Italian Wedding Soup with Kale and Farro Recipe


Nutritious Delicious: Turbocharge Your Favorite Recipes with 50 Everyday SuperfoodsTraditional Italian wedding soup is so named because of the harmonious marriage of meatballs, greens, and pasta in a savory, fortified broth. We loved the idea of a hearty, meal-in-a-bowl soup but wanted to fine-tune the components, eliminating greasy meat and white pasta. For a fast path to a complex broth, we simmered chicken broth with aromatic fennel, onion, garlic, and dried porcini mushrooms, adding white wine for sharpness and Worcestershire sauce for meaty depth. In place of traditional beef and pork, we prepared turkey meatballs, boosting their flavor with chopped parsley, Parmesan, and minced fronds from our fennel bulb. After gently poaching them in the broth, we were pleasantly surprised to find that they turned out delicate and tender. Chopped kale lent its assertive texture. Finally, we replaced ditalini pasta with hearty farro; the nutty whole grain rounded out the soup perfectly. A rasp-style grater makes quick work of turning the garlic into a paste. Be sure to use 93 percent lean ground turkey, not 99 percent fat-free ground turkey breast, or the meatballs will be tough.

  • Yield: 6 Servings


  • 1 tablespoon cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 fennel bulb, fronds minced to make ¼ cup, stalks discarded, and bulb halved, cored, and sliced thin
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 5 garlic cloves, 4 peeled and smashed, 1 minced to a paste
  • ¼ ounce dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed and minced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 slice hearty 100 percent whole-grain sandwich bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
  • 5 tablespoons organic 1 percent low-fat milk
  • 12 ounces organic ground turkey
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup minced fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup whole farro, rinsed
  • 8 ounces kale, stemmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
How to Make It
  1. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just shimmering. Stir in sliced fennel, onion, smashed garlic, and porcini and cook, stirring frequently, until just softened and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in wine and Worcestershire and cook for 1 minute. Stir in broth and water and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine bread and milk in large bowl and, using fork, mash mixture to uniform paste. Add turkey, Parmesan, parsley, ¼ cup minced fennel fronds, minced garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper to bowl with bread mixture and knead gently with hands until evenly combined. Using wet hands, roll heaping 1 teaspoons of meat mixture into meatballs and transfer to rimmed baking sheet. (You should have 35 to 40 meatballs.) Cover with greased plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Strain broth through fine-mesh strainer set over large bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much broth as possible; discard solids. Wipe pot clean with paper towels and return strained broth to pot.
  4. Bring broth to boil over medium-high heat. Add farro and ½ teaspoon salt, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until farro is just tender, about 15 minutes. Uncover, stir in meatballs and kale and cook, stirring occasionally, until meatballs are cooked through and farro is tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1
Nutritional Value Per Serving
310 kcal
Calories from Fat:
54 kcal
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
6 g
Saturated Fat
2 g
Trans Fat
0.0 g
25 mg
780 mg
37 g
Dietary Fiber
6 g
6 g
27 g
* Above mentioned %DVs (Percent Daily Values) are based on 2,000 calorie food intake.

DVs (Daily values) may be vary depending upon individuals daily calorie needs. Above nutritional values are estimates and should only be used as a guide for approximation. They are not recommendations. Calculations are based on average weight of 194 lbs. and ages of 19 to 50 years.

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