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Italian Wedding Soup

This soup is packed with protein and fresh vegetables. You can use whatever greens you have on hand or add frozen veggies too. You can also easily half the soup recipe and then freeze half the meatballs for a quick dinner another night.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Soup
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients

FOR THE MEATBALLS:

  • 1 1/2 lb. pastured grass-fed ground beef
  • 1/2 lb. ground pork or all ground beef
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp. parsley freshly chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 1/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese finely grated
  • 2/3 cup milk or water

FOR THE SOUP:

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes optional
  • 1 1/4 cup diced yellow onion about 3/4 -1 onion
  • 1 1/4 cup diced celery 4-5 stalks
  • 1 1/2 cup diced carrots 3 large carrots
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped or minced
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice about half a lemon
  • 5 cups dark leafy greens escarole, spinach, swiss chard, or kale chopped coarsely
  • sea salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • grated/finely shredded parmesan for serving

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a bowl, combine all of the 'for the meatballs' ingredients. Using your hands, gently combine.
  • With a melon baller or a teaspoon, drop ~1 - 1 1/4 inch balls onto two parchment paper lined baking sheets. Using your hands, go back through and roll the meatballs into round circles, they don't have to be perfect.
  • Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes (swap placement of trays halfway through), or until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside until soup is ready.
  • While the meatballs bake, heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a dutch oven or large soup pot.
  • Add the onions, celery, carrots, red pepper flakes, and garlic. Season with a little salt and pepper, and sauté until softened, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the chicken broth and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Then, reduce heat to a low simmer (medium-low heat or low heat depending on your stovetop). Simmer for about 10-20 minutes (or until meatballs are done).
  • Add the parsley, oregano, and the leafy greens. Stir until just wilted.
  • Add the cooked meatballs into the soup, taste and add salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Ladle soup into bowls, sprinkle with parmesan and enjoy!

Notes

  • The meatballs freeze well. You can make double the meatballs recipe and freeze half, or make the full recipe of meatballs (freeze half) and make half the soup recipe (for 4 people).
  • To freeze the meatballs: once they are cooked and have cooled, put your pan straight in the freezer. Leave them for about 1-2hrs, then take them out and throw them into a freezer bag. Squeeze out as much air as you can, and then put back in the freezer for up to 3-4 months.