Spicy Paleo Meatball Soup

It’s not exactly cold in London right now, but it’s also not warm. I guess one could call this a traditional English summer, where we have a warm day or two here or there amongst many other that are less than acceptable.


However, I’m very excited, as tomorrow we are headed to the races at Royal Ascot for the second time since we’ve moved to the UK! Going to Ascot was very high on my list when we knew we were being sent to London. And we are hoping for sunny skies and warm temperatures…


But today, the menacing clouds were calling out for soup. I saw this great recipe on Swiss Paleo and the thought of putting meatballs and cabbage in a soup somehow appealed to me. So, I just had to make it! I did adapt it a bit though giving it a Mexican flare with some spiciness and cilantro.


For my usual recipe for meatballs, try this one, which I borrowed from my mother’s repertoire.


Meatball Soup
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Mexican Paleo
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 3-4
  • For the meatballs:
  • 750g ground beef (or a mixture of beef and pork)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • For the soup:
  • 3-4 tablespoons of lard
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2-3 leeks, sliced (I used 3 because they were small)
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 can (400g) tomatoes
  • 1/2 head small red cabbage, chopped
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon pimenton (or paprika)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • coarse sea salt (I used 2 teaspoons)
  • lime juice (optional)
  • extra cilantro, for garnishing
  1. For the meatballs:
  2. Mix all of the ingredients together in a mixing bowl with your hands.
  3. Form small balls, about 1 1/2 inch in diameter. I made 28 balls.
  4. Set aside.
  5. For the soup:
  6. In a soup pot, place the lard, leeks, carrots and celery. Heat over low heat until the vegetables are slightly soft, about 5 minutes.
  7. Add the tomatoes and spices and cook about 1 minute.
  8. Add the water and cabbage.
  9. Cook for 10 minutes.
  10. Add the meatballs, placing them carefully into the sauce. Cover.
  11. Allow them to cook about 10 minutes, before stirring.
  12. Cook for a total of 35-40 minutes. Add the additional cup of water, if necessary.
  13. Cook the last 10 minutes uncovered.
  14. Garnish with cilantro and a drizzle of lime juice, if desired.

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  1. 10.14.13
    Heidi said:

    I made this tonight minus the red cabbage. It was delicious.

    • 10.23.13
      thesaffrongirl said:

      I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed it! thank you!