Slow Cooker Russian Meatball Soup is full of vegetable goodness, hearty chicken, and lots of delicious dill flavor!
On top of spaghetti,
All covered with cheese,
I lost my poor meatball,
When somebody sneezed.
This Wednesday was National Meatball day. Did y’all celebrate? We missed the actual DAY, but did have meatballs twice this week. Technically, three times if you count the deconstructed ones we had on Monday.
And, we had repeat meals this week; which is unprecedented for us. Usually it’s a one and done type thing, but not this time. This time, I made the meals, didn’t photograph them, and had to make them again. That’s how good these meatball meals are I whipped up this week. Actually, I have to make the beef ones again. I forgot to take a prop bowl to work.
Come on. Like you have NEVER photographed your food at work. Seriously? Just me?
I was looking for an Italian meatball soup on Pinterest. Then thought I might make an ablondigas soup. Then I stumbled on a few pictures of this Russian soup and I was hooked!! The soup had such different and interesting flavors; typical of Eastern European foods. I couldn’t wait to try my hand at this recipe.
I did some digging and saw that it was a pretty simple soup. And it had ingredients that I totally LOVE in winter like potatoes, parsnips, carrots; ya know? Those root vegetables that we talked about last weekend?
Then I thought about one of my favorite chicken dishes; Chicken Kiev. It has tender chicken, delicious dill, and plenty of garlic. I knew that’s exactly how I wanted these meatballs to taste. Yes. I know that’s not really a link to chicken kiev. It’s on my list of things to do, but the stir-fry is pretty darned good! And it doesn’t care if you can’t keep the dill butter inside the chicken breasts. It lets it all hang out!!
Then I borrowed a tip from some of my fave spaghetti and meatball recipes where you add some milk to the meat with the bread crumbs. The proteins in dairy are amazing little creatures. They truly do break down proteins and makes them nice and tender. I am almost to the point of marinating all my meats in a dairy based mixtures. Putting them with oil and vinegar just adds flavor, but truly doesn’t do much to tenderize the meat. Dairy. Now that’s the best marinade. Yogurt, milk, sour cream; they will all make your proteins nice and tender. So, I definitely wanted to add some to these meatballs.
So, I have my meatballs, my flavors, and the ingredients to go in the soup. Now it’s time to put it all together in the pot and get cooking. While this recipe is made in the slow cooker, you could easily put this in a pot on the stove. It’s that versatile. But I didn’t have time and really wanted to throw this all in the slow cooker in the morning for dinner when we got home Friday. Hence the “refrigerate the meatballs” part in the instructions.
I also suggest refrigerating the meatballs to give the flavors time to meld. And, well, sometimes ground chicken can be unruly. It’s more loose than ground beef and sometimes it just doesn’t hold it shape as well as beef, pork, or lamb. So, I highly recommend refrigerating them to allow the flavors to meld the meat to firm up a little before dropping into the slow cooker (or stock pot) to cook.
Now, you’re ready to sit down to an amazingly delicious yet simple soup. The meatballs cooking in the broth add fabulous flavor to the vegetables. The vegetables add delicious flavor to the meatballs. It’s a melded bowl of veggie chicken goodness that’s wrapped in layer of dilly goodness. Trust me when I say this will be a new family favorite soup. Serve it with some garlic toast and you’re all set!
- 1 pound ground chicken breast
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup nonfat milk
- 1/4 cup egg substitute
- 2 tablespoons grated onion
- 2 cups diced potato
- 2 cups chopped carrots
- 2 cups diced parsnips
- 1 tablespoon dill
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cups chicken broth
- Combine the first seven ingredients (chicken through grated onion) in a large mixing bowl. Using your hands mix well until combined. Form into 1 inch meatballs and refrigerate at least 30 minutes (I refrigerated mine overnight in order to prep the soup for the next morning).
- Place the next five ingredients (potato through bay leaves) in the liner of a slow cooker coated with cooking spray.
- Remove the meatballs from the refrigerator and place on top of the vegetable mixture. Pour the chicken broth over top and cook 8 to 10 hours on low (or 5 to 7 on high) or until the meatballs are cooked through.
- Garnish with chopped, fresh dill before serving.