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These Meatballs & Kale In Lemony Garlic Broth is a delicious, healing meal that's gluten, grain & dairy-free. It is such a wonderful combination of flavours
4.8 from 5 votes

Meatballs and Kale in a Lemony Broth

This delicious, zesty soup come meal is so nourishing - truely food as medicine!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Servings: 4


For the meatballs

  • ½ leek (pale part), roughly cut (or 2 spring onions)
  • ¼ bunch/s fresh parsley leaves (about 10 g)
  • ¼ bunch/s fresh mint leaves (optional)
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme leaves (1 tablespoon approx.)
  • 1 clove/s garlic
  • 1 lime/s -zest
  • 600 g ground mince (Turkey, chicken or pork mince can be used in this recipe. Even fish would work really well with the flavours of the soup. If you can’t find ground up chicken or turkey mince, get some thighs, skin/ bone off and grind it up using a food processor)
  • 1 tsp sea salt - or to taste
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp butter, ghee or coconut oil

For the soup

  • 2 tbsp olive oil - extra virgin
  • ½ leek (green and pale part)
  • 1 lemon/s (5 peels of the skin)
  • 1 carrot/s (large) peeled and diced into halves
  • 1 potato/s (large) peeled and diced into small cubes
  • 3 clove/s garlic - sliced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 star anise
  • 750 ml chicken stock or bone broth (3 cups)
  • tbsp fish sauce
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
  • 10-12 stem/s kale - torn off the stem and into smaller pieces
  • ½ lime/s - juice
  • ½ lemon/s - juice (approx. 2 tablespoons)


  • If you have a food processor, place leeks, parsley, mint, thyme, garlic, and lime zest inside with an S-blade on. Blitz a few times, until the ingredients are finely ground up. Thermomix 10 seconds, speed 5. Alternatively, chop everything very finely using a knife.
  • Transfer to a large mixing bowl together with the mince, salt and pepper. Mix really well, until well incorporated. Thermomix, 40 seconds reverse speed 3 (you may need to use the spatula to help mix it through).
  • Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Roll the mixture into small meatballs, about 20g each, smaller than a Ping-Pong ball. Fry the meatballs for 7-8 minutes, turning them throughout so they go golden-brown on all sides.
  • In the meantime, add the olive oil, the other part of the leek, lemon peel, carrot and potato to a medium saucepan. Sauté for a few minutes, then add the garlic, cumin, star anise, chicken stock and fish sauce. Season with some salt and pepper and bring to boil.
  • Add the meatballs and cook over medium heat, covered, for 3-4 minutes. Prepare the kale and add to the soup, stir through and cook for a further 5 minutes, covered. Test the potato and once soft, remove from the heat and add the lime and lemon juice.
  • Stir and taste for salt. Let it sit for 5 minutes off the heat before serving.


  • Re-heat in a pot over a low heat until just hot.


  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge.



Other herbs like sage and oregano can be used instead of thyme and coriander or basil will work well instead of parsley.