ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP

This Italian Wedding Soup recipe is Italian comfort food at its best, and this easy soup recipe lends itself to countless variations. Substitute spinach, chicory, chard or any other leafy green for the escarole or kale, and any leftover cooked (or canned) beans for the white beans in this healthy* Italian wedding soup recipe.

*Use organic or non-GMO when possible

Prep Time: 1.5 Hours

Serves:       8

Ingredients:

MEATBALLS:

  • 1 pound ground turkey breast (or beef or chicken)
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • ½ teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup dry white wine

SOUP:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
  • 1 cup chopped carrots (2 medium)
  • 1 cup chopped celery (2 medium stalks)
  • 4 cups chopped cabbage (about ½ small head)
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed
  • 8 cups coarsely chopped escarole or thinly sliced kale leaves (about 1 bunch)
  • ½ cup freshly grated Romano cheese

Directions:

STEP 1

 To prepare meatballs: Combine turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, parsley, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, fennel seeds, pepper and salt in a large bowl. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to firm up. With damp hands, shape the mixture into 32 (1-inch) meatballs (about 1 scant tablespoon each).

STEP 2

To cook meatballs: Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 7 to 9 minutes. Remove from the heat, remove meatballs and add wine to pan, stirring gently to loosen any browned bits.

 STEP 3

 To prepare soup: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and celery and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent, 7 to 9 minutes. Add cabbage and cook, stirring, 5 minutes more. Stir in broth, beans, escarole (or kale) and the meatballs and any pan broth. Bring just to a boil, reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Top each portion with 1 tablespoon grated cheese.

 TIPS

Make Ahead Tip: Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 6 months; top with cheese just before serving.

Breadcrumbs Tip: To make your own fresh breadcrumbs, trim crusts from whole-wheat bread. Tear bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. To make fine breadcrumbs, process until very fine. To make dry breadcrumbs, spread coarse or fine breadcrumbs on a baking sheet and bake at 250°F until dry, about 10 to 15 minutes. One slice of bread makes about 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs or about 1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs.

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