Okay, fine, I have more than one recipe for soup that I call “poop soup.” And they all have proper names that sound a smidge more appetizing. But I like to call a spade a spade, and any recipe with more than four cups of chopped kale turns into a recipe that’s great for your bowels.
This recipe, for a modified Italian Wedding Soup, fits into the “healthy but comforting” category which is the only type of food I want to eat in January as I recover from holiday over-indulgence. This particular recipe is based off a No Crumbs Left take on a Whole-30 Italian Wedding Soup. I made some pretty significant modifications given that I’m not trying to do the Whole 30 plan, because I like being married and diets aren’t good for my personality. So I modified it to make it both more husband-and-marriage friendly, and to have enough to eat for lunch all week.
No comment on how this soup affects the marital bed. Side note: Has anyone tried these?
For the meatballs:
- 2 pounds ground pork, turkey or Italian sausage – or a combination you like
- 2 eggs
- 1 half white onion, chopped finely
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs or whatever boxed bread crumbs you keep around
- Salt, pepper, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, anything else you think of as “Italian seasoning – I always include fennel, even though a lot of people hate fennel seeds
Combine all the ingredients and, using your hands, mix well. Form balls that fit in the palm of your hand, roughly 2-3 tablespoons of goodness. Put half on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 350, and voila, you have tomorrow night’s dinner.
Cook the other half in a large dutch oven with a little bit of olive oil, to get the sides brown. Once browned, remove from dutch oven and set aside.
If you really like a meaty soup, use all the meatballs. If I’m going to get my hands covered in raw meat, I like to have at least two meals to show for it so I save the batch I bake in the fridge for a few days or the freezer for a few weeks.
For the soup:
- 2 boxes (8-10 cups) chicken broth
- 1 ½ chopped white onion (finish the half you used in the meatballs!)
- 1 bunch kale, chopped finely – this should result in at least 4 cups of chopped kale.
- 2-3 big stalks of leeks, sliced ¼ inch thick or thinner
- 1 red pepper diced (for color mainly; this is a really ugly, really green soup)
- Juice of 2 fat lemons
- 2 eggs beaten
- Your “Italian seasonings” from above.
Sautee the onions, leeks, pepper in the meatball drippings. Season well with your “Italian seasonings.” Once the onions are translucent and the leeks are getting soft, add the broth and lemon juice. Let that come to a simmer (about 10 minutes). Add in the meatballs and chopped kale and cook it until soft (up to 10 minutes more, if you’re pleasing an “All kaleeee no” child or spouse and need it to be really cooked).
When the soup is at a very gentle boil, slowly pour the beaten eggs into the hot liquid while stirring in a circular motion. This thickens up the soup and adds a delicate richness. If you add the eggs too fast to a too hot liquid, they will scramble a bit and you’ll have little white globs – it won’t taste bad, it just doesn’t make this already ugly soup look any better. Add in the eggs like you would in spaghetti carbonara (watch this video). It’s a subtle enhancement that makes me confident Teri (the author) is a genius.
Enjoy immediately with a crunchy baguette and a little bit of mozzarella cheese on top.
This recipe made two light dinners and five hearty lunch servings. We ate the pre-baked meatballs with spaghetti the next day, but if I’d had my druthers we’d have used them on the other half of the baguette in a meatball sandwich.
There’s always next time.
Recovering journalist who discovered a life outside of news leaves you time for things like getting angry, cooking and traveling. Plus, hopefully, writing. I’m a wife, dog mom and Washingtonian.