Well, there is a light dusting of snow or ice or combination of both on the ground this morning. I just finished my final test of this soup last evening and its just what I want for lunch today. When its simmering, the house smells like home. I love lightening it up a little with ground turkey. There is so much flavor going on you won’t even notice the substitution. I love using my own homemade bone broth for this one because the richness makes it hearty enough to qualify as a legit supper.
This soup is a staple in about every Italian restaurant in Rhode Island and brings me right back to my childhood.
Ps. It was also served at my wedding.
Italian Wedding Soup with Turkey Meatballs
This soup comes from the Italian " Minestra Maritata". Where I'm from, this soup is on every restaurant menu. Ironically, it is also served at American Italian weddings. It actually has to do with the marriage between the flavors the greens and the meat. Cute, huh? Mangiare!
For the Base:
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fennel seed
- 1 small onion, cut into chunks
- 2 medium celery stalks, with leaves, cut into chunks
- 5-6 small to medium carrots, peeled and cut into small half moons
- 2 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves or 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 bunch (2-3 cups) kale, escarole, or swiss chard ribs removed and torn into 1 " pieces
- 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2" chunks
- 6-8 cups bone broth or chicken stock
For the Turkey Meatballs:
- 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
- kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan or grana padano (my fav) optional, omit for paleo or whole30
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 cup country style bread crust removed, torn into very small chunks, or put through a food processor to make fine fresh bread crumbs (optional!!! ~ if you want to make paleo or whole30 use 1/2 cup almond meal)
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
In a 6 quart stock pot, on medium heat, add the oil and heat up.
Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook until the vegetables are tender. Add the fennel seed, salt and pepper, zucchini, greens, and basil.
Salt and pepper again and add the bone broth or stock. Bring to a boil and lower the heat and bring to a simmer for 15 minutes.
In a mixing bowl, mix together the ground turkey, grated garlic, salt and pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, parsley, cheese, bread crumbs, oil, and eggs until well combined.
Scoop small amounts of meatball mixer~heaping tablespoons ~or use a small mechanical ice cream scoop ( my preference ) and roll them into balls.
Drop the meatballs into the simmering soup and stir and cook for 20 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through. Salt and pepper again.
Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of your best olive oil.