Sunday, October 28, 2012

Italian Wedding Soup (primal : grain-free : GAPS : gluten-free)

Meatballs, veggies, and yummy broth: Italian wedding soup is one of our favorite soups. The meatballs are so tasty, and lightened with the addition of grated veggies instead of the typical breadcrumbs.  The kids are always excited whenever they see me making meatball soup!

Italian Wedding Soup
Serves 6 

  • 1 pound ground beef, preferably grassfed
  • 1/2 cup shredded zucchini and/or finely grated carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1&1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, preferably from pastured hens
  • 3/4 tsp celtic sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tb butter, preferably from grassfed cows
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade (it is fine if there is some fat in the stock)
  • 1/2 cup vermouth* (or just use more chicken stock)
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 big handfuls of baby spinach, washed well and trimmed 
  • Optional garnish: freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Combine all of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix with your hands or a spoon until well-combined.
  2. Melt the butter in a 4-qt heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat.  Add the chopped onion and a sprinkle of salt.  Saute for about 10 minutes, reducing the heat if necessary and stirring occasionally. It is fine if the onions get a little caramelized color while cooking. Then add the chopped carrots and celery, season with salt and pepper, and saute for 8 more minutes.  Keep the heat just high enough to keep the water released from the veggies from accumulating in the pot. Stir occasionally.
  3. While the veggies cook, roll the meatballs.  They should be small and bite-sized.  Roll the meatballs between your palms to make them nice and round, then set them aside on a plate or cutting board.  There should be about 40 meatballs.
  4. Deglaze the pot by pouring in the vermouth.  Let it cook down a few minutes, and then add the chicken stock to the pot. Bring to a boil and skim off any foam (which should be discarded).  Add the dried dill and season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to keep a simmer going.
  5. Drop the meatballs into the simmering chicken stock.  If necessary, push the meatballs down into the liquid.  Cover the pot and simmer for 15-18 minutes.
  6. Taste the broth and season with salt and pepper as needed.  Drop the spinach into the pot and cook for 1 minute, until it is just wilted.  Turn off heat.
  7. Ladle into bowls and serve! If you like, sprinkle some freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top.  This soup would be fabulous with Cheesy Bread!
*I love to use vermouth, as it doesn't go bad like unused wine. Vermouth is shelf stable, can be used in place of dry white wine in cooking, and can be stored at room temperature indefinitely.


Sarah Harkins said...

Thanks again for this! I had been wanting to replicate this recipe for awhile and have not found a good one. We're going to try this tomorrow.

P.S. the cheesy "bread" was a hit! My husband said it satisfied his craving for pizza. I thought it was way better than pizza!

Brooke Sackenheim said...

Thanks Sarah. I was looking for a light but hearty soup and this did it. I've never had Italian Wedding Soup without pasta and I didn't even miss it. I used kale instead spinach. And we also made the "cheesy bread" and also an A+ recipe.

Anonymous said...

Hi thanks for this recipe it sounds delicious!
I was wondering if it would also work with home made beef stock instead of chicken stock?
Cant wait to try it with the cheesy bread everyone is raving about!!

Anonymous said...

Can you leave the arrowroot out since I am doing GAPS?

Thanks - Diane

Anonymous said...

sorry, I was looking at the cheesy bread and posted on the wrong recipe.

Sarah Smith said...

Sure, you can use beef stock. The flavor will just be a bit heavier. You may want to dilute the stock with a bit of water if your beef stock is strong like mine usually is.

Sarah Smith said...

I haven't tried it yet, but one commenter said she omitted the arrowroot and used half as much coconut flour instead with great results for the cheesy bread.

Julie said...

Wanted to let you know that I really appreciate your blog and recipes. I have tried many of them and they are always great! TOnight I am making this soup w/ cheesy bread. I can't wait! I just ordered your cookbook too. :)

Sarah Smith said...

Great, thanks for letting me know Julie!

Easy Italian Recipes said...

Hi! Your Italian wedding soup has been nominated as one of the "Best Italian Wedding Soup Recipes on the Net". To vote for it, please visit (your recipe is positioned at #152).