Italian Wedding Soup

19 Jan

Hearty and comforting without being heavy, perfect to warm your belly and heart on a cold winter evening. This is my interpretation of an Italian-American classic. It takes some time but is well worth it.

Time: 1 hour+           Serves: 8+


  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 1 leek, well cleaned & trimmed – white and green parts only – cut in half & sliced
  • 4 cups small broccoli florets (about 1 average size head broccoli)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 pound/6 cups packed curly kale, roughly chopped
  • Parmesan rinds if you have them
  • 10 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2/3 tsp salt
  • 1/3 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes or to taste
  • 1 cup small pasta (I used stars but orzo or Acini di pepe work well)
  • 1/2 batch Lemon Herb Turkey Meatballs (mini version)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • grated or shaved Parmesan cheese

How to make it

  • Heat oil in a large stock pot over low-medium heat. Add fennel and saute for 10-12 minutes until beginning to caramelize, stirring occasionally. Add leeks and continue to saute for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add broccoli, kale and Parmesan rinds (if you have them). Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until broccoli starts to turn bright green. Add minced garlic to the pot; season with salt, pepper & red pepper and cook stirring for 2-3 min. Pour in chicken stock to cover and add thyme. Bring to a simmer.
  • Simmer for at least 30 minutes but up to 1 1/2 hours. Remove thyme branches and Parmesan rinds.
  • About ten minutes before ready to serve, brown meatballs in about 1/2 tbsp each canola oil and butter for about 5 minutes. Add to soup pot and cook for an additional 6-8 minutes.
  • Cook pasta according to package instructions, it should take about 5 minutes.
  • Remove soup from heat and stir in lemon juice. Serve with a couple of spoonfuls of pasta and top with parsley and Parmesan.
  • *Note: Serves 8 1 1/2 cup entree portions or 12 1 cup appetizer portions.

2 Responses to “Italian Wedding Soup”


  1. Italian Food « detroittokyo - May 10, 2012

    […] enough to choose from, check out some of my other Italian-inspired recipes: Spinach Ricotta Gnudi, Italian Wedding Soup, Pesto Chicken & Vegetable Pasta and stay tuned for my next post. Share […]

  2. In Season: Autumn « detroittokyo - September 30, 2012

    […] Italian Wedding Soup (broccoli, leeks, kale), Pumpkin Pancakes with Cran-Pom Maple Syrup and Sirloin w/Teriyaki Broth (sweet potatoes, leeks, Daikon radish) […]

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