Monday, March 11, 2013

Italian Wedding Soup

We got home Sunday evening from a weekend in Michigan to attend a wedding of some old college friends.  Three days ago I probably wouldn't have used the phrase "old college friends," but now I do so endearingly.  I hadn't realized that three years or so have passed since I last saw their faces, and it was a treat to confirm that everyone had satisfyingly both changed/not changed at all.  New careers, new babies, new homes; same warmth, same humor, same good characters.  I hope to see them again soon.
Stopped in Ann Arbor on the way home for an extra dose of nostalgia.  Everything had satisfyingly both changed/not changed at all.  Even the ugliest building on campus now struck me as mid-century modern in its unchanged-ness.  So it goes.  Happily.

Here's an Italian Wedding Soup in honor of the new bride and groom. 

Ingredients (makes 5-6 servings):
  • 8 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 2 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp. fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne
  • 4 cups fresh spinach, with stems
  • 1 cup carrots, medium dice 
  • 1 cup israeli couscous

In a large pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil with the chopped carrots.  Heat a frying pan over a  medium-high flame.

Mix the turkey, parsley, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, oregano, and cayenne in a bowl by hand.   Shape into 3/4-1" meatballs and sear in the pan.  
When browned on all sides, add to the broth to finish cooking along with the couscous.  Cover and let simmer until couscous is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
Before serving, add the washed and drained spinach and return to a simmer.  You can certainly use pre-washed and packaged spinach, but I prefer the unpackaged bunches with stems for this recipe.  Add salt and pepper to taste.


  1. We made this the other night and it turned out SO GOOD. So good, in fact, that Brad declared he would never have chicken soup again. That this was so superior that it would be his permanent substitute.

    We still have some leftovers and are adding more stock to stretch it out as long as we can :)

  2. Hi! Your Italian wedding soup was nominated as one of the "Best Italian Wedding Soup Recipes on the Net". To vote for it, please visit (your recipe is positioned at #187).