Meatball Soup with Escarole and Orzo



1 lb. 95% lean ground beef or turkey burger
1 Egg
1/3 Cup Plain Bread Crumbs
¼ Cup Chopped Fresh Mint
¼ Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley
2 Cloves Garlic – minced
1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest
½ Teaspoon Salt
¼ Teaspoon Black Pepper


2 Teaspoons Olive Oil
2 Leeks – cleaned and sliced
1 Rib Celery
3 Cans (14.5 oz each) Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
1 Can (14.5 oz.) Diced Tomatoes
1 Small Head Escarole – chopped (about 6 cups)
½ Cup Uncooked Orzo
2 Teaspoons Lemon Juice
¼ Teaspoon Hot Pepper Sauce

Directions – Meatballs

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

Directions – Soup

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add leeks and celery and cook 5 minutes, stirring often, until softened.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Makes 6 servings.  Per serving – 282 calories, 9g fat, 22g protein, 28g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 839mg sodium, 28mg cholesterol.

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