Moroccan-inspired meatball and vegetable stew

Fast, flavourful and appealing comfort food!

This hearty and aromatic dish has quickly become a favourite comfort food meal for my family. The technique of layering the seasoning throughout all components of the stew makes it extra flavourful and appealing. Once you prep the meatballs and chop the vegetables, the soup is a cinch to pull together and the whole process takes just over half an hour. Any leftover soup freezes well.  Note that it’s easy to make a vegetarian or vegan version of this soup my making the meatballs with your favourite plant-based protein. If you’re looking for more ways to love meatballs, I highly recommend this Thai meatball and rice noodle bowl. 


  • 1 teaspoon (2.5 g) each black pepper, ground cumin, paprika, ginger and cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon (.8 g) ground turmeric
  • 1 pound (454 g) ground turkey, chicken, lamb or beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 medium white or yellow potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 medium onion
  • 8 cups (2 L) chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup (56 g) tomato paste
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for serving
  • Fresh lemon wedges, for serving


  • Preheat oven to 400F. Combine the spices and set aside. Line a large and medium sized baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Prepare meatballs by combining ground meat, minced garlic and 2 teaspoons 6 g) of the prepared spice mixture. Gently shape, compressing meat just enough to hold together, into 3/4 inch (2 cm) meatballs and place on the medium-sized prepared baking tray. Refrigerate until ready to cook.
  • Prepare vegetables by peeling the sweet and white potatoes first; cut them into 3/4 inch (2 cm) pieces and place in a bowl. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons (10 mL) of the olive oil and stir to coat evenly. Sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons (5 g) of the prepared spice mixture over the potatoes and stir again. Transfer the seasoned potatoes to the prepared large baking sheet, spreading out on one side of the pan, in a single layer. Place the baking tray in the preheated oven and set a timer for 5 minutes.
  • While potatoes start cooking, peel the carrots. Halve lengthwise, then slice in thin pieces. Trim the ends off the zucchini and quarter lengthwise then slice into thin pieces. Place the carrots, zucchini and halved cherry tomatoes in the same bowl you used for the potatoes and drizzle with 2 teaspoons (10 mL) of the olive oil. Stir to coat then sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons (5 g) of the spice mixture and stir again.
  • When the timer sounds, remove the potatoes from the oven and spread the carrot mixture out in a single layer on the other half of the baking sheet. Return pan to oven and set a timer for 10 minutes.
  • When timer sounds, add the meatball pan to the oven as well. Set a timer for 15 minutes.
  • While vegetables and meatballs are roasting, prepare the broth. Peel and dice the onion. Add the remaining olive oil to a large pot and place over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining spice mixture over the onions and cook, stirring often, for 1 minute. Pour the chicken broth over the onions and spices and add the tomato paste; stir to blend well. Increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to simmering.
  • When vegetables and meatballs have finished roasting, remove trays from oven. Add just the potatoes to the pot of broth and coarsely mash them with a potato masher or a few pulses with an immersion blender.
  • Add the remaining cooked vegetables and meatballs to the broth. Increase heat to medium and let warm for 3 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  • Ladle soup into warmed bowls and garnish with fresh cilantro and a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Serves 6 – 8.


Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

7 thoughts

  1. Oh yum. This would be spectacular with lamb! Unfortunately my husband won’t eat lamb, so I occasionally, like once a year, grab some lamb chops and cook them just for me! Great recipe!

    1. I love lamb, but recognize that many people don’t …. hence the suggestion to use one’s ground meat (or plant-based protein) of choice! And lamb chops sure are divine, in my opinion. Glad you make them for yourself sometimes!

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