Russian Meatball Soup

5 from 6 reviews

Russian Meatball Soup with rice, potatoes, fresh herbs is so easy to make, but is both healthy and filling. The light, “brothy” soup with the tender chicken meatballs is the perfect comforting meal any time of year.


  • 1 Tablespoon butter or oil
  • 1/2 of a large onion (finely diced)
  • 12 carrots (shredded on large holes of box grater)
  • 23 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 35 peppercorns
  • 12 bay leaves
  • 10 cups water
  • 3 medium potatoes (chopped)
  • salt (pepper)
  • 1/3 cup long grain rice
  • 1/2 Tablespoon dry herb mixture (optional)
  • fresh chives (parsley, dill, minced, for garnishing)


  • 1 lb ground chicken (or ground turkey, pork or beef)
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/41/3 cup milk
  • 3/41 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 egg (slightly beaten)
  • 1/2 of an onion (grated on the finest setting on the box grater, to form a pulp)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry herb mixture (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


  1. Heat the butter or oil and add the onion, carrots and garlic. Sometimes, I add celery too. Season with salt and ground black pepper. Cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
  2. Add the peppercorns, bay leaf, potatoes and water.  Season the water to taste with salt, reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through.
  3. Meanwhile, make the meatballs. Pour the milk over the breadcrumbs and set it aside for about 5 minutes, until bread has been absorbed by the milk and is soft. Add the rest of the ingredients to the meatball mixture and mix until well combined.
  4. Using moistened hands, form the ground meat mixture into approximately 1/2 – 1 Tablespoon meatballs and drop into simmering soup. Sometimes I use a small portion scoop to form the meatballs.
  5. Add the rice to the soup. I also use some dry herbs to the soup for extra flavor. Allow to cook until the rice and meatballs have completely cooked through, 10-15 minutes. Garnish with the fresh herbs. Add the fresh herbs (parsley, dill, green onions, chives, etc.) to the soup.