Recipe: Italian Wedding Soup, YSOL-style
Typically, Italian Wedding Soup is made up of chicken stock, tiny meatballs, even tinier pasta (pastina) and escarole. It’s fantastic, but like many traditional recipes, could use a little lightening up by reducing fat and adding more veggies. I’ve also amped up the flavor by using my complex “Viva Italia!” seasoning blend, both inside the meatballs and in the broth at serving time.
So, I’ve swapped out the pasta for cannelloni beans, which provide the same weight and starchiness as the pasta, but add protein. The typical beef meatball is transformed with low-fat turkey breast, and I’ve added carrot and fennel bulb to the usual garlic and onion in the meatballs.
Overall, you still get the same warm, wedding-ish feeling from this soup, but now you can feel better about eating it! Who wants to hear the recipe? I DO!
1 1/4 pounds of ground turkey breast
2 large garlic cloves
1 medium yellow onion
¾ c fresh parsley, chopped, divided in half
½ t sea salt
3 t “Viva Italia” spice blend
1/2 c grated cheese, divided in half
½ c finely minced carrot
½ c finely minced fresh fennel bulb (optional)
1 can white cannelloni beans, with liquid
32 oz can chicken stock
1 lb fresh spinach, washed and stems removed, or 1 c frozen spinach leaves. Escarole may also be substituted for the spinach.
- Very finely mince garlic, onion, carrot, and fresh fennel bulb.
- Finely chop parsley, set aside ¼ cup for garnish.
- Mix the veggies in a large bowl with the ground turkey, egg, sea salt, 2 t of “Viva Italia” and ¼ c of the grated cheese.
- Form into ¾” balls and put in refrigerator for 20 minutes. This helps the turkey balls to stay together, since there are no breadcrumbs in this recipe.
- Brown the turkey in small batches, in a soup pot, using olive oil or a combination of butter and olive oil.
- When done browning all the turkey, pour in the chicken stock and cannelloni beans, including the liquid.
- Reduce heat to medium-high and cook until the soup is very hot and the turkey balls are cooked through.
- Add in the fresh or frozen spinach. Continue cooking 2-3 minutes.
- Shut off heat and add the reserved ¼ c chopped parsley, ¼ c grated cheese and 1 t “Viva Italia” blend. Or, these 3 items can be sprinkled on the soup as toppings once the soup is ladled into individual bowls.