Middle Eastern Meatball Soup with Vegetables
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The recipe in its original form is here
Serves: 6-8
  • 1 (400g) tin of chickpeas, drained
  • 6 cups (1.5L) beef stock
  • 1 cup (150g) fine bulgur
  • 500g ground beef
  • 3 onions - 1 roughly chopped, 2 diced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp dried mint
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste, plus more to taste
  • Juice of ½ lemon, plus more to taste
  • 2-3 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
  1. To make the meatballs, wash and drain the bulgur. Put one roughly chopped onion into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to dice. Add the beef, bulgur, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper and pulse to a paste. With moistened hands, shape the paste into meatballs the size of marbles.
  2. Heat half of the oil in a large pan and brown the meatballs. Set aside.
  3. In a large pot, saute the two diced onions in the rest of the vegetable oil with a sprinkle of salt, until soft and slightly browned. Add the mint, garlic, tomato paste, lemon juice and a generous grind of pepper. Stir well and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the meatballs, chickpeas and beef stock to the pot and allow to come to a gentle simmer, until the meatballs are cooked through.
  5. Add the zucchini then cook for 10 minutes or longer - it's personal preference if you prefer the zucchini tender or slightly crunchy (I like a bit of crunchy).
  6. Ladle into soup bowls and serve hot. This soup tastes even better the next day.
Tash's Top Tips
The original recipe uses 2 cup dried chickpeas, which need to be soaked overnight before cooking. I've substituted tinned chickpeas for ease - I often don't plan to cook this soup in advance so tinned is more convenient.
If you have the inclination, check out the link to the original recipe - soak for 4 hours or up to overnight, then cook in beef stock until tender (this can take upwards of an hour). If you have a pressure cooker, cook chickpeas with a generous amount of water or stock, and cook for 15 minutes on high after it reaches pressure. Allow to depressurise naturally.
Presoaked chickpeas tend to mostly stay intact when they are pressure cooked, while unsoaked tend to split open. Both still delicious - one just more photo friendly.
Recipe by A Kitchen Cat at https://akitchencat.com.au/middle-eastern-meatball-soup-with-vegetables/