Tiny Turkey Meatball Soup – or kind of Wedding Soup

This cold weather just chills me to the bone, it makes me crave some comforting and warm soup! I was thinking about the Campbell’s Italian style wedding soup I had a few months ago and figured it would be even better homemade! After looking at a few recipes on Allrecipes.com and Food Network, I came up with one using the ingredients on hand. While I would highly suggest using fresh herbs in any recipe, the few herb plants I have are under about a foot of snow at the moment and in a winter slumber. Sadly, the only fresh herbs Walmart had when I looked the other day was mint. Mint doesn’t sound so appealing in this soup so I stuck with the trusty plastic jars of dried things in my cupboard.

Tiny Turkey Meatball Soup - or kind of Wedding Soup
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 6-8
The Meatballs
  • 1.25lbs lean ground turkey (believe I used 93/7)
  • 1 large egg (a duck one is perfect!)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried minced onion
  • ½ tsp dried rubbed sage
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp italian seasoning
  • ¼ c + 2 Tbs seasoned dried bread crumbs
  • ½ cup fresh grated Parmesan, lightly packed (mine was Frigo Three Cheese Italian - a parmesan/asiago/romano mix from the cold food section)
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
The Soup
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced thin
  • ½ medium onion, minced
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary leaves, crumbled
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • Juice from half of lemon, reserve other half for something else
  • 12 cups Chicken Broth (boxed broth is okay, homemade would have been better though!)
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • 1 Tbs dried parsley
  • 1 cup Orzo pasta
  • 6 oz fresh spinach, washed well and drained
  • pepper to taste
  • fresh parmesan cheese for topping
Meatball Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together all meatball ingredients until well combined. You may add up to another 2 Tbs of bread crumbs if the mixture is too soft, or up to 2 Tbs of milk if it is too stiff.
  3. Form a small handful of turkey mixture into ½" thick rope and cut into bite size pieces, gently roll to form tiny meatballs and place on foil lined and lightly sprayed jelly roll pan. Continue with remaining mixture. You should have about 60 little meatballs - give or take a few.
  4. Bake meatballs for 20 - 30 minutes until just browned on bottom and just cooked through. Set aside.
Soup Directions:
  1. Heat olive oil over med high heat in large pot. Saute carrot, celery, and onion until tender. Pour in chicken stock. Add bay leaf, lemon zest, and rosemary. Bring to a boil.
  2. Stir in orzo and continue cooking at a low boil for 6-8 minutes, until pasta is almost done.
  3. Gently stir in the cooked meatballs, spinach, oregano, parsley, and pepper to taste. Turn heat to med-low and simmer for about 5 minutes, until spinach is wilted and meatballs are heated through. Stir in juice from half a lemon and 2 Tbs of Parmesan cheese. Serve topped with a sprinkle of fresh grated Parmesan cheese and a slice of crusty bread for dipping. Yum!


  • Do not use salt unless you are very sure you need it. The chicken broth and the Parmesan cheese are already salty enough for most.
  • Meatballs can be made up to a day ahead and kept in the fridge until ready (I made mine in the morning).
  • Try substituting Kale, Escarole, or another favorite green for the spinach.
  • Try using Alphabet pasta, Acini di Pepe, Anellini, or any other small pasta in place of the orzo for variety.
  • You can skip baking the meatballs and instead drop them slowly into the boiling broth with the pasta. Cook for 10 minutes until meatballs are cooked through and continue with recipe.
  • For super quick crusty bread – split a large loaf of bakery Italian bread down the middle, slather on a stick of softened real butter, add a sprinkle of fresh parmesan and a few pinches of Italian seasoning. Close it back up, place on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 3 – 5 minutes just to warm it up and slightly toast. Slice into 2 inch thick pieces to pass with the soup.
  • Or, make some quick No Fail Yeast Rolls, they go with everything!

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About the Author

Henrietta Newman is a self-loving empty-nester into smudging, nature, yoga, fitness, healthy living, hunting, camping, hiking, tech, video games, gadgets, recipes, reviews and more.
With a love for the outdoors and visiting local attractions in and around NW PA and Lake Erie, you never know what you'll find in my nest! Subscribe to A Hen's Nest so you don't miss the fun!



  1. 1

    Yummy, yummy, yummy! I LOVE soup recipes!

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