Italian Wedding Soup with Turkey Meatballs

November  4, 2012
0 Ratings
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

The magic of this recipe (from Serious Eats) lies in its simplicity. In a showcase of fresh flavors, the ingredients speak for themselves: garlic, onion, celery, carrots and kale/escarole simmer in a lush broth, accompanied by the hearty meatballs, tinged with parsley and oregano. Ample salt & pepper and a light sprinkling of shaved Parmesan top it all off. There are tons of other things you could add— thyme, diced tomatoes, cannelloni beans, mushrooms— but here, the "less is more" phenomenon triumphs. —KvellintheKitchen

What You'll Need
  • 12 ounces ground turkey meat (preferably white meat)
  • 1/3 cup whole-wheat bread crumbs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus a few grinds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced lengthwise and cut thinly crosswise
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 8 cups chicken stock (low-sodium, if possible)
  • 3 cups kale, stems removed and leaves sliced thin
  • 2 cups escarole, core removed and leaves sliced thin (if you can't find escarole, just substitute with more kale)
  • Parmesan cheese for serving
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine ground turkey meat, bread crumbs, egg whites, 1 clove garlic, oregano, parsley, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Form into 1-inch meatballs, place on a baking sheet, and refrigerate.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic, saute for 5 minutes. Add celery and carrot and saute 5 more minutes. Add stock and 1 teaspoon salt. Turn heat to high. Once boiling, add kale and escarole. Turn heat back down to medium-low, cover Dutch oven, and simmer 15 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, place meatballs in oven and bake 12 minutes. When finished, add meatballs to soup and cook an additional 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with Parmesan sprinkled on top.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Alaina Cillis
    Alaina Cillis
  • whatshername
  • Windischgirl
  • Lisa London
    Lisa London

5 Reviews

Lisa L. January 26, 2020
I made some changes: a # of ground chicken (fattier, so moister), one whole egg, 3 cloves of garlic & 1/4C of reggiano along w/ingredients listed in the recipe. Formed 20 balls & broiled them in a tabletop oven on oiled foil fo 4-5 min. per side. Also added 1/2C of orzo when the stock boiled. After meatballs cooked for 5 min. in the broth, I added the grated zest of a Meyer lemon. When serving, topped the soup w/more grated parmigiana and chopped fresh dill. Delicious.
Alaina C. October 21, 2016
Now one of my favorite soups. I am putting it in regular rotation! :-)
whatshername February 11, 2016
This was awesome! I used all kale because that's what I had. So easy and the results were fantastic!! So making this again!!
Windischgirl January 24, 2016
This was a hit at my dinner table tonight! Used a pound of beef and a whole egg, browned the meatballs in the stockpot, then poached them in the broth to cook through. Added 3/4 box of pastina (about 8 oz, I'd guess) and once the pasta was cooked, so were the meatballs. Folded in the kale chiffonade just before serving, and topped with a grating of Parmesan. My only regret was using broth concentrate as I didn't have any homemade broth. NEVER going back to the canned stuff--this is a keeper!
Kelsey September 21, 2014
Very good! I added another clove of garlic at the same time as the kale.