Meatball Soup Recipe

4.60 from 15 votes

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This Meatball Soup Recipe is my childhood in a 🍲 bowl. This is what we call Bulgarian “supa topcheta.” It is absolutely one of my favorite soups in the world. This recipe is hearty, nutritious, and comforting. It does take some TLC to roll out the meatballs nice and small, but I promise it is absolutely worth it. I have been enjoying this soup for more than 30 years of my life as it’s been in my family for generations. I hope you love it just as much, please leave me a ⌨️ comment and let me know how it was. 

Why You’ll Love This Meatball Soup Recipe

This Meatball Soup Recipe is warm, comforting and so satisfying on a cold day. It uses simple, humble ingredients that are filling, nutritious and delicious. It will take a bit of time to 🌀 roll out all the meatballs, but the results are so worth it. The meatballs are bite-sized and so tender and juicy, the perfect pairing for the hearty 🥕 veggies.

How To Prepare This Meatball Soup Recipe

🔪 Using a sharp knife, finely dice the onion, carrot, celery and cube a potato.

🥚 To a large bowl, add 1/2 an onion (diced), 400g of ground meat, an egg, salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika.

🤲 Mix everything together really well with clean hands until a thick and sticky mixture forms.

🌀 Form tiny meatballs and set aside (this recipe will make about 40 in total).

🥕 In a big pot on the stove over medium-high heat sauté the onions, celery, and carrots. Add the potatoes and stir.

🍅 Now, add the tomato paste and sauce and stir.

🍚 Stir in the spices and rice and then add the water.

🫧 Let it come to a full boil and then slowly drop in the mini meatballs.

⏲️ Reduce the heat to medium, partially cover the pot and let it go for 20-25 minutes until everything is cooked.

🌿 Adjust for salt, add in freshly chopped parsley and enjoy.

Nonna’s Tip 🧑‍🍳

You can use pork, beef, or turkey for the ground meat. Feel free to mix different types of meat as well.

Meatball Soup

Variations and Substitutions for Meatball Soup

  1. Feel free to use any ground meat you personally like in this Meatball Soup recipe, we traditionally use ground pork.
  2. We traditionally take this soup a step further and temper it with a beaten 🥚 egg but I left it out here. If you know how to temper, you are more than welcome to do so.
  3. Instead of water, you can add even more flavor by using a good quality, unsalted chicken or veggie stock instead.
  4. You can make this Meatball Soup recipe vegetarian by omitting the meatballs and adding 🫘 beans or lentils for protein instead.

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Common Questions

what kind of ground meat can I use in this recipe?

You can use pork, beef, or turkey in this meatball soup recipe. Feel free to mix different types of meat as well.

can I make this Meatball soup recipe vegetarian?

Make this recipe vegetarian by omitting the meatballs and adding beans or lentils for protein instead.

what type of tomato sauce do you use?

I use our traditional, homemade Italian tomato sauce, but you can use whatever canned or jarred version you enjoy. I suggest choosing one with minimal ingredients for the best quality.

Can I freeze this meatball soup recipe?

This soup freezes like a dream. Allow it to cool completely before transferring it to airtight containers or freezer bags, and then it can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

Meatball Soup

Meatball Soup Recipe

This is my childhood in a bowl. This is Bulgarian “supa topcheta” as we call it. It’s one of my favorite soups in the world. Hearty, delicious and packed with nutrients and flavor.
4.60 from 15 votes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Bulgarian
Servings: 4
Author: The Modern Nonna
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients 

Meatballs

  • 400 grams ground meat, pork, beef or turkey
  • 1 medium egg
  • ½ onion, finely diced
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, to taste

Soup

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil, or any oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 celery rib, finely diced
  • 1 medium potato, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ¼ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon dry oregano
  • cup rice, I used jasmine but any will work
  • 3 litres water, (or unsalted vegetable stock) 10-11 cups approximately
  • finely chopped parsley

Instructions 

  • In a bowl, add all of the ingredients for the meatballs and mix well with clean hands until a thick and sticky mixture forms. Form tiny meatballs — we made a total of 40. Set them aside.
  • In a big pot on the stove on medium-high heat sauté your onions, celery, and carrots. Add the potatoes and stir.
  • Add the tomato paste and sauce and stir between each ingredient.
  • Stir in your spices and rice and add the water. Let it come to a full boil and slowly add your mini meatballs.
  • Reduce the heat to medium, partially cover the pot and let it go for 20-25 minutes until everything is cooked. Adjust for salt and add in freshly chopped parsley. Enjoy.

Nutrition

Calories: 462kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 22g, Fat: 28g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 14g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 112mg, Sodium: 1.986mg, Potassium: 741mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 2.762IU, Vitamin C: 16mg, Calcium: 97mg, Iron: 4mg

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

Additional Info

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

4.60 from 15 votes (14 ratings without comment)

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Excellent recipe! Thank you for sharing. I used turkey for the meatballs, and brown rice, and made the recipe pretty much as written except I like my veggies chunky. 🙂

    1. SO glad you enjoyed the soup, Barbie. LOVE hearing how you made it your own! Thank you for your review!