The cool crisp air has finally hit Atlanta which means Fall is finally here! Moms can rejoice together because rocking a ponytail and leggings has officially become socially acceptable again. I bought several new pairs of leggings that will take me from the couch to the grocery store and everything in between. As much as I love my leggings though, I can easily put on a few cold weather pounds since my pants just stretch to fit whatever size my booty currently is. That’s one reason I turn to eating a lot of healthy soups this time of year. A great soup recipe is a one bowl meal that warms me to the core. I make a big batch of it on Sundays and eat it throughout the week in a mug. My favorite healthy soup recipe is Ina Garten’s Italian Wedding Soup Recipe. The recipe is cherished by my family but isn’t ours at all! I’ve made it for the family, sick friends and gatherings. Everybody loves it! It’s from Ina’s cookbook: Back to Basics.
First, you prep your chicken meatballs. The lean meat helps to make it healthier and the fresh herbs brings out flavor.
When those meatballs are baking away in the oven, chop your veggies! I prefer to chop everything at one time then add it to your pot to soften.
Unlike me, Ina Garten doesn’t have a toddler pulling at her every second in the kitchen. She calls for homemade chicken stock in the recipe. But please, let’s be real… that isn’t happening. I trust my Swanson Chicken Broth every time. There’s no way I’m making my own when Swanson can do a better job for me.
After the broth and wine are added, you cook the pasta. Ina gives several pasta choices and I prefer the stars, but they can be hard to find. Instead, look for any small pasta from your grocery store.
At the end, you add your meatballs and fresh spinach to top it off. The spinach wilts perfectly into the broth and adds the vibrant green color. When I re-serve it throughout the week, I’ll add extra spinach and chicken broth. The pasta tends to soak up the broth.
Try this Italian Wedding Soup recipe and tell me what you think! It’s full of protein and veggies with little fat. I feel full after eating it without feeling over heavy. It’s a favorite recipe that I’ll make year after year.
Ina Garten’s Italian Wedding Soup Recipe:
1 hour, 15 minute cook time. Serves 8.
Ingredients listed below are affiliate links
For the Meatballs:
3/4 pound ground chicken
1/2 pound chicken sausage, casings removed
2/3 cup fresh white bread crumbs
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
3 tablespoons milk
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Soup:
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 cup minced yellow onion
1 cup diced carrots (3 carrots), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
3/4 cup diced celery (2 stalks), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
10 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup small pasta such as tubetini or stars
1/4 cup minced fresh dill
12 ounces baby spinach, washed and trimmed
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the meatballs, place the ground chicken, sausage, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Pecorino, Parmesan, milk, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl and combine gently with a fork. With a teaspoon, drop 1 to 1 1/4-inch meatballs onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. (You should have about 40 meatballs. They don’t have to be perfectly round.) Bake for 30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside.
In the meantime, for the soup, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and saute until softened, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the chicken stock and wine and bring to a boil. Next add the pasta to the simmering broth and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Add the fresh dill and then the meatballs to the soup and simmer for 1 minute. Taste for salt and pepper. Stir in the fresh spinach and cook for 1 minute, until the spinach is just wilted. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle each serving with extra grated Parmesan.