A healthier version of classic Italian Wedding Soup featuring tender meatballs, fiber-rich beans and kale, and a full-flavored broth. All that, and it requires just 9 ingredients!
- 1 pound ground pork, turkey or chicken (I like half pork and half turkey)
- ½ cup whole-wheat panko bread crumbs
- ⅔ packed cup fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped, divided
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 4 large cloves garlic, divided
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt & black pepper
- 1 ½ cups finely chopped onion (½ yellow onion)
- 3 cups chopped Tuscan kale, packed
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can cannellini beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- Combine ground meat, Panko, ⅓ cup parsley, egg, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Mix just until combined.
- Shape meat mixture into 1 ½-inch meatballs (#24 scoop // 1.5 ounces) and arrange on a plate.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium until shimmering. Add half the meatballs in an even layer, and cook, without moving, until first side is dark brown, about 3 minutes. Using tongs, turn meatballs and cook until second side is well browned, about 3 minutes more. Transfer meatballs back to plate and repeat with remaining meatballs; set aside.
- Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil to now empty pot over medium until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add 2 chopped garlic cloves and 1 tablespoon salt and cook 1 minute.
- Add 8 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to medium and simmer 8 minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir in meatballs, kale and beans; simmer until kale is just wilted.
- Off heat, stir in remaining ⅓ cup parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Kosher Salt: you may be shocked to see I add 1 tablespoon kosher salt to the onions while they cook. First and foremost, it’s important that you’re using kosher salt. If all you have is table salt I would start with 1 ½ teaspoons. Secondly, since this recipe uses water instead of broth, we’ve got to season the soup ourselves. 1 tablespoon of kosher salt will create a nice depth of flavor for both the broth and the soup’s components.
Gluten-free: to make this recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free Panko bread crumbs in the meatballs.
To make this even quicker, you can use frozen meatballs. Add them into the soup a few minutes before adding the kale and beans.
Keywords: easy italian wedding soup, italian wedding soup recipe