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Alberta Lentil-Barley Meatball Soup

A hearty soup that’s a meal in a bowl!


  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) dry soup mix (lentils, split pea, rice and/or pot barley)
  • 3 cups (750 mL) water
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) canola oil
  • 1 cup (250 mL) onion, finely chopped, divided (reserve half for meatballs)
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced, divided (reserve half for meatballs)
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) celery, finely chopped
  • 2 cups (500 mL) carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup (250 mL) rutabaga, chopped
  • 1 lb (500 g) ground turkey or beef
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) slow cooking oats or barley flakes
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) freshly grated pepper
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) sage, divided (half for soup, half for meatballs)
  • 6 cups (1.5 L) chicken broth, sodium-reduced
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) honey
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) red pepper flakes
  • Greek yogurt
  • dill garnish, fresh or dried


In a large soup pot, place soup mix and water. Bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes, turn off heat, cover and let stand for 30-60 minutes.

In a separate pan, heat canola oil and sauté 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the onion for a few minutes, then add half of the  garlic, celery, carrots and rutabaga. Cook for 10 minutes.

Add vegetables to soup mix. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Mix together ground turkey, oats, pepper and remaining chopped onion and garlic and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) of the sage. Spray a non-stick pan with oil. Scoop ½ tsp (2 mL) ground turkey and form into mini-meatballs. Fry until cooked through approximately 3-5 minutes. This makes about 95 mini-meatballs.

To the soup-vegetable mix, add cooked turkey meatballs, chicken stock, tomato paste, honey, vinegar, red pepper flakes, pepper and remaining sage. Bring back to a boil and simmer for an additional 20 minutes. Adjust seasonings and thickness if necessary and simmer for several more minutes.

Garnish each bowl with 1-2 tsp (5 – 10 mL) Greek yogurt and fresh dill.

Reviews [4]

I liked it

Gosh, this is delicious!
May use the instant pot to cook the lentils/ beans/ barley as it would sped up the process.
Found the recipe as written to be a bit confusing to follow. Would have preferred the meatballs ingredients/instructions to be altogether.