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Ralph's Amazing German Meatball Soup

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Stacey
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x


Ralph's German Meatball Soup is a true gourmet. It's meant to be shared with your family and friends. Awesome meatballs & a tangy broth.


Units Scale

For the broth, Part 1

  • 8 cups of water
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 medium onion, rough chop is fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground all spice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 bay leaves (mine were small so I used 2)


  • 4 russet potatoes

Green Beans (optional)

  • 2 handfuls

For the meatballs: Yield: 12 large meatballs

  • 2 lbs ground beef (80/20 blend)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 onions, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups plain bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup port wine, optional (or brandy, sherry)
  • 2 eggs

For the broth, Part 2 (after it’s been cooked and strained)

  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup of the vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar

Garnish (optional)

  • Fresh chopped dill
  • capers


  1. We’ll start by making a broth. Add all ingredients from Broth, Part 1 (above) to a pot, bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and let simmer for 1 hour. I cut the carrots a bit thick here. When we strain the broth later, we’ll pick out the carrots to add to the soup, but the rest of the ingredients will be discarded. 
  2. The potatoes. While the broth is cooking we’ll do some prepping. Peel and cut four Russet potatoes, cut into large chunks and put in a pot of water. I don’t salt potato water. I salt pasta water, but not potatoes. This is your choice here. It takes 15 minutes to bring to a boil (high heat) and 15 minutes +/- until the potatoes get tender (med-high heat). Plan your time here and maybe wait until cooking the meatballs to turn the burner on high. 
  3. The green beans (if using). Put a strainer insert into a pot with water. If you don’t have an insert, just boil them in water in a shallow pan (with a lid). Put heat on high with the lid on the pot or pan. When the water comes to a boil (3-5 minutes), turn the heat off. Let the beans steam with lid on for 5 minutes. Again, plan your time here and turn the beans on toward the end of the soup making process.
  4. The meatballs. Finely chop the parsley. Finely dice the onion. I used a mini food processor for this, if you don’t have just us a knife. Normally I would use a knife, but onions have really been bothering my eyes lately. Put the ground beef (80/20 blend) in a bowl. Add salt, eggs, parsley, bread crumbs (plain), port wine (if using) and onions. Mix together thoroughly making sure everything is well combined. Roll your meatballs and make sure there are no cracks on the outside. We need these to stay intact while cooking in the broth. I got 12 large meatballs from this batch. 
  5. When the broth is finished, we need to strain it. Put a colander in a large bowl and pour the broth through it. Don’t forget to save the carrots for later. Discard the other ingredients. 
  6. Right here might be a good time to start cooking your potatoes. 
  7. After you strain the broth, pour it back into the pot and add all the meatballs. I just barely got all my meatballs in the pot, but that’s okay. I put the lid on slightly ajar and made sure to turn the meatballs at the very top half way through cooking. Heat should be on medium for this. If it gets too bubbly just turn the heat down a bit. If you’re using a larger pot you’ll know the meatballs are done because they will float to the top. Check the meatballs at about 20-30 minutes. Best way is take one out and cut it in half to make sure it’s cooked all the way through. You’ve worked hard and should have a treat, right? 
  8. Once the meatballs are finished, remove them from the broth and put them on a sheet pan while we finish the broth. 
  9. Sometime here or right after broth, part 2 you should cook the green beans. 
  10. The Broth, Part 2. Put sour cream and flour in a bowl and whisk it very well, making sure there are no lumps. Put one cup of the vegetable broth in a measuring cup and start adding it to the sour cream mix. Whisk everything together well. By the time you’ve added the last of the broth it should be very liquidy. Now, we’ll add this liquidy sour cream mixture back into the main pot with the rest of the broth. As you add the sour cream mixture, whisk it into the broth pot. After that, add the vinegar and whisk together again. (video shows this well). Now, add the meatballs back into the pot. Cook on medium heat until the pot just starts a mild boil – this should take about 5 minutes. We want to give the broth a chance to thicken up here. You can serve now or let the meatballs cook another 5 minutes. This is what I usually do.
  11. Before serving, chop some fresh dill and have capers on hand to garnish if you choose to do that.
  12. Time to eat!! As mentioned in the video and blog post, the soup is served somewhat deconstructed. Potatoes are in their own pot, carrots in a bowl, green beans in their pot, etc… People can put what they want in the soup! Enjoy!