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Soup Saturday: Homemade Bone Broth & Chicken Meatball Veggie Soup

It’s #SoupSaturday, my favorite day of the week. It’s no secret that the turkey meatball soup we included in the very first soup recipe roundup this month is one of the big favorites in the EHD office. We were all inspired by the same initial recipe (via the Savory Lotus), but now we’ve each taken the recipe in a thousand different directions. It’s the soup that many of us have said “Yup, I could eat this every day” about. It’s the soup that can be dressed up or down, mixed up depending on what veggies are in season (or in your fridge), and keep us all full and happy. Today we’re bringing you another meatball soup variation packed with bright veggies, all swimming in a flavorful broth.

Also, to all our friends across the pond (and our neighbors to the north), we’ve heard you on the measurements! We concede that the American/imperial system of cups can be…confusing (is it 1 cup of carrots cut in large chunks or small chunks? Is it okay if some stick out over the edge? NO ONE KNOWS!). So we’ve done our best to add weight measurements to our second recipe (the first one isn’t so exact).

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Not only are we bringing you a new soup recipe this week, we’re also going to share with you all how to make bone broth from scratch—the base for ALL my soups. It sounds intimidating (at least it did to me), but trust me, once you savor your own homemade bone broth, the store stuff just won’t taste the same. Am I a super organized person who always has homemade bone broth on hand for my weekly soup making? Nope. I’ll use a boxed broth when I haven’t had the 8-16 hours it takes to boil my own broth. But when I do, I can really taste the difference and it’s totally worth it. I’ve been riffing off a recipe from Rebecca Katz’s Clean Soups cookbook, but have tweaked to my liking as I’ve done it more.



  • 6 unpeeled carrots, cut into thirds
  • 2 unpeeled yellow onions, quartered
  • 1 whole leek, cut into thirds
  • 1 whole bunch celery, cut into thirds
  • 4 unpeeled potatoes, quartered
  • 2 unpeeled sweet potatoes, quartered
  • 1 unpeeled garnet yam, quartered
  • 5 unpeeled cloves garlic, halved
  • 1/2 bunch fresh, flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 (8-inch) strip kombu (edible kelp)
  • Any other veggie scraps you’ve been hiding away in your freezer for just this very moment

Herbs & Spices

  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 4 whole allspice or juniper berries
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste


  • The carcass of 1 roasted chicken (I usually roast a chicken, use the meat separately, then save the carcass. I also discard most of the skin to make a less fatty broth).


  • 8 quarts water (or enough to submerge all your ingredients)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar


  1. In a large stockpot (we linked to some good ones in last week’s recipe post), combine all your ingredients and add water until everything is submerged, cover and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Reduce heat to low, and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and using a mesh ladle to skim the surface of your soup.
  3. Keep partially covered and simmer on low for 8-16 hours. The water will begin to evaporate, so keep an eye on the pot and add more if any of your chicken carcass or vegetables start making an appearance above the surface.
  4. Once you feel your veggies and carcass have given all they can give (or you’ve let everything hang out together in the simmering broth for at least 8 hours), use tongs to fish out the bigger pieces of carcass. Then switch to a slotted spoon to scoop out the bigger pieces of veggie matter. Finally, strain your broth, discarding any of the leftover mush or carcass.
  5. Salt to taste! Let cool at room temperature then store in airtight containers in the fridge overnight. The next day, you’ll be able to skim even more fat off the top of the cooled soup. Now it’s ready to be transformed into delicious soups and stews (or freeze for use later when you’re ready for it).

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And now that you’ve created a true labor of love—homemade bone broth—it’s time to put that savory broth into action. I highly recommend using it to make this meatball soup variation, which serves about six heaping bowls of soup (8 if you’re not starving monsters like me and my staff):


For Broth


  • 1 small head (265g) cauliflower, chopped (we mixed yellow and purple cauliflower for this soup)
  • 1 cup (150g) rainbow carrots, sliced thin
  • 1 head lacinato kale (stems removed), hand torn
  • 1 8-ounce package (227g) cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup (225g) celery, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 2 leeks (bottom white half), chopped

Herbs & Spices

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 bundle of fresh herbs (thyme, oregano, rosemary), tied together and removed before serving
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste


  • 8 cups (64oz or 2 quarts) bone broth
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon

For Meatballs

  • 1 lb. (454g) ground chicken (a few readers commented that we try chicken instead of turkey for a moister meatball!)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons almond flour
  • 1 cup (30g) finely chopped spinach (optional, but it’s just an extra way to sneak in more greens)
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil (for browning)


  1. In a large stock pot, brown leeks in choice of oil to release flavor (3 mins on medium).
  2. Add in carrots, celery, and garlic stirring regularly, being careful not to burn garlic (3-5 mins).
  3. Add bone broth, herbs, and seasonings and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover, and allow to simmer until all your veggies are tender.
  4. While that warms up, mix your meatballs (all ingredients) in a medium mixing bowl.
  5. When the broth is boiling, saute all sides of meatballs in avocado oil on your stovetop until just brown, then gently drop the meatballs (which won’t be fully cooked at this point) into the boiling broth.
  6. Add the cauliflower, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. Boil until everything is cooked through (about 20-30 minutes. The meatballs should be cooked through by then, just be sure to check they are 165 F if you have a meat thermometer).
  7. When everything is done cooking, quickly stir in the kale (or spinach) and allow the soup to boil for approximately 1-2 more minutes so the greens can cook down.
  8. Remove from heat and serve! I like a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, fresh parsley and an extra squeeze of lemon to finish.

Emily Henderson Bright And Fresh Chicken Meatball And Rainbow Veggie Soup Pinterest

If you’re into this soup movement and desperate for more than one recipe a week, may we suggest some of our favorite soup cookbooks below? These are the books that EHD team members and I are reaching for time, and time again.

Emily Henderson Soup Saturday Emilys Cookbooks1

Eating Well Soups | The Simply Real Health Cookbook | The Ultimate Book of Soups and Stews | The Soup & Bread Cookbook | Clean Soups | The Pho Cookbook

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4 years ago

InstantPot for bone broth! Mine doesn’t hold as much as my largest stockpot, so ends up being a smaller batch, but it only takes two hours and is every bit as delicious as my long-simmered broth.

4 years ago
Reply to  Shannon

Can you post instructions?! Would love to know more. 🙂

4 years ago
Reply to  Shannon

Yes! I came here to say this. So much easier! And once you’ve used it once or twice you get the hang of it and you might find yourself using it for many other dinners!

4 years ago
Reply to  Lisa

Ok i’ll bite (ha). I actually love the overnight broth making and yes, my stock pot is SO much bigger…. but to save 10 hours is a big deal. I’ve only used my insta pot once and it made all my veggies MUSH so i’m still resentful and angry at it 🙂 I need to let go of my grudge.

Beth Cote
4 years ago
Reply to  Shannon

I do too! Love it. I actually poach the chicken, debone, add another chicken carcass and then make the bone broth. (4 cups) I don’t use the instapot for soup making because I like semi crunchy veggies. The poached chicken is so useful the rest of the week.

4 years ago
Reply to  Beth Cote

We love poached chicken, too. I find it more versatile than roasted chicken, because it stays so tender.

My shortcut is to add extra chicken bones from a saved carcass to the pot while I am poaching the chicken. It adds a depth of flavor to the broth. For even more flavor, I brown the extra carcass in the pot first, which leaves a lovely fond on the bottom of the pan. Remove the extra carcass, add enough liquid (often white wine) to de-glaze the pan, then add the chicken to be poached and the browned carcass, aromatics, and herbs to the pot. I never let the chicken boil – bring it to just the start of a boil and lower the heat to simmer gently until done. Yum.

4 years ago

That soup is absolutely stunning! Minus the fungus, I would devour the whole pot!

I’ve been making bone broths for years. I used to simmer it on the stovetop for TWO DAYS. Recently I got myself an Instant Pot and now I set it for 3 hours and it’s done. I’m talking done PERFECTLY. I store my broth in mason jars in the fridge and they are pure gelatin one they get cold enough. I do chicken and also beef. The beef isn’t as flavorful, IMO, but it is much more gelatinous, so I usually make my soups 50/50.

Jennifer Ione Walker
4 years ago
Reply to  crcr

How long does it last in your fridge?

4 years ago

I am very curious about this bone broth- there are 3 kinds of potatoes in it and it seems like simmering for 16 (!) hours would turn them to mush which wouldn’t make a nice broth. I don’t put any potatoes in my broth because I don’t think it adds much flavor but am interested in knowing how this actually works from someone who has Done it. Also, I don’t simmer my broth anywhere near 8 hours as I don’t think improves the flavor but I do leave the broth sit to cool before straining which definitely add some flavor.

4 years ago
Reply to  Nicole

I think its the minerals from the potatoes. I’m not sure 🙂 they get strained out anyway. I didn’t do it the last time and it was just as good. Maybe the japanese sweet potato adds a lot, though as I’ve used that every time.

4 years ago

I usually don’t add any salt when I’m making stock, even at the end like that. It’s usually easier to get the salt level right if I wait until the stock goes into the soup.

4 years ago

We’ve been on a Paleo diet for a year and we are big soup enthusiasts. I was making my meatballs/meatloafs with almond flour which was…okay. But the Savory Lotus recipe for these soup meatballs (I have done chicken and turkey because I’ve made it 2 or 3 times since your original post) suggests cassava flour. I have been using cassava flour to make paleo tortillas but I never considered it to bind ground meat. But HOLY MOLY the meatballs are way, way better with cassava flour instead of almond flour. Cassava is grain free, paleo approved, yucca root flour. I recommend trying it!

4 years ago
Reply to  Kelly

INTERESTING. I have both but mostly use almond flour, but you just convinced me. I’ll try cassava.

4 years ago

Omg that looks so tasty. But also, that bowl?

Secondly, is there somewhere I could make suggestions for content ideas? Like a suggestions box? I’m going to Denmark to present in a conference and I was just thinking to myself, wouldn’t it be an awesome idea for them to do a post on what types of souveniers are worth displaying or even how to find them? Like for example I remember one of your old team members had a lot of really interesting stuff in her home that she purchased on her travels in Japan.

4 years ago
Reply to  Rachel

Love this idea for a post, Rachel!

Also, seconding the perfect soup bowl in the picture. Could we please get a link for where to buy a set?

4 years ago

I make bone broth frequently in my slow cooker. I cook it up to 24 hours using the same method listed here and then store in large mason jars. I ladle it into the jars using a large mouth funnel sold with canning supplies. When freezing, leave the jar lids loose. Once it is fully frozen, tighten the lids, otherwise the glass can crack when the liquid expands during the freezing process. The broth is concentrated, so I add water to measure the total amount I need in a recipe.

4 years ago
Reply to  Bonnie

I do the same! I usually make a whole organic chicken in the crockpot and have the chicken for dinner. At cleanup, I throw everything back in the crockpot and make broth. Two meals, one pot! It’s been a weekly staple for me for years.

4 years ago
Reply to  Maggie

okay, this is very smart. I might need to do this need week

4 years ago
Reply to  Bonnie

Second this! I always make bone broth in my slow cooker and let it go for 2 days, using whatever bones I have (most recent was leg of lamb) and whatever veg/herbs are laying around in the fridge. Then I ladle it through a strainer into a liquid measuring cup, then pour that over a fine mesh sieve into mason jars. Let them cool off then cover and freeze!

Elisa F
4 years ago

Fantastic, Emily! Thank you so much for such a detailed post and the book recommendations, too.

4 years ago

I gotta say- I love & fully support your soup movement. I’ve been making THE pot on Sundays & packing lunches (for me & hub) all week. They are delicious & FILLING. Who knew? Also, I NEVER pack lunches for myself or my hub, so not only do I feel like I’m saving tons of dollas but also a superhero that can parent, work full time, AND pack lunches for everyone- BOOYAH!

Marci Lambert
4 years ago

is there anyway to make this a printable recipe? i loved the beef and cabbage soup from a few weeks ago and i am sure i’d love this one as well. would be easy if i could just click to print it!

4 years ago

Can you make this printable – maybe a link to a pdf?

4 years ago
Reply to  Betsy

Ooh that’d be a good addition to these recipe posts 🙂

4 years ago

Thank you so much for such a detailed post.
Web reference:

4 years ago

I didn’t have everything necessary (or the time!) to make the bone broth, but made the soup last night and it is awesome!!! Super delicious and kind of tangy (I think from the vinegar?). I was really shocked at how flavorful the meatballs were! Such a wonderful combo of veggies and flavors. Love that you guys are doing this!!

Two minor notes on the recipe itself. I did not see when to add the grated ginger or mushrooms so I guessed! I added the ginger with the garlic in step 2 and honestly forgot about the mushrooms. No biggie, though. 🙂

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