Spaghetti Meatball Soup

Another fall Sunday, another soup day.

What first attracted me to this soup recipe was how much it looked like my Nonnie’s meatball soup, but what solidified my attraction to it was that it also tasted like her soup. Now, nothing can exactly replicate her cooking, but this came close enough to bring me back to those weekend afternoons at her kitchen table when I was young.

She’d tell me “mangia!” (more of a non-negotiable demand than an actual request) and stuff me with her delicious food. She’d finish me off with a special treat of chocolate pudding or jello with fruit inside and send me home with 5 dollars in my pocket for my eating efforts. In retrospect, it’s amazing I was not fat as a child.

This soup delivered on my expectations and made a very satisfying lunch on a beautiful autumn day, while also connecting me to my roots. I will probably never be as good of a cook as my Nonnie, but practice makes perfect!



  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
  • 5 cups chicken broth (low-sodium, reduced fat)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 4-5 Tbsp tomato sauce (or pasta sauce)
  • 4-6 oz spaghetti, broken into 1-2 inch pieces (I used whole grain)
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley


  1. Working with just soup ingredients for right now: In a soup pot over medium heat, cook chopped onion in a little bit of olive oil for a few minutes to soften. Add chicken broth, water, garlic, chopped parsley, and tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 5 minutes.
  2. Now working with meatball ingredients: Meanwhile, combine ground turkey, Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, egg, garlic, onion,  basil and parsley in a bowl. Form into small meatballs, rolling them in your palm (about 1″ diameter) and drop them into the broth. Cook about 3 minutes.
  3. Add broken pasta and cook according to package directions, bringing the heat back up to medium. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve!

One thought on “Spaghetti Meatball Soup

  1. Hi Michelle,
    I scaled it down (had one lonely frozen turkey burger) and improvised with the ingredients (no onion in the house so I used onion powder), but it turned out well! Thanks to you and your Nonni for the inspiration!
    Love to you and that wonderful husband of yours,

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