I know I have said this before (many times) but I really adore soup. Especially this time of year. So when I dear friend of mine told me that she made the amazing Ina Garten’s Italian Wedding Soup (click here for recipe), I knew I had to make it in a little bit of a healthier version. Now don’t get me wrong, I love me some Ina, just want to save some calories for some type of dessert. Preferably something with pumpkin in it
For the meatballs:
1 pound ground turkey or chicken
1 cup whole wheat or gluten free breadcrumbs
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (usually just a blend of basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme and marjoram so you can add your own if you don’t have Italian seasoning)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
For the soup:
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1/2 onion, minced
2 large carrots, chopped finely
2 celery stalks, chopped finely
10 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup mini shells or small pasta, can also use quinoa or brown rice if gluten-free
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
6 ounces fresh organic baby spinach
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat.
- In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients for the meatballs with your hands until thoroughly combined. Roll into small meatballs (remember they are going in the soup so they should be small) and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until fully cooked through and browned.
- While the meatballs are cooking, place oil, onion, carrots and celery into a large stock pot or dutch oven. Cook for 5-8 minutes or until desired softness of the vegetables is attained.
- Add broth and wine and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add uncooked pasta and Italian seasoning to broth and cook another 6-8 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Add meatballs and fresh spinach. Stir for a minute or two until spinach is wilted. Top with additional freshly grated Parmesan cheese if desired.