Italian Wedding Soup - Mountain Cravings

Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup

Fall hit Colorado hard this past weekend and it’s finally soup season!

Soups almost feel like cheating at eating healthy – a hearty broth can be so filling and satisfying. Italian Wedding Soup has the classic comforts of meatballs and pasta but it’s also loaded with veggies. The starch from the pasta makes the broth creamy and rich. This is my replacement for the classic chicken soup as a go-to when I’m sick, worn out, or just want to be indulgent.

Italian Wedding Soup

This soup has nothing to do with weddings and everything to do with the beautiful marriage of green vegetables and meat. And you can hit a very zen-like state when you’re rolling endless little bite-sized meatballs. Just me? Okay.

Our original family recipe uses half beef and half pork for the meatballs and sautés them on the stove, and let me tell you, those things are GOOD. But subbing ground turkey and baking saves you over 100 calories and 13g of fat per serving. Totally worth it, especially when we’re loading them up with so much parmesan and parsley goodness.

Italian Wedding Soup

If you’re wondering what the heck acini de pepe is and where to get it… they’re just tiny little pasta balls. My local grocery store has three or four varieties, and you can sub any other small pasta shape if you can’t find it. Stelline, tiny stars, are cute for kids everyone and about the same size.

Italian Wedding Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 8 bowls
Ingredients
  • ½ onion, finely diced
  • ½ cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. pepper
  • ¾ cup bread crumbs
  • ½ cup Parmesan
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1½ onions, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 12 cups chicken broth
  • 1 lb spinach, ribboned
  • 1 cup acini de pepe (or other small pasta)
  • parmesan for serving
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Meatballs first! Combine all the meatball ingredients in a big bowl. This is a good time to get your hands dirty and really make sure everything’s mixed well.
  3. Roll into meatballs about the size of a nickel and place on a baking sheet. You want the final meatball to be bite-sized, but keep in mind they’ll shrink while baking.
  4. Bake at 350° for around 20 minutes, until just barely cooked through.
  5. While the meatballs are baking, get started on chopping the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic.
  6. Sauté the vegetables in a big stockpot for five minutes or until the onions are just turning translucent.
  7. Add the chicken broth and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the carrots and celery are almost cooked through.
  8. Stir in the acini de pepe followed by the spinach. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until the pasta is just barely al dente – it will continue to cook in the hot broth.
  9. Ladle into bowls, add meatballs, and top with parmesan.
Notes
This recipe makes quite a lot of soup and freezes beautifully. It’s worth making the whole batch and saving some for later (because rolling all those tiny meatballs does take some time, and if you’re going to do it, better make a hundred or so!). Go ahead and make the broth as usual, but freeze the meatballs separately and add them after you’ve reheated the soup.

This can also be prepped ahead of time up until adding the acini de pepe and spinach.

Nutrition Facts
8 servings per container
Serving size 1 bowl

Amount per serving
Calories 336
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 72mg 24%
Sodium 1311mg 57%
Total Carbohydrate 34g 12%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 6g
Includes g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 21g

Calcium 14mg 2%
Iron 17mg 95%
Not a significant source of vitamin D, or potassium.

The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.



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