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Italian Wedding Soup (with turkey meatballs)

  • 10 servings
  • Mins
    Prep Time
  • Mins
    Cook Time

Every winter it seems I buy can after can of Progresso Chickarina and Italian Wedding Soup. I love the stuff - they both taste so good and have a respectful amount of protein, and a nice low calorie count. My quest this past week was to make a delicious soup - similar to Chickarina and Italian Wedding. I kept thinking that if I liked them so much canned, how heavenly would they be if they were home made? Ooh, and an added bonus is that I can lower the sodium count. FYI: one can of Progresso Chickarina has a whopping 2,000 grams of sodium! Ouch! It took two soup-making attempts, but I ended up with the most awesome soup. I dare say it is perfection in a bowl, and the perfect food for a cold, snowy day . My first try was good, not great. I decided that I would use a beef-pork mixture. I used 16 oz. beef and 4 oz. pork. While the soup was good, I couldn't understand, why my fingers swelled like little sausages every time I ate it. One morning I couldn't even put on my wedding rings! It turns out that I just wasn't thinking. I had used canned chicken broth, and I'm guessing it was loaded with sodium. Also, even though I went with more beef than pork, I could feel a light film of fat on my lips after eating it. And hey, it's the new year, and it's time to make up for that holiday eating. But if you don't have a problem with the beef/pork mixture, then that is the more traditional way to do it and it does have great flavor as well. But I need to watch my fat intake, so I went back to the drawing board today and decided to lighten it up with turkey meatballs. And I would improve the flavor and have better control over the sodium if I made my own broth this time. While rolling out the little meatballs, I was worried that I had over-done it with the egg plus the egg white. The consistency of the raw meatballs was so different when made with ground turkey as opposed to beef and pork. They were sort of sticky as I was rolling them in the palms of my hands. I added some extra panko bread crumbs, but I stopped at ⅔ cup and hoped for the best. And the best I did have! I love this soup! I know that I will make it every winter from this day forward.


For the broth:
1.25 lb chicken drumsticks, skin removed
1 lb boneless chicken breasts
15 cups water
½ teaspoon salt (I added a1½ teaspoons more afterwards)
1 small onion - cut in half
2 cloves garlic - cut in half
½ cup chopped parsley (flat leaf)
3 ribs celery - with the leaves
3 carrots
12 peppercorns
1 bay leaf
4 large diced carrots (I prefer a small dice for this recipe)
1 small head of escarole (only the tender leafy parts - I removed the tougher parts for this recipe)
For The Meatballs:
1 (20.8 ounce) package of ground turkey
1 small onion, grated
1 egg + 1 egg white
cup panko bread crumbs
cup chopped flat leaf parsley
2 cloves garlic
¼ cup grated Parmesan
½ tsp pepper

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