Meatball Soup with Escarole and Orzo

Escarole adds a nutritional element to this delicious meatball and orzo soup recipe that's bursting with fresh flavors.

Meatball Soup with Escarole and Orzo
Servings: 6 Prep 15 mins Cook 23 mins


  • 1 pound 95 percent lean ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 leeks, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 rib celery, sliced
  • 3 14 1/2 ounce cans low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 14 1/2 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 small head escarole, chopped (about 6 cups)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked orzo
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Make It


1. In a large bowl, combine beef, egg, bread crumbs, mint, parsley, garlic, lemon zest, salt and black pepper. Stir to mix well. Using your hands or a small scoop, shape the mixture into about 36 meatballs using about 1 heaping tablespoon for each.


2. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add leeks and celery and cook 5 minutes, stirring often, until softened.

3. Stir in the broth, tomatoes and escarole and bring to a boil. Stir in the orzo and return to a boil. Carefully drop in the meatballs and return to a boil.

4. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook about 18 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the orzo is tender and the meatballs are cooked through. Stir in lemon juice and hot pepper sauce.

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe: 6; Amount Per Serving: cal. (kcal): 282, Fat, total (g): 9, chol. (mg): 28, sat. fat (g): 3, carb. (g): 28, fiber (g): 5, pro. (g): 22, sodium (mg): 839, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.