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Skinny Italian Wedding Soup

 This healthier version of Italian Wedding Soup is a comforting, filling and delicious one pot meal.

I absolutely adore soup. I'm sure this is something I've carried from childhood. During the winter months and Lent, my mom would make soup for us every Friday, since we weren't suppose to eat meat. Most of the time I adored her soup, but her corn soup was something I could not enjoy (think creamed corn mixed with rice). On Christmas Eve we would enjoy a quick meal of tomato noodle soup, to tie us over until we came home from Midnight Mass, to enjoy our Christmas meal. When I first was diagnosed with Crohn's disease, one of the few things I could enjoy was a nice hot mug of chicken noodle soup. All these memories accompanied by soup, have a comforting vibe about them.

On cold days where I feel like I just want to wrap myself up in blankets and forget the world, I know a big bowl of hearty soup will make things right. This healthy Italian Wedding soup is no exception. Filled with tender chicken meatballs and hearty greens, it's sure to warm your weary bones. 


Originating in Naples, "Minestra Mariata" which means married soup, was primarily made with tons of bitter leafy greens (kale, chard, chickory, etc.), and a hearty meat broth, with the addition of pork, beef, ham hock or sausages. It was heavy on vegetables and light on meat. When this soup made it's way to America, little tiny meatballs were introduced to the soup. It was viewed as a peasant soup, since it used up whatever meat bits and greens available.

Since my daughter and I are not big fans of beef, I decided to make ground chicken meatballs. By browning them in the pot before simmering them in the soup, they become juicy and tender. Cooked in a rich homemade chicken stock, tiny pasta is perfectly cooked and helps make this soup a bit more filling. 


Italian Wedding Soup


Meatballs
1 lb ground chicken
1 egg
1/2 C bread crumbs
1/4 C Parmesan cheese
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp dry basil
1/2 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper

Soup
2 Tbs olive oil
1 onion, minced
2 large carrots, chopped
6 cups chicken stock
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper
1 1/2 C mini pasta (I used mini bow ties)
2 C fresh kale, chopped
a 2 inch piece of Parmesan rind
Parmesan for serving


In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, egg, bread crumbs, Parmesan, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Gently mix until well combined. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop equal amounts of ground chicken mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. With wet hands, roll each scoop of meat into a ball. 

Heat the olive oil in a large thick bottomed soup pot, over medium high heat. Add the meatballs and cook a few minutes on each side until all sides are browned. Remove from the pot and add onion and cook until translucent. Add in the carrots and cook for 3 minutes. Pour in chicken stock and season with oregano, basil, garlic powder, Parmesan rind, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and add browned meatballs. Simmer, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes. 

Add in pasta and cook, stirring frequently, until al dente; about 10 minutes Add in chopped kale and cook for an additional 10 minutes, until the kale is wilted. Fish out the piece of Parmesan rind before serving soup with additional Parmesan, if desired.

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Comments

  1. This soup sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is one of my favorite soups to have during the cold winters up here in the Berkshires. Lovely take on a classic!

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a treat. I had never heard of this and you make it look so simple yet delicious.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I don't know why I've never made this soup but your version sounds so good I'm gonna do it!!

    ReplyDelete

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