Turkey Meatball Soup With Kale In Lemon Garlic Broth

Turkey Meatballs & Kale In Lemony Garlic Broth

  • Author: Irena Macri
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 3-4
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Braised
  • Cuisine: Healthy
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This soup of turkey meatball and kale braised in a lemony, citrus garlic broth is nourishing and tasty, perfect for the whole family. It’s easy to make and keeps well for 2-3 days in the fridge.


For the meatballs
• ½ leek (pale part only), roughly cut (or 2 spring onions)
• 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley (about 10 grams)
• A few mint leaves, if available
• 4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only (or 2 teaspoons dry thyme)
• 1 large garlic clove, minced or dice
• Zest of 1 lime or lemon
• 1.2 lb / 600 g ground turkey mince (chicken can also be used)
• 1 teaspoon salt + ½ teaspoon pepper
• 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil for cooking

For the soup
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• ½ leek (green and pale part)
• 5 peels of lemon
• 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
• 1 large white potato or 1 parsnip, peeled and diced into small cubes
• 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds or ground cumin
• 2 star anise pods
• 4 cups chicken stock or broth
• 1.5 tablespoons fish sauce
• 1/4 teaspoon  salt
• A good pinch of black pepper or chilli flakes
• 10-12 kale leaves, torn off the stem and cut into smaller pieces (about 5 cups loosely packed)
• Juice of ½ lime
• Juice of ½ small lemon (about 2 tablespoons)


  • If you have a food processor, place leek, parsley, mint, thyme, garlic and lime zest inside with an S-blade attached. Blitz a few times, until the ingredients are finely ground up. Alternatively, chop everything very finely using a knife. Transfer to a large mixing bowl together with the turkey or chicken mince, salt and pepper. Mix really well, until well incorporated.
  • Heat coconut or olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Roll the mixture into small meatballs; about 25 g / 1 oz each, smaller than a ping pong ball. Fry the meatballs for 7-8 minutes, turning them throughout so they go golden brown on all sides.
  • In the meantime, add the olive oil, the other part of the leek, lemon peels, carrot and potatoes to a medium saucepan. Sauté for a few minutes, then add the garlic, cumin, star anise, chicken stock and fish sauce. Season with some salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Add the meatballs and cook over medium heat, covered, for 3-4 minutes.
  • Prepare the kale and add to the soup, stir through and cook for a further 5 minutes, covered. Test the potato and once soft, remove from the heat and add the lime and lemon juice. Stir and taste for salt. Let it sit for 5 minutes off the heat before serving.


If you don’t have limes, replace with lemon where stated.

Meat: Turkey, chicken or pork mince can be used in this recipe. Even fish would work really well with the flavours of the soup. If you can’t find ground-up chicken or turkey mince, get some thighs (skin and bone off) and grind it up using a food processor.
Herbs: Other herbs like sage and oregano can be used instead of thyme; coriander and basil would work well instead of parsley.
AIP: Omit the chilli and use parsnip or sweet potato instead of white potato.

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