Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup

13 Reviews
From: EatingWell Soups Special Issue April 2016

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.

Ingredients 8 servings

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Original recipe yields 8 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • Meatballs
  • 1 pound ground turkey breast
  • 1 cup fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs (see Tip)
  • 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


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. To prepare meatballs: Combine turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, parsley, garlic, Worcestershire, 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).
  2. 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 and add wine, stirring gently to loosen any browned bits.
  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 juice. 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.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 6 months; top with cheese just before serving.
  • 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 ½ cup fresh breadcrumbs or about ⅓ cup dry breadcrumbs. For store-bought coarse dry breadcrumbs we like Ian's brand, labeled “Panko breadcrumbs.” Find them at well-stocked supermarkets.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: about 1¾ cups with 4 meatballs
  • Per serving: 284 calories; 11 g fat(4 g sat); 6 g fiber; 23 g carbohydrates; 24 g protein; 142 mcg folate; 60 mg cholesterol; 5 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 4,130 IU vitamin A; 22 mg vitamin C; 206 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 523 mg sodium; 870 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (83% daily value), Vitamin C (37% dv), Folate (36% dv), Calcium (21% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: ½ starch, 1½ vegetable, ½ lean meat, 2 medium-fat meat, ½ fat

Reviews 13

January 29, 2019
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By: nmchilecat
This soup was absolutely delicious! I cheated and used frozen meatballs from Costco. I also used spinach instead of kale, but I froze several servings of it and I think kale would probably stand up to freezing better than spinach. I served it with Italian bread and had fruit for dessert. Will definitely make again!
January 14, 2019
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By: Lorraine
I used kale, and followed the recipe as written. I rarely give 5 star ratings, but this soup was fantastic! the flavors all blended together in a way that was rich, yet nothing was overpowering. I didn't feel like I was "doing my duty" and eating my veggies as I sometimes do. This was just darn good soup! Looking forward to taking left overs for lunches. Only down side is that it took me closer to 2 hours from start to sit down time, and that is not practical for every day cooking. I'll definitely make it again on a day I don't have to work!
November 01, 2017
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By: Alisha Gifford
This was delicious! I didn’t add the wine, cabbage or the progresso soup. Added 4 extra cups of broth. And one extra can of beans. I like Kale so that’s what I used. Big hit. My husband devoured it and even pleased my Dad who is very picky.
October 29, 2017
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By: Miss Meow
This was so delicious! I made it exactly as written, except for the beans. I really love orzo so I used that (must be cooked separately and added to the serving bowl). I used those "super greens" you can get at the supermarket - a blend of spinach, chard and kale, and it was DELISH. I garnished with freshly shredded Romano, and holy cow! Absolutely wonderful soup. I made enough to freeze 6 portions for week lunches. Love It, thank you!
March 18, 2015
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By: susanlindenmeyer
Soup that sustains Really good and filling soup. Like to make a batch on Sunday and freeze individual containers for work week lunches. Pros: Delicious rich flavors. Meatballs come out very tasty and you can adjust veggies to your own liking Cons: A bit labor intensive
February 01, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Still tasting the goodness To save some bad fat I baked these exact turkey balls instead. I just added 1/2 cup of h2o to the ground turkey and let the ingredients meld together in the fridge for 10 min before rolling them. Baked at 375 for 12 min. I also deglazed the pan with the white wine after cooking down the onions and peppers for the soup base. Added garlic, carrots and some tomato paste instead of the additional can of diced tomatoes Pros: Delicious turkey balls Cons: None really just made adjustments
September 24, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Loved this recipe and have made it several times. The Fennel Seeds in the Meatballs makes it especially good!
February 28, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Molto Delizioso This recipe alone makes me glad I subscribed to Eating Well again. It was sustaining even though it is light.My 96 year-old father commented on how much he enjoyed it and he is not easily impressed! I made very few changes. I too used the kale instead of escarole. I omitted fennel from the meatballs only because I don't like fennel.
February 20, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Excellent soup! The was a great soup that my whole family loved. I made it from scratch tonight using ground chicken and the meatballs were very good. But a couple of weeks ago I made the soup then added frozen chicken meatballs that I had bought from Costco to save time. We are 8 but I had leftovers both times which I put in 2 C containers and then in the freezer. Pros: very healthy, quick if you use premade meatballs Cons: None
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