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Lemony Orzo Soup with Seafood-Feta Meatballs

  • Salmon burger
  • Halibut
  • Test Kitchen
  • Make ahead
  • Greek
  • Active Time:1 hr
  • Total Time:1 hr 15 min
  • Servings:4
  • Difficulty:Intermediate
Photo by Julia Gartland

In this Greek-inspired meatball soup, salmon burger meat is more than a simple substitute for ground beef or pork. Delicate and mild, it’s an excellent complement to the robust flavors of dill, feta, and lemon. Halibut burger is a great substitute.


  • 1 pound salmon burger or halibut burger Available in Our Seafood Subscription Box

  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion, divided

  • ¾ cup dried bread crumbs or panko

  • ½ cup crumbled feta

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, divided

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • Extra virgin olive oil, for frying

  • 1 large garlic clove, minced

  • 1 quart high-quality, low-sodium chicken stock

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ¼-inch cubes (about 1 cup)

  • ½ cup dried orzo

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


Prepare the Meatballs

To make the meatballs, place the burger meat in a fine-meshed sieve and gently press to remove any excess liquid. In a large bowl, combine the burger, ½ cup of the onion, the bread crumbs, feta, egg, 2 tablespoons of the chopped dill, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, and the red pepper flakes. Cover and refrigerate for about 15 minutes, or until firm enough to roll. Form the mixture into 24 balls (each about 1½ inches in diameter).

Cook the Meatballs

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, fry the meatballs, turning occasionally, until deeply golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add more olive oil as needed and adjust the heat to prevent scorching. Do not overcrowd the pan or it will be difficult to rotate the meatballs gently. Transfer the meatballs to a baking sheet or plate and season with salt.

Make the Soup

In a medium Dutch oven or pot, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium until shimmering. Add the remaining ½ cup onion and the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant and softened, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Bring the broth to a boil and add the carrots and orzo. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the carrots are tender but still firm and the orzo is al dente, about 8 minutes.

Finish and Serve

Just before serving, reduce the heat to low and add the meatballs to the broth. Cook until just warmed through, about 1 minute.

Stir in the lemon juice and remaining chopped dill just before serving. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Premium Seafood Subscription Box delivery of halibut and sockeye portions
Premium Seafood Subscription Box delivery of halibut and sockeye portions

Premium Seafood Subscription Box

$159 / box 4.5 lbs

Pro Tips

Pair it Up

Greek white wines using grapes like assyrtiko are bright and crisp and have a refreshing minerality—perfect for pairing with the Mediterranean flavors of this dish.

Spice It Up

Dollop some Greek yogurt or tzatziki over each bowl..

Lighten It Up

Instead of frying, arrange the meatballs on a baking sheet and generously mist with cooking spray. Broil until golden and crisp, turning once, about 2 minutes per side. Proceed as directe


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