A bowl of soup with turkey meatballs
Photography, Charity Burggraaf

Turkey Meatball Soup

Natasha Kravchuk shares her Baba's crowd-pleasing turkey meatball soup recipe.

With twelve grandkids between the ages of three and fourteen who all show up hungry after church on Sundays, Baba (my mom) regularly makes this soup because it’s as soothing as it is delicious, and the adults are just as excited to smell it simmering on the stove when we walk in the door. You can also use ground chicken, pork or beef for the meatballs. I’ve tested them all for variety because I make this soup ALL THE TIME. –Natasha Kravchuk

A bowl of soup with turkey meatballs

Turkey Meatball Soup

Natasha Kravchuk's Ukranian-style recipe for turkey meatball soup with orzo and potatoes.
Course lunch, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine ukrainian
Servings 10



  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground
  • black pepper
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder


  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin
  • olive oil
  • 2 celery stalks diced
  • 2 medium carrots thinly sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth or stock
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 6 medium Yukon gold potatoes peeled, chopped into ¼-inch-thick pieces and rinsed (see note #1)
  • 1 tbsp fine sea salt plus more to taste
  • cup orzo optional (see note #2)
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten (see note #3)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh dill or parsley leaves plus more for serving (optional)
  • 2 small garlic cloves grated
  • freshly ground black pepper


  • In a large bowl, combine the turkey, egg, salt, onion powder, pepper and garlic powder; mix well. Working with ½- to 1-tablespoon portions, wet your hands and roll each portion into a ball. Transfer the rolled meatballs to a rimmed baking sheet. If the meatballs start to stick to your hands, rinse them again, and continue with clean, wet hands. Set the meatballs aside.
  • Heat the oil in a 5- to 7-quart Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium heat. Add the celery, carrots and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 minutes, until the vegetables are softened and golden. Add the broth, 2 cups water, the potatoes and salt. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat and add the orzo (if using). Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, until the potatoes can be pierced easily with a fork.
  • Carefully add the meatballs to the pot and continue to simmer for 5 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through. Stir in the egg, followed by the dill and garlic. Simmer just until the egg is cooked, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with more dill (if using) and serve immediately. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


  1. Rinse the potatoes after slicing them to keep them from discoloring and to remove excess starch.
  2. You can make this recipe gluten-free by leaving out the orzo or substituting it with jasmine rice. Just note that rice takes longer to cook, so add it with the broth and boil for 5 minutes before adding the potatoes.
  3. Stirring a beaten egg into soup is common in Ukrainian cooking. The ribbons of egg essentially poach in the broth and soak up all that flavour, while also adding heartiness and richness to your soup.

A cookbook cover in a light frame

Reprinted with permission from Natasha’s Kitchen by Natasha Kravchuk, copyright © 2023. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.
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