Frikadeļu zupa (Meatball soup)

Meatball soup - Frikadelu zupa

Let’s talk soup. Without much exaggeration, Australians only eat pumpkin or pea & ham soup, only in winter and usually both are blended to the consistency of baby food. Latvians, on the other hand, would have tens of soup varieties, eaten all year round and with chunky meat and vegetables in them.

When I was growing up, meatball soup (frikadeļu zupa) was my brother’s favourite dish. As far as I can remember, my grandparents made it so often that I developed a mild dislike for it, and my brother is a vegan now (not sure if decision was soup related). Nevertheless, my kids love the meatball soup. It is light and easy to make, usually served with a dollop of sour cream and rye bread. For a twist, add some finely diced pickles when serving, as my grandma does.


Meatball soup

30 minutes

Meatball soup


  • 2 litres water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 stock cube (optional)
  • black peppercorns
  • 4 medium carrots
  • 4 potatoes
  • 500g beef mince
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon pepper for seasoning
  • 1 large gherkin (optional)
  • sour cream for serving


  1. Peel and finely slice carrots. Peel and dice potatoes.
  2. Place the carrots, bay leaf, peppercorn, stock cube and the water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes.
  3. Add diced potatoes, bring back to a boil and simmer for additional 3 - 5 minutes.
  4. While carrots and potatoes are simmering, place mince, egg, breadcrumbs and pepper in a medium bowl and mix together. With wet hands form small balls (size of a teaspoon).
  5. Add the balls to the saucepan and simmer on low heat for about 15-20 minutes, until vegetables and meatballs have cooked through.
  6. Ladle the soup in bowls and add a tablespoon of sour cream.


This amount of soup would be enough for 4 people for a proper lunch or 6-8 people as an entree. You can sprinkle some finely chopped parsley or dill when serving for additional flavour.



  1. Harold Hecuba
    September 19, 2014

    Making this tomorrow and I can hardly wait. One question: what is the sour cream FOR?

    1. Liva
      September 21, 2014

      You just mix a tablespoon of sour cream in each bowl when serving. It is optional, but most people would eat it like that.

  2. Irena
    October 25, 2014

    Just seeing the proper name for meatballs – frikadeles, brought all warm memories for this delicious soup.

  3. Anonymous
    May 1, 2015

    i loved it

  4. anonymous person
    May 1, 2020

    it was lush if you get some Philadelphia a spread it on spread it on some bread, dip it in and it just tops it off

    1. Krista Work
      January 13, 2024

      I’ve made this recipe repeatedly, and it reminds me of my childhood when Omamma would make frikadeļļu zuppa for us. When I was little, I didn’t like dill or dill pickles (gherkins) or sour cream, but now that I’m in my 40s, I savor those add ons.

      In fact, one of my cousins gave me Laima Šokolāde for Christmas and I had a few squares of “Vāverīte,” piena šokolāde ar veseliem un drupinātiem lazdu riekstiem, for dessert.

      Mmmmm. Paldies par recepti!

  5. Alex Fanning
    October 2, 2020

    I don’t remember my Latvian Gramma ever making this dish, but I will!


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