Chunky soups are one of my favorite foods in the cold winter months when I just want to hide in them and stay warm.
This is my spin on Italian wedding broth soup with meatballs and lots of chunky vegetables. This is one of my favorite soups as it forms the perfect balance between soothing and at the same time light and healthy condition.
I’m embarrassed to admit that I originally thought the name was based on an Italian tradition when he served it at weddings. I was so wrong that my Italian grandparents would be horrified. The name actually comes from the Italian phrase “minestra maritata”, which refers to married soup, and is an indication of the combination (also referred to as marriage) of green and meat soup.
To keep calories and fat low, I used ground chicken for the meatballs, but you could use any combination of chicken, turkey, veal, or pork. Ground chicken is incredibly hard to find here in the UK, so I added only 3 chicken breasts to a food processor and pulsed them until they were ground to a chopped consistency. Parsley, almond flour, onions, lemon and garlic are added to the minced meat to give the meat a lot of flavor. I love breaking up the meatballs in my soup bowl before they are eaten. They absorb so much broth and are absolutely delicious.
The base of the soup is chicken broth with a dash of lemon juice, which I would like to add to cut through the saltiness of the broth. The broth is stuffed with vegetables, including carrots, leeks, onions, kale and kale. The vegetables are not carved in stone. Swap endives or spinach for kale and use celery instead of leek.
The last ingredient in the soup is one of my favorite additions to any soup made from chicken broth, egg! Slowly bubbling a beaten egg into the boiling soup produces egg swans, almost like noodles, which give each spoon a good texture. If you plan to freeze the soup, I would recommend taking the egg and adding it later when the soup is thawed and about to be eaten.
- 500 grams ground chicken or turkey
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1/3 cup parsley chopped
- zest from 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup grated onion
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 large leek chopped
- 2 carrots chopped
- 10 cups chicken broth
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 cups curly kale roughly chopped
- 2 cups tuscan kale (cavolo nero) roughly chopped
- 2 eggs whisked
- 1 tbsp parsley to garnish chopped
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit) and line a baking tray with parchment paper
Combine all of the ingredients for the meatballs in a bowl and work with your hands until everything is well mixed.
Form the mixture into 1 1/2 inch meatballs, it should make approximately 16-20 balls.
Place the meatballs on the baking sheet and bake them in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes until they are cooked through and slightly golden in colour.
In a large pot or dutch oven heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add in the diced onion, garlic, leeks and carrot and sauté for 5 minutes until soft.
Add the chicken broth and lemon juice to the pot and bring to a gentle simmer.
Add the kale to the soup along with the cooked meatballs.
Increase the heat so that the soup is just gently boiling and using a fork slowly pour in the egg in a thin stream. Don’t pour too quickly otherwise you will get chunky clumps of egg in the soup. If you are going to freeze the soup I recommend skipping this step and waiting to add the egg right before eating.
Garnish the soup with parsley before serving.