Romanian-Style Turkey Meatball Soup with vegetables, a comforting and hearty soup that goes down well with the whole family no matter the season. Our "ciorba de perisoare" is very easy to make with a few simple ingredients, and it's budget-friendly too.
We are a nation of soup lovers; we have soups as a starter with every single lunch or dinner meal. Whether vegan, vegetarian or meat based, soups are ever so popular. We usually make the distinction between "ciorba", which usually has diced vegetables and meat in it.
And "supa", where the vegetables and meat have been removed after cooking and either noodles or semolina dumplings are added to it, making the soup a much lighter an less heavy option. Either way, our soups are fantastic and we can't have enough of them.
This turkey meatball soup is hearty, but light and healthy, and it certainly delivers in terms of taste. The more veggies, the tastier, so do add whatever else you have around.
- turkey mince / minced turkey - I prefer turkey thigh mince instead of turkey breast mince as the meatballs are juicier and tastier
- onions - one is used for the soup, another one for the meatballs
- carrot - a medium sized carrot, or 2 small ones
- pepper - I used a red pepper, but yellow, orange or green work too
- celery stalks
- tomato paste - adds colour and taste to the soup
- salt and black pepper - to taste
- parsley - fresh or dried
My Romanian meatball soup is made of minced turkey - although pork, beef or chicken are also popular choices, or even a combination of any of these, plus you can add any vegetables you like to make them healthier.
In winter time, pork is the favourite meat, and most of our meat dishes will be prepared using pork.
As for herbs, fresh parsley is my go to, although, if you do have fresh lovage I highly recommend using it, it adds so much flavour to the soup.
Step-by-step photos and instructions
- peel and chop one onion for the soup, and save the small onion for the meatballs
- peel and chop the carrot, red pepper and celery stalks
- in a large pot, add the stock and vegetables, and boil it for 15 minutes until the vegetables being to soften
- to make the meatballs, add the turkey mince to a bowl together with the egg, finely chopped small onion, salt and pepper
- mix well to get a mixture
- shape the mixture into balls, and carefully drop them into the soup
- leave to cook for a further 15 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through
- add the tomato paste, fresh parsley, season with salt and pepper
Note! The little bits you see forming in the soup are from the egg used, so totally normal. The soup is absolutely delicious, trust me.
Do not add the meatballs straight from the beginning, as the carrots and onion take a lot longer to cook. I prefer cooking the vegetables first, then adding the meatballs to the soup.
The meatball mixture might look a bit sloppy, but that's fine, the meatballs are juicy and they keep their shape very well - the egg is a great binding agent.
Other meatball recipes
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Turkey Meatball Soup
- 1 large onion
- 1 carrot
- 2 celery stalks
- ½ red bell pepper
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 4 cups chicken stock
For the meatballs
- 500 g mince turkey 1.1 lb
- 1 small egg
- ½ small onion
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- To make the soup, peel and chop the onion, carrot, celery stalks and red pepper.
- Add the stock to a large pot, and cook the vegetables for 15 minutes until they start to soften.
- To make the meatballs, add the mince turkey to a bowl together with the egg, finely chopped onion, salt and pepper.
- Mix well to get a nice paste.
- Use your hands to shape meatballs, then carefully drop them into the soup.
- Cook for a further 15 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through, then add the tomato paste, season with salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with fresh parsley.
- Do not add the meatballs straight from the beginning, as the carrots and onion take a lot longer to cook. I prefer cooking the vegetables first, then adding the meatballs to the soup.
- The meatball mixture might look a bit sloppy, but that's fine, the meatballs are juicy and they keep their shape very well - the egg is a great binding agent.