Italian Wedding Soup

Originally called Minestra Maritata, its name is a reference to the combination of greens and meat that go so well together. There are endless variations  - like chicken and Swiss chard – so be creative and use whatever you have on hand.

Italian Wedding Soup


Quantity Ingredients
1 tbsp / 15 ml olive oil
2 cups / 500 ml finely diced carrot
1 cup / 250 ml finely chopped onion
1 cup / 250 ml diced celery
4 garlic cloves, crushed
6 cups / 1.5 L water or low sodium chicken broth
1 tsp / 5 ml sea salt, or to taste
2 bay leaves
2 cups / 500 ml coarsely chopped spinach or baby spinach
0.5 lb / 225 g extra lean ground beef or ground turkey
1/2 cup / 125 ml finely chopped parsley
3 tbsp / 50 ml whole wheat bread crumbs
1 large egg
1/2 tsp / 2 ml dried basil
freshly ground pepper, to taste


In a large mixing bowl, combine ground meat, parsley, breadcrumbs, egg, basil and pepper.  Using the palm of your hand, roll mixture into 1-inch (2.5 cm) balls.  Set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.  When pan is hot, add carrot, onions and celery; sauté for 10 minutes, or until vegetables are soft.  Add garlic; sauté for another minute.

Add water, salt and bay leaves; bring to a boil over high heat.  Gently add the meatballs to the soup, and continue to boil for 5 minutes without stirring.

Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 25 minutes.  Add spinach and cooked pasta to soup; stir and continue to cook for 5 minutes until spinach is wilted and pasta is heated through. (If using baby spinach, add during the last minute of cooking.)

Serves 6.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size Per 1 serving (analyzed with extra lean beef meatballs)
Calories 172
Cholesterol 48
Carbohydrates 17
Fiber 3
Fat 6
Saturated Fat 2
Trans Fat 0
Sodium 520

Source: Leslie Beck's Healthy Kitchen