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Dutch Vegetable Soup with Meatballs

Dutch Vegetable Soup with Meatballs

If you go to a Dutch specialty store in our city, you’ll find Scott buying boxes of powdered soup mix. He only buys a particular brand and his favourite flavour is groentesoep (vegetable soup).

The words on the box are all in Dutch; neither of us can read it, but Google Translate helps. I’ll admit that, for a boxed soup, it’s pretty good as a quick meal when we are in a hurry or tired from a long day.

To prepare it, Scott goes by memory of how he always ate it growing up. For him, it’s both tasty and nostalgic. Scott’s dad would make this soup on Sunday nights as a warm bowl of comfort food prior to going curling.

It was the chicken noodle soup of their family; that simple, delicious meal that fills you up, warms you up, and reminds you of time spent with your family.

We have talked about making the soup without the box since we knew it was probably easy to do from scratch. We set out to make a completely homemade version.

Scott grew up with using the pantry staples of carrots and celery. Of course, the vegetables can be changed around so that you can use those you already have at home; broccoli and cauliflower would be a great substitution!

The little meatballs, of course, can be made in a variety of ways, but Scott grew up eating a simple version with lean ground beef (no eggs), a few choice spices, and fresh parsley and chives.

We hope you enjoy this recipe.

Ground beef, parsley, carrots, celery, pasta, and vegetable broth.

Mise en place {see Ingredients for amounts}. 

A bowl of beef meatballs.

Combine meatball ingredients together and then form little meatballs.

Meatball and vegetable soup in a pot.

Bring vegetable broth to a boil and add carrots, celery, vermicelli, and meatballs. Reduce to a simmer and cook until vegetables are folk-tender and meatballs are cooked through. 

Two bowls of Dutch Vegetable Soup with Meatballs

Remove from heat and top with fresh chopped parsley and chives.

An overhead view of two bowls of Dutch Vegetable Soup with Meatballs

Plate and serve immediately. Enjoy! 

A bowl of Dutch Vegetable Soup with Meatballs next to a spoon.
Dutch Vegetable Soup with Meatballs

Dutch Vegetable Soup with Meatballs

Yield: 2 as a meal, 4 as a side
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Dutch Vegetable Soup with Meatballs or groentesoep met balletjes is a healthy, simple soup with vegetables, vermicelli pasta, small beef meatballs, and fresh herbs. One-pot and ready in 30 minutes!


For the meatballs:

  • ½ lb. lean ground beef
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp onion salt
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

For the soup:

  • 4 1/2 cups vegetable broth (I used low sodium)
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 2 celery sticks, sliced
  • 4 ounces vermicelli pasta, broken into small pieces
  • 3-4 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3-4 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. In a medium bowl, thoroughly combine meatball ingredients, then form small meatballs (about 1 tablespoon each). Set aside.
  2. In a medium pot over high heat, bring the vegetable broth to a boil. Add the carrots, celery, vermicelli, and meatballs. Reduce to a simmer and cook until vegetables are fork-tender and meatballs are cooked through, about 10-12 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and top with parsley and chives. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 222Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 2311mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 20g

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Brandon Van Winkle

Sunday 8th of October 2023

Making this now in my Dutch Oven! Had to substitute a few things like vermicelli for angel hair and I added a bit of nutmeg to the meatballs. Will Def try meatballs first then veggies. Celebrating my Dutch heritage on a Sunday paired with a cold Amstel! Had most of the ingredients in the pantry love it! Thanks!

Marie | Yay! for Food

Tuesday 10th of October 2023

The soup and beer sounds like a winning combo! I hope you had a fantastic meal and day!


Saturday 8th of October 2022

If I make it chicken I always add lovage. It’s I the celery family. My Dutch Oma taught me how to make it. Now my Dutch husband makes it for our Sunday soup. It brings back memories of our family in the “old” country. Yummy

Marie | Yay! for Food

Saturday 8th of October 2022

I loved hearing your story! Thanks for stopping by!


Monday 13th of June 2022

Interesting you mention cauliflower, because in the Netherlands we use carrots, celery, cauliflower leek and red bell peppers in this soup (with the peppers it is considered farmers vegetable soup, no idea why)

Also a dash of curry powder near the end is something I quite like to add

And I prefer to add the meatballs first and once they float at the top, add the vegetables, so they have a little more bite

Marie | Yay! for Food

Tuesday 14th of June 2022

Thank you for the wonderful info, Patrick. I’ll try adding curry powder next time!


Friday 15th of November 2019

I grew up eating this soup too. We always used packaged vegetable soup mix, but we used the Knorr brand since couldn’t find the Dutch version. We just called it balletjes soup. As a kid I called ball cheese soup, and always questioned why it didn’t have balls of cheese in it. 😜

Marie | Yay! for Food

Friday 15th of November 2019

What a cute story! Thanks for sharing. My husband and I had a giggle over it this morning. :) Now he wants to make this soup again!

Ruth groot

Friday 16th of November 2018

I grew up on Dutch soup my dad was Dutch it’s delicious now I make it for my girls

Marie | Yay! For Food

Friday 16th of November 2018

My husband was the same! His family grew up eating it so we thought we would share it on the blog. It's so comforting.

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