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Bowls of Italian Wedding Soup against a white background with parmesan cheese in the background
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5 from 4 votes

Italian Wedding Soup

This wonderful Italian Wedding Soup is made with warm, flavorful chicken broth, kale, tender root veggies, juicy meatballs, and loads of delicious pasta.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 429kcal

Ingredients

For the Meatballs

  • 1 small yellow grated onion
  • 1/3 cup minced kale
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese plus more for serving
  • 8 oz 85% lean ground beef
  • 8 oz ground pork

For the Soup

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup minced yellow onions about 1 medium onion
  • 1 cup 1/4 inch diced carrots about 3 medium carrots
  • 1 cup 1/4 inch diced celery 2-3 medium stalks
  • 10 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup orzo or other small pasta such as acini di pepe or tubetini
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 oz kale

Instructions

For the Meatballs

  • In a medium bowl, stir together the onion, minced kale, egg, garlic, parsley, salt, pepper, and breadcrumbs. Add the cheese and ground meats and combine using your hands or a fork. Using about a heaping teaspoon portion, roll the mixture into meatballs; this will yield about 40 meatballs. set aside on a sheet pan. This step can be done in advance.

Make the Soup

  • Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and saute until the onions are translucent, about 7 minutes.
  • Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and meatballs, return to a boil and cook until the pasta is al dente and the meatballs are cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  • Taste the broth and adjust the seasoning to your liking with salt and pepper. Stir in the chopped kale and simmer for a couple of minutes more, until the kale is just wilted but still a vibrant green.
  • Ladle into bowls and serve with a little extra grated cheese.

Notes

The meatballs can be made a day in advance.  Form them and store on a sheet pan covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator.  For longer-term storage, arrange the meatballs on a sheet pan so they are not touching and freeze until solid.  Transfer to an airtight container such as a freezer bag and freeze up to 2 months.
Given the large quantity of stock used here, this is the perfect recipe to use homemade if you have some on hand; not only does homemade stock taste better, but it's generally more nutritious.  If you don't, store bought chicken stock is fine.
The greens in this recipe are flexible.  You can also sub for spinach if you desire.

Nutrition

Calories: 429kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 933mg | Potassium: 819mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 5937IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 188mg | Iron: 3mg