As spring approaches, we are nearing the end of soup season. I think I still have a little time to squeeze in a couple more recipes though, because it’s not too warm yet. Pretty soon it will be grilling time!
This is a pretty light and healthful soup with tons of flavor. It has tiny meatballs, which I made from lean ground turkey and cooked in the oven prior to putting them in the soup to avoid having the grease from them in the soup itself. I put two cloves of garlic in the meatballs because Tim and I both love garlic. I also loaded them up with parsley, and there was just so much flavor in them! I think they were Tim’s favorite part. 🙂 The soup itself starts like I start roughly 80% of the soups I make – with carrots, onion, and celery. Typically, I would put garlic in that part too, but since there was some in the meatballs I didn’t, and it didn’t really need it. There’s also escarole in this recipe, but if you can’t find that, you could substitute spinach or kale. All in all, it’s pretty easy too. Just takes a little extra prep time to roll and cook the meatballs, but it’s not difficult. It makes a pretty big batch, so you could easily freeze portions for later when you don’t feel like cooking. This recipe is definitely a keeper!
Italian Wedding Soup
- 1 20 oz package of lean ground turkey (I used 99% lean)
- 1/3 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped (a generous handful)
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup onion, minced
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan in a slow stream
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
- 8 cups fat-free low sodium chicken broth
- 1 (16 oz) head escarole, chopped
- 3/4 to 1 cup uncooked orzo, depending on how much you like
- salt and pepper to taste
- Freshly grated or shredded parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and put a wire baking rack on top of that.
In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, bread crumbs, parmesan, parsley, egg, onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper (to your liking). Mix well, but do not overmix. Shape into about 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls and place on the baking rack/sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, until they start to turn lightly golden.
Heat olive oil in a large soup pot and add carrots, celery, and onion. Cook for 5-6 minutes, until veggies begin to soften. Add broth, orzo, and cooked meatballs, and cook 7-8 minutes until orzo is tender. Stir in escarole and allow to wilt for about one minute.
Serve with freshly grated or shredded parmesan cheese if desired (the real stuff, not the powder). We had it both with and without the cheese, and it’s great both ways. We loved the soup with grainy bread for dipping.