Italian Wedding Soup with Veggie Balls

by Erin

Fresh Parmesan and basil, leafy kale and chard, and crunchy eggplant meatballs make this Italian wedding soup one you don’t want to miss. The extra effort will pay off!

Italian Wedding Soup with Veggie Balls 1

The ingredient list for this soup recipe is quite long and the directions are not any shorter. However this soup was both worth my weight in the fresh produce used and the medium effort it took to execute. Seriously though, this recipe may look intimidating but while you are correct that it is not simple and easy, it is not crazy difficult either. And the payoff comes in the form of an amazingly delicious soup with a broth no boxed stuff can rival.

Italian Wedding Soup with Veggie Balls 2

The homemade vegetable and basil broth was perfection rivaled only by the homemade crispy homemade eggplant meatballs which I preferred to add as I ate the soup so that they would remain crispy and not get soggy. Hey at least you get to use store bought tortellini. Although I bet homemade would be even more delicious. Maybe next time if I feel the need to dirty every pan, appliance, and surface in my kitchen. To be honest I make quite a mess as it was but that’s par for the course when it comes to me doing much of anything in the kitchen. And once I sat down to this bowl of soup, it was all worth it.

Italian Wedding Soup with Veggie Balls 3

One year ago: Grilled Chicken Gyro Salad with Pita Croutons

Two years ago: Funfetti Macarons

Four years ago: Mexican Mac and Cheese


Serves 8-10



1 medium onion, cut into chunks

1 small carrot, cut into chunks

4 cloves garlic, peeled

2 oz. fresh basil

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

3-1/2 quarts (14 cups) cold water

1 bunch kale, stems removed and torn into 1/2-inch pieces

1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed and torn into 1/2-inch pieces

1 lb. zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 Parmesan rinds

2 Tbsp salt, plus more to taste

1-1/2 lb. cheese tortellini


2 quarts (8 cups) water

1 Tbsp salt

1 large eggplant, unpeeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

1-1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs, divided

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp minced parsley

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 egg, lightly beaten

Salt and pepper, to taste

Olive oil, for frying


  1. First, start the soup. In a food processor, combine the onion, carrot, garlic, and basil. Pulse until it is a smooth paste.
  2. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over high heat. Scrape the paste into the pot and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste has released liquid and starts to dry out a bit, about 5 minutes. Pour the cold water into the pot, scraping the paste from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer the broth, covered, for about 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in the kale, chard, zucchini, Parmesan rinds, and salt. Return to a simmer and cook, covered for 25 minutes and then uncovered for 20 minutes. Add the tortellini in the last 10 minutes of cooking.
  4. While the soup simmers, prepare the veggie balls. In another large pot over high heat, add the water and salt and bring to a boil. Add the eggplant and boil, uncovered, for 10 minutes, or until eggplant is cooked, pressing them down into the water regularly. Drain in a colander and push out as much water as possible using the back of a spoon. Finely chop eggplant.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the eggplant, 1 cup of panko, Parmesan, parsley, and garlic. Mix in the egg and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Roll the eggplant mixture into small balls that are about 1-inch in diameter and set them on a platter. Put the remaining panko in a small bowl and roll each ball in the breadcrumbs to coat evenly. Set the coated balls on a clean tray.
  7. Pour the olive oil into a 10-inch skillet to a depth of 1/2 inch. Turn the heat to medium and when the oil begins to shimmer, put a test ball in the skillet. If it sizzles immediately, then the oil is hot enough. When the oil is ready, carefully put the balls in the skillet in a single layer.
  8. Fry, turning gently with a spoon, until browned all over, about 3 minutes total. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with the remaining balls until all of them have been cooked.
  9. Divide the soup evenly among 8-10 bowls and serve topped with the veggie balls.

Source: Adapted slightly from Joanne Eats Well With Others.

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Joanne April 23, 2015 - 7:23 am

I’m so so so so glad you liked this!! It’s one of my favorite meals.

Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg April 22, 2015 - 11:49 am

Erin – What a great spring soup! I have to make my Italian Wedding Soup from scratch because I don’t eat ground beef. I’m glad you posted a recipe with veggie balls. Such a perfect meal. :D


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