In the past few weeks even though I’m in sunny 😎 California, I’ve been enjoying several soups. This Italian Wedding Soup is adapted from Ina Garten’s (the Barefoot Contessa) recipe with a few changes because Mr. G.Q. has been eating mostly along the lines of a ketogenic diet since the first of the year. As I wanted him to enjoy this soup as our entree, I omitted the pasta that’s in the original recipe. I also substituted Ezekiel bread, which had a much lower glycemic index (thus it doesn’t spike one’s blood sugar and is low in carbs), for the white bread crumbs suggested by the original recipe.
Here’s the skinny on the recipe: ***(Don’t be overwhelmed by the ingredient list. It’s a straightforward recipe and takes one hour and 15 minutes from start to finish. You can easily make the soup and meatballs separately ahead of time and either pop them in the fridge for a few days, combining and simmering for 10-15 minutes. Or just freeze the whole recipe up to several months. Just be sure to label your container carefully so as to avoid the “mystery freezer items”…).
Italian Wedding Soup
For the meatballs
-3/4 pound ground chicken 🐔
-1/2 pound chicken 🐔 sausage, casings removed
-2/3 cup fresh bread 🥖 crumbs (I used the Ezekiel bread pictured above, removed the crust, and pulsed it in my baby food processor)
-2 tsp minced garlic (2 cloves)
-3 T chopped fresh parsley
-1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese 🧀
-1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 🧀, plus extra for serving
-3 T milk 🥛
-1 extra-large egg 🥚, lightly beaten
-Kosher salt 🧂 and freshly ground black pepper
For the Soup 🍲
-2 T olive oil
-1 cup minced yellow onion 🧅
-1 cup 1/4-inch-diced carrots 🥕 (3 carrots 🥕)
-3/4 cup 1/4-inch-diced celery (2 stalks)
10 cups chicken stock (I use low sodium 🧂)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup minced fresh dill
12 ounces baby spinach, washed and trimmed
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
For the meatballs, place the ground chicken 🐓, sausage, bread 🥖 crumbs, garlic, parsley, Pecorino, Parmesan, milk, egg, 1 tsp salt 🧂, 1/2 tsp pepper in a bowl and combine gently with a fork.
4. With a teaspoon drop 1- to 1 1/4- inch meatballs onto the prepared sheet pan. They don’t have to be perfectly round. You should have about 40 meatballs.
5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside.
6. In the meantime for the soup, heat the olive oil over medium low heat in a large heavy pan or Dutch oven. Add the onions 🧅, carrots🥕, celery and sauté until softened, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
7. Add the chicken stock and wine and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer for 10 minutes.
8.Add the fresh dill and then the meatballs to the soup. Simmer for one minute.
9.Taste for salt 🧂 and pepper. Stir in the fresh spinach and cook for 1 minute until the spinach is just wilted.
10.Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle each bowl with extra Parmesan cheese 🧀.
N.B. A cool hack is to purchase an herb saver. My kids bought this for me last year at Christmas and I love ❤️ it!!! I put all kinds of herbs in it and store it on the inside door of my fridge. I can easily keep herbs totally fresh for three weeks. It works especially well with parsley, dill, thyme, rosemary. Not so much with chives. I think it would be great with cilantro but sadly it tastes like soap 🧼 to me so I don’t cook with it😬.
I hope you love ❤️ this soup as much I Mr. G.Q. and I do. The meatballs are soooo tasty!
Let me know below in the “comments” if you think it works with the healthier bread in the meatballs and without the pasta.
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