Simple Zucchini and Meatball Soup

This zucchini and meatball soup is a very easy Vietnamese inspired dish that is usually eaten with other rice dishes or by itself. It is simply slices of zucchini and pork meatballs that is flavoured with onions and fish sauce. A delicious soup for those who need something quick and healthy.

Before we get into it today, I just want to share something completely irrelevant to this recipe. It is the story of my kitchen knife. A few months ago, my favourite kitchen knife went missing. It was one of those knives that was made of Damascus steel and had a very beautiful grain on it. We bought it when we moved into our home. Now, its gone and we have absolutely no idea what happened to it.

I have looked everywhere at home, and the only possible conclusion I can come up with is that we accidentally chucked it out with the trash. Steph on the other hand has gone off on a complete tangent and is convinced someone broke into our home, stole the knife and is now hiding in the attic waiting at any moment to strike. I told her she was completely nuts… but sometimes the mind wonders and I find myself entertaining the crazy idea. Either way, someone or something has my knife and I want it back!!! Has anyone else ever had something like this just disappear?

Simple zucchini and Meatball Soup

This recipe is something my mum made often growing up at home. I am not sure if it is a traditional Vietnamese dish or not but we usually have this with a few other rice dishes. It is a type of dish us Vietnamese call canh. Canh is usually a soup with vegetables and meat that is eaten towards the end of the meal to wash everything down. It is also one of those dishes that ensures that you are getting your daily dose of healthy vegetables.

Over the years, I have found that it is one of those meals (for me) that I enjoy eating by itself or with little bit of rice. It is something very filling and has become one of my “go to” recipes when needing a healthy low carb meal.

Massage the Pork!

OK, I know this sounds weird but trust me! You need to do this because it will prevent:

  • A lot of scum from forming on the surface of your soup.
  • Gives the meatballs a uniform texture.
  • And it just feels good. Relieves any pent up anger or frustration.

Now you are probably thinking.. what do I mean by massaging? What I do is I use both my hands to squeeze the mince in between my fingers until everything is completely combined. This will probably take 1 – 2 minutes and then at the end I will clump it all together and start making meatballs.

Some Helpful Tips!

  • Cut the zucchini pieces thick to prevent them cooking too fast. You will find that soft and translucent zucchini is not very tasty.
  • Do not cook the zucchini until done. If its done then its over cooked because it will continue to soften inside your bowl. My advice is to serve it immediately while there is still bite to the zucchini.
  • The seasoning in this dish is completely up to you. If you want more depth of flavour then I suggest adding more fish sauce. If you just want more seasoning then add more salt and pepper.
  • If the soup is too salty or punchy, then simply add more boiling water.
  • Keep it simple!

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Simple Zucchini and Meatball Soup

Simple Zucchini and Meatball Soup

Course Dinner, Lunch, Rice Dish
Cuisine Vietnamese
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 2
Author Scruff


  • 1.5 L water
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar (omit for low carb)
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2 zucchinis (300 gm) cut into 1 cm slices
  • 2 – 3 tbsp fish sauce, to your taste


  • 250 gm pork mince
  • 1/2 – 1 tbsp fish sauce, to taste
  • pepper, to taste


  • 1 spring onion stalk, finely chopped


  1. Prep all your ingredients.

  2. In a pot, boil the water on medium high.

  3. Add the onions, salt and pepper. Let it simmer on medium low.

  4. In a large bowl, add the pork mince, fish sauce and pepper. Put a small piece of meat onto a plate and in the microwave for 30 seconds or until cooked. Taste check for the seasoning and adjust to your liking.

  5. Use your hands to combine thoroughly and mould into meatballs. Add the meatballs to the soup and cook until all the meatballs are floating.

  6. Add the sliced zucchini and turn the heat up onto medium high. Once the water starts boiling, turn the heat off and put the lid on. Let it sit for 2 -3 minutes.

  7. Check the zucchini to see if is cooked. If no, then turn the heat back on until done to your liking.

  8. Check the soup for seasoning / flavour. Adjust to your taste. (please refer to the tips section for advice)

  9. Garnish with spring onions and serve with rice or by itself.

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