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Turkey Meatball Soup

Difficulty: Medium




Preparation (min)


Total (min)


Ingredients for the meatballs

  • 2 slices sandwich bread, cubed
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) plain yogurt
  • 1 lb. (500 g) ground turkey
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp. (30 ml) Dijon mustard
  • 1 (5 ml) ground fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) dried oregano
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp. (45 ml) olive oil


Ingredients for the soup

  • Olive oil, as needed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 x 8-oz (227 g) pkg. small white mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) pot barley
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 8 cups (2 L) homemade or store-bought chicken broth, plus a little more as needed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Chopped fresh mint, cilantro and fennel to taste, for the topping



  • Make the meatballs: In a large bowl, combine bread cubes and yogurt. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Add the following to the moistened bread in bowl: turkey, egg, Dijon, fennel, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well with your hands or a wooden spoon until combined.
  • Slightly oil your hands and roll about 1 tbsp. (15 ml) meat mixture at a time between palms into balls, occasionally oiling hands as needed. Put meatballs in a dish.
  • In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Working in batches, cook meatballs, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides and cooked through, 5–8 minutes. Transfer meatballs to a paper towel–covered dish to drain, leaving saucepan on the range.
  • Make the soup: If necessary, add olive oil to saucepan. Once it’s hot, add onion and mushrooms and cook until tender and golden, 5–8 minutes.
  • Stir in carrots, barley and garlic, and cook for 2–3 minutes.
  • Add meatballs and broth to saucepan and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer until barley and meat are tender, about 1 hour.
  • Season soup with salt and pepper to taste, adding broth if necessary. Serve soup topped with fresh herbs.


Cooking note: When I want a lighter soup, I cook the meatballs directly in the broth rather than cooking them in oil ahead of time. I also cook the onion and mushrooms in very little olive oil or I simply also drop them raw into the broth.


Photos : Tango [Vitalité Québec] JANUARY 2016
Recipe: Josée Fiset

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