You may or may not have had Italian Wedding soup – I love it. It usually has little round pasta balls and tiny Chef Boyardee sized meatballs and some kind of leafy green floating around in a light broth. Pretty much every soup can win me over with leafy greens floating around in the bowl and pretty much every soup I make features floating leafy greens because they’re awesome. They’re nutritious, they add bulk, they provide an interesting texture experience and an astringency that most soups desperately need.

Most of the recipes I looked at called for baby spinach to be the leafy green in Italian Wedding soup – but don’t fall into that trap. Baby spinach is needlessly expensive to just throw into a soup. I use curly kale instead, which is cheaper and I think has a nicer texture.

I decided to make a low carb version of Italian Wedding soup, featuring my homemade Italian Meatballs. I didn’t fuss with making small meatballs because that would be a pain, and it’s easy enough to split a meatball with a spoon in the bowl.

Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup

Ingredients:
One Tablespoon Bacon Fat (you could substitute butter or olive oil)
One Tablespoon Butter
Half of an Onion, chopped
3 stalks Celery, chopped
2 whole Carrots, peeled and chopped
3 cloves Garlic, minced
4-6 cups Chicken Stock
1/4 cup Dry White Wine (if desired)
1 teaspoon each of: Basil, Oregano, Parsley and Thyme
Black Pepper, to taste
1 bunch curly Kale – trimmed and cut into thin pieces
1 recipe of Italian Meatballs

Directions:
Heat your bacon fat and butter on medium-high heat. Once the oil is heated, add your chopped onion, celery and carrots to the pan. Heat the vegetables, stirring often, until the onion is beginning to become translucent. Add the minced garlic. Cook the garlic an additional couple minutes and then add your stock. While the stock is coming up to a boil, add your dried herbs and some pepper. This is also the period of time where I start to prep my kale: rinse well, cut or slice out the stem and then chop or rip into small enough pieces to fit in a spoon.  Add your kale and meatballs, and bring the soup to a boil. Once it is boiling, bring the heat down to low and simmer until the meatballs are heated through and the kale is cooked – maybe 10-15 minutes.  The soup is ready to eat at this point, although you could continue to simmer it for an hour or so if desired. This recipe makes four large servings.

I garnished the soup with some parmesan when I served it.

Nutritional Information (per serving):
Calories: 458 kcal
Fat: 24.5 g
Saturated Fat: 9.6 g
Total Carbohydrate: 16.1 g
Fiber: 4.8 g
Protein: 41.5 g