender. Cover the lid with a folded dishcloth and hold it down while blending.

Hidden Veggie Meatball Soup

Variations and Substitutions for Hidden Veggie Meatball Soup

Remember to adjust quantities and cooking times, based on the substitutions you make. Feel free to get creative and make the recipe to suit your taste preferences and dietary choices!

  1. Add other vegetables such as spinach, 🥬 kale, or peas for extra nutrition.
  2. For gluten-free meatballs, substitute the regular 🍞 breadcrumbs with gluten-free breadcrumbs or crushed gluten-free crackers.
  3. Use any type of ground meat you like, such as 🦃 turkey, chicken, beef or pork.
  4. For a vegetarian or vegan version of this Hidden Veggie Meatball Soup, replace the ground meat with plant-based alternatives like tofu, tempeh, or textured vegetable protein.
  5. Any type of broth will work in this soup, such as chicken, beef, or vegetable. You could also use homemade Vegetable Stock Cubes and make your own broth!

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Common Questions

What type of broth do you use?

I love any broths by Kettle and Fire, so click HERE and use my code THEMODERNNONNA for 20% off!

Can I use other types of broth?

Absolutely, you can use unsalted veggie broth, chicken broth, beef broth, or make your own at home. Or feel free to use homemade Vegetable Stock Cubes and make your own broth for this Hidden Veggie Meatball Soup!

Do I have to use broth?

Feel free to use ONLY water if you don’t want to add stock into the pot in the beginning. I have made this soup without stock many times and it’s just as delicious because boiling the veggies imparts great flavor.

What type of salt do you use?

I use Redmond Real Salt, please note that depending on the salt you use, your dish may be less or more salty. Salt is to taste so please always taste and adjust as you cook.

How can I make sure my meat is fully cooked?

If you don’t feel confident, you can most definitely use a meat thermometer.

What type of onion should I use?

I usually use a whole peeled yellow onion but I didn’t have any on hand so I used a few shallots instead. Feel free to use any onion (sweet, white, yellow) except red in this recipe.

What if I’d like to use Pasta or another grain or Noodle?

If you want to use pastina, orzo, or noodles, that’s great! You can use any small noodles you love in this Hidden Veggie Meatball Soup. Just be sure to add the noodles after you have added the blended veggies back into the soup.

How can I pack this recipe for my kid’s lunch?

Add boiling hot water into a thermos and close it so that it pre-heats. In the meantime, warm up the soup on the stove. Dump the hot water out of the thermos and add the soup. Leave some room at the top so that it doesn’t create a vacuum seal for them as the thermos will be harder to open.

Can I freeze this soup?

Yes, you can, simply let it cool completely and transfer it into a freezer-safe container and put it in the freezer.

How do I prepare this soup from frozen?

When you’re ready to enjoy your leftover Hidden Veggie Meatball Soup, simply thaw it in the refrigerator overnight if frozen. To reheat, use a microwave, stovetop, or an oven. Make sure to heat it thoroughly until it’s steaming hot. You may need to add a bit of water or broth to adjust the consistency.

Hidden Veggie Meatball Soup

This recipe is a modern version of my most beloved Bulgarian meatball soup that I grew up eating since I was a mini modern baby.
5 from 8 votes
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Bulgarian
Servings: 4
Author: The Modern Nonna
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes


The Broth

  • 6 cups water
  • 4 cups vegetable broth , unsalted or low-sodium
  • 3 shallots, peeled
  • 2 celery ribs
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ½ red bell pepper, small (optional)
  • salt


  • 450 grams ground turkey, (1 pound) pork, turkey, beef, or chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 1 onion, finely diced or grated
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano

Additional Ingredients

  • cups rice, rinsed, you can use pastina, orzo, small noodles
  • 1 handful parsley, finely chopped
  • lemon, for serving


  • Add the water and vegetable broth to a large pot. Add the shallots, celery, carrot, garlic, and bell pepper (if using) and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add 1/2 tablespoon salt.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and partially cover the pot with a lid. Let the broth simmer for 25 to 30 minutes or until all the veggies are super soft. Taste the broth for salt and adjust as needed.
  • In the meantime, combine the ground meat, egg, onion, breadcrumbs, salt, paprika, and oregano in a bowl. Using a large spoon or clean hands, combine the mixture really well. Using a mini ice cream scoop or a spoon, form the mixture into small meatballs. It helps to oil your hands (or wet them) to form smooth meatballs and prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands. Transfer the meatballs to a plate.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer the whole veggies from the broth and into a blender (see safety reminder below). Add 2 ladles of broth to the blender and blend until nice and smooth. Return the blended mixture to the broth in the pot.
  • Bring the soup to a boil and slowly add in the mini meatballs as you gently stir the soup. Add the rice and reduce the heat to medium, allowing the meatballs and rice to cook for about 15 minutes.
  • Once the rice and meatballs have cooked (taste the rice for doneness), taste for salt and adjust accordingly. If the rice has absorbed too much broth, add a little bit of water to thin out the soup. Remove the soup from the heat and garnish with fresh parsley. Squeeze some lemon into each bowl and enjoy!


  • Hot soup (or any hot liquid, for that matter) will steam and expand in a stand blender, which can push the lid of the blender off and cause a mess and burn hazard. When pureeing hot soup, do it in batches. Fill the blender 1/3 to 1/2 full, remove or loosen the center cap from the lid of the blender. Cover the lid with a folded dishcloth and hold it down while blending.



Calories: 334kcal, Carbohydrates: 42g, Protein: 32g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.03g, Cholesterol: 103mg, Sodium: 1681mg, Potassium: 616mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 3951IU, Vitamin C: 26mg, Calcium: 76mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Bulgarian
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Hi! I'm Sneji. Nice to meet you!

I am more commonly known as “The Modern Nonna” on social media where I create easy home cooked meals with a modern twist. I was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria and learned how to cook at the best culinary school in the world – my grandma’s kitchen. I lived in Greece on the Island of Crete with my parents for a while and then moved to Toronto, Canada when I was in grade 5. I started to really cook and experiment with food 11 years ago when I was 21 years old. Everything I currently know is a reflection of some part of my life…

Keep up to date with me on social media! Follow @themodernnonna

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  1. 5 stars
    I love this so much! I made it last year for the first time and it’s recently seen me through cancer surgery (was about the only thing I ate for the week after) and is now seeing me through treatment. My family also loves it. I still make my Jewish matzo ball soup – but this fast and easy soup has healing properties and feeds the body and soul.

    1. Hi Randi, oh my god thank you so much for this review and I hope that everything went well on your end. Sending you so much positive energy your way!

  2. 5 stars
    I just made this; soup-er easy and delicious!! (Sorry; had to go for the pun.) I did not change 1 thing other than doubling the recipe. I didn’t need to add anything extra.. so gosh darn good! Seriously satisfying. I couldn’t even get to the parsley for garnish before I ate the entire bowl! You are magic, Sneji!

  3. 5 stars
    I made this for the family and it was a huge hit! I definitely recommend serving with the lemon wedge, it really elevated the flavors in the soup. This soup will definitely be added into my rotation.

    1. 5 stars
      Made this soup and shared with both my daughters and family. It was loved all round! I am making all these hidden veggie soups, onto Chicken Noodle today. Such an easy, delicious soup to make!