Bulgarian Meatball Soup (Video)

Bulgarian Meatball Soup (Video)

This Bulgarian meatball soup is one of my favorite soups. It is a very popular recipe in Bulgaria and my mom use to prepare it often. There are some recipe variations depending on the region, but this blog post is about what I know and love. I’m offering you the recipe that my mom made for me and my brother when we were kids. That is the same recipe I’m making for my family now.

This recipe is very good for cleaning the fridge out. If you have half a pound of ground meat, a carrot, some leftover cooked rice and a few potatoes you can make this soup. It is an excellent soup for cold weather. It will warm your body and soul.

Bulgarian Meatball Soup

How to make the Bulgarian meatball soup

It is best if you have some leftover cooked rice to add to the meatballs. If you don’t you are going start with cooking the rice first. Just add two tablespoons of raw rice with a quarter cup of water and cook until the water is gone. I used Jasmine, but other types are fine too.

Once you cook the rice you rinse it with cold water and add it to the minced meat. Then you add chopped onion and seasoning to the meat and mix well.

Form small meatballs and roll them in flour. I used a small cookie scoop to form them but you can do it by getting a little bit of the meat and roll the meatballs between the palms of your hands

To make the soup you start with sautéing the onion and carrot with some salt. Cook them for few minutes until they are softer. Then you add the water.

Once the water starts boiling season with salt and pepper to taste. Then add the chopped potatoes and the angel hair pasta to the pot. I never measure how much pasta I add. I usually add whole wheat angel pasta. My favorite brand is Delallo, but you can use whatever pasta you like.

Once the pasta is cooked and the potatoes are fork-tender you can remove the soup from the heat. Then add the egg and yogurt mixture. Also called zastroika.

Bulgarian Meatball Soup

How to add the egg and yogurt mixture (zastroika)

The hardest part about making this soup is to add zastroika. I add this to most of my soups. It is a mixture of an egg yolk and yogurt. First you remove the soup from the heat source and wait for a few minutes to stop simmering.

It is very important to temper the egg yolk and the yogurt mixture with some of the soup’s broth. If you dump the egg in the hot soup it will separate. You need to slowly warm it up. Add one tablespoon at a time to the egg and yogurt mixture and stir constantly. When the mixture is warm enough return it to the soup and stir again. This adds creaminess and richness to the soup.

Bulgarian Meatball Soup

More helpful tips about making this soup

The Bulgarian meatball soup is easy to make but you need to prepare your ingredients first. This soup contains several carbohydrates. There is rice in the meatballs, chopped potatoes and pasta in the soup.

In this recipe I use Bulgarian summer savory. It is a very popular herb in Bulgarian recipes. If you can’t find it you can replace it with dry oregano or omit it.

You need only a half pound of ground meat for this recipe. So, what to do with the other half? You can make my easy taco cups. This is another recipe on my blog that calls for only half a pound of ground meat.

Bulgarian Meatball Soup

storing and reheating the Meatball soup

Serve the soup warm with chopped parsley.

Store leftover soup in the cooking pot, covered with lid or other food safe container. Keep it in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.

Reheat leftovers in the microwave or on the stovetop.

Bulgarian Meatball Soup

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course: Dinner, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Bulgarian
Keyword: carrots, groun meat, meatballs, pasta, potatoes, savory
Servings: 8


For the meatball mixture

  • 2 Tbsp white rice
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ pound ground pork or a mixture between pork and beef
  • 2 tsp dried summer savory oregano works too
  • 1 egg white
  • all purpose flour for rolling the meatballs about ¼ cup

For the soup

  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil I used sunflower oil
  • ½ cup finely chopped carrot one medium sized carrot
  • finely chopped onion one medium sized onion
  • 2 medium sized russet potatoes peeled and chopped to 1 inch cubes
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 oz dry angel hair pasta
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ cup plain whole yogurt


  • chopped fresh parsley


  • Add two tablespoons of rice in a pot with ¼ cup of water and heat it to medium high. Cook until the water is gone. Place the cooked rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse it with cold water to cool it off.
  • In a bowl add the ground meat, the egg white, 1/4 cup of the chopped onion, the cooked rice, summer savory, salt and pepper. Use your hands to mix the meat mixture very well.
    Bulgarian Meatball Soup
  • Form small sized meatballs (half and inch in diameter). Use a small cookie scoop or your hands to scoop a little bit of the meat mixture. Roll between your palms to form small meatballs. Then roll them in flour.
  • Chop the onion and carrot to a fine dice.
    chopped onion and carrot
  • To a soup pot add 2 Tbsp of oil and heat it to medium-high. Then add the chopped onion and carrot. Add some salt and stir. Cook the vegetables until they are slightly softer and the onion is translucent(3-5 min). Stir frequently.
  • Add 8 cups (or half a gallon) of water to the soup pot with the chopped carrot and onion. Then increase the heat to high and bring the water to a boil.
  • Once the water is boiling reduce the heat to low. Add seasoning to taste (salt and pepper). Then add the meatballs to the soup. Shake the excess flour of each meatball before adding it to the boiling water.
  • Peel and cut two potatoes to small cubes (about an inch). Add them to the pot with the boiling water.
    Cubed potatoes
  • Then add the angel hair pasta by braking it to thirds.
  • Continue cooking until the potatoes and the pasta are done (5-7 more minutes). Check for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed. Remove the pot form the heat and allow the soup to cool of for 10 minutes.
  • Add 1/4 cup of yogurt to an egg yolk and use a fork to stir them together. Then add a tablespoon form the soup to the yogurt mixture and stir well. Continue adding broth (one tablespoon at a time) and string until the mixture is warm. The goal is to temper the egg yolk so it doesn’t separate. When the yogurt mixture is tempered add it back to the soup and stir.
    yogurt and egg yolk in a bowl
  • Serve the soup warm with chopped parsley.
  • Store leftover soup in the cooking pot, covered with lid or other food safe container. Keep it in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
Bulgarian Meatball Soup

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