Escarole Soup with Turkey Meatballs

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Escarole, small pasta, and ground turkey meatballs in a chicken broth.

It's a filling soup, but not overwhelming, typical of Southern Italian cooking. It is particularly good when prepared with a homemade chicken broth.

Preparation : 15 min Cooking : 20 min
350 calories/serving
  • Can be done in advance
  • Easy
  • Lactose Free
  • Nuts & Peanuts Free
  • Halal
  • Kosher
  • Diabetes-friendly


1 onions, finely chopped 200 g
1 sprig rosemary, fresh, finely chopped 5 g
1 escarole 400 g
1/4 cup olive oil 65 mL
5 cups chicken broth 1.25 L
1/2 cup orzo or risoni (tiny pasta for soups) 80 g
2 green onions/scallions, finely chopped
1 eggs size large
220 g ground turkey, or ground chicken
3 1/2 tbsp bread crumbs 30 g
1 tbsp nutritional yeast 9 g
1 pinch salt [optional] 0.1 g
ground pepper to taste [optional]
2 cloves garlic, minced then mashed
1 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed 1/2 lemon

Before you start

If you cannot find «risoni», the pasta with the size and shape of rice grains, any other tiny pasta for soups will do. They are all beautifully shaped and poetically named. The most common ones are : «stelline - little stars», «farfalline - little butterflies», «orzo - barley», «pastina - tiny pasta».


Make the soup

Finely chop the onion and the fresh rosemary leaves (removed from the stem). Wash the escarole, spin-dry, then cut it crosswise into 1 cm strips. Set aside.

Heat half of the oil in a large saucepan over moderate heat. Add the onion and rosemary, then cook, with stirring, until the onion is softened, about 5 min. Add the escarole, stir to coat it with oil, then cover and cook 2 min. Pour in the broth, then bring to a boil. Stir in the pasta, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the pasta is cooked al dente, about 10 min.

Make the meatballs

While the soup simmers, mince the scallions, then put them in a bowl. Add the egg, ground meat, bread crumbs, and nutritional yeast. Season with salt and pepper, then combine well. Form the mixture into meatballs about 2 cm in diameter (about 4 meatballs per serving).

Heat the remaining oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the meatballs, then sauté until they are golden-brown on all sides, about 5-6 min.

Finish the soup

Transfer the meatballs to the soup, cover, then simmer 5 min.

Mince, then mash the garlic, stir it into the soup, then pour in the lemon juice. Adjust the seasoning, then serve the soup into pasta bowls.


The components (broth and browned meatballs) may be prepared in advance. However, it's best to do the final combination at the last minute: the soup will loose its light texture if allowed to sit with the pasta and meatballs for too long.

Nutrition Facts Table

per 1 serving (520g)


% Daily Value




16 g

24 %

Saturated 3 g
+ Trans 0 g

15 %


80 mg


1000 mg

42 %


32 g

11 %


5 g

21 %


3 g


20 g

Vitamin A

22 %

Vitamin C

20 %


10 %


21 %

Servings of Canada's Food Guide

1 serving of this recipe is equivalent to :
Vegetables and Fruits : 2 ½ servings
Grain Products : 1 servings
Milk and Alternatives : 0 serving
Meat and Alternatives : ¾ serving


This recipe is :
Source of  :
Calcium, Copper, Vitamin C, Vitamin D
Good source of  :
Fibre, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin E
Excellent source of  :
Folacin, Manganese, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Potassium, Selenium, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B2, Vitamin K, Zinc
Free  :
Added Sugar


1 serving of this recipe is equivalent to :
Food Group Exchanges
Starches 1 ½
Fruits 0
Vegetables 1
Meat and Alternatives 1 ½
Fats 2

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This recipe is in the following categories

Vegetables | Poultry | Main courses/Entrées | Soups | High Iron | Halal | Diabetes-friendly | High Fibre | Kosher | Italian