A family favorite, this gluten-free and dairy-free meatball soup is perfect for those with dietary restrictions. A combination of cubed potatoes and sliced carrots add a hearty vegetable component to this comforting soup.
My mom is a soup-making ninja. Everyone loves all her soups, but this particular recipe is a huge family favorite. Even my soup-hating brother-in-law swoons over mom's meatball soup. It's gluten-free unlike her other meatball soup recipe with bulgur wheat, so my gluten-sensitive nephews can eat it too.
There's definitely an Armenian spin here, as the lean beef combines with rice to form the actual meatballs. We Armenians use rice in so many different ways! Here is stands in for a binder for the meatballs.
Forming the meatballs will definitely be the most time-consuming part of the recipe. But the rice-stuffed meatballs are what make this soup so great.
Some of the grains of rice will fall out of the balls, and enrich the broth as well. This is a filling and satisfying soup which can easily stand-in as a main dish.
The broth consists of chicken broth and tomato sauce along with chunks of carrot and potato. That bit of tartness from the tomato sauce adds more complexity to the soup's flavor profile.
This meatball soup is considerably light for such a hearty concoction, especially if you use a leaner ground beef. We enjoy this soup for lunch and even dinner, and never tires of it. It's a recipe we actually make year-round! Even when it's not the typical soup season.
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Meatball Soup with Potatoes and Carrots
- 1 ½ pounds lean ground beef
- ¾ cup medium-grain rice rinsed
- ⅓ of an onion minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ⅔ of an onion chopped
- 2 carrots peeled and chopped
- 2 potatoes peeled and cubed into ½-inch pieces
- 2 quarts chicken broth
- 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
- Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and paprika
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Fill a small bowl with some water and place next to the mixing bowl. In a large mixing bowl combine all of the meatball ingredients and mix thoroughly by hand. Constantly wetting your hands, make little meatballs by rolling small bits of the mixture between your palms. They should be about 1-inch in diameter. Place the small meatballs on a tray or baking sheet until ready to cook. You will have about 120 meatballs. Refrigerate meatballs until needed.
- In a pot over medium-high heat add the oil and saute the onion for 2 to 3 minutes until somewhat softened. Then add the carrots and saute for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth, tomato sauce, salt, pepper, and paprika to taste, and raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Add the cubed potatoes, then reduce the heat to simmer for about 18 to 20 minutes until the potatoes are almost completely cooked through. Test a cube to be sure.
- Raise the heat to medium-high and carefully add the meatballs, mixing in between additions to make sure they don’t stick. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to simmer for about 10 minutes until the meatballs (and rice within them) are cooked through. Check for doneness by tasting one of the grains of rice poking out of the meatballs. Rice will escape from the meatballs and settle into the soup, but this is expected. Adjust seasonings if necessary, stir in the parsley, remove from heat and serve.
*All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.*