Fresh Flavor For Old Favorites: Vegetable Soup with Turkey-Thyme Meatballs

Serves 8

Here’s a hearty soup loaded with chunks of fresh vegetables and punctuated with thyme-studded turkey meatballs. Thick as a stew, it’s a meal in itself.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped carrots
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped celery
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped leeks
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped cabbage
  • 1 pound potatoes, unpeeled, cut in 1-inch cubes
  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 16-ounce can kidney beans, drained


  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 4 cups fresh bread crumbs (about 4 slices)
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  1. Heat the oil in a large pan and sauté the onions, carrots, celery, leeks, and cabbage for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened. Add the potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, and stock and bring to a boil. ­Reduce heat and simmer, partly covered, for 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, combine all the meatball ingredients and shape into twenty-four meatballs. Place on a cookie sheet that has been coated with cooking spray and bake at 400°F for 10 minutes. Turn the meatballs over and bake 5 minutes longer.
  3. Add the tomato paste, beans, and meatballs to the soup pot and simmer 20 minutes longer.

Terri Wuerthner is an herb lover and food developer in Palo Alto, California.

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