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A bowl of Italian wedding soup is a pairing of bite-sized garlicky meatballs in a light broth with green kale and carrots.

Italian wedding soup

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  • Author: Sachiko Goodyear
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Diet: Diabetic


Italian wedding soup is a happy marriage of flavorful miniature meatballs and bright, fresh greens floating in a light and tasty hot broth. The stars of this dish are garlicky meatballs prepared without high-carb breadcrumbs. Try this low-carb and keto-friendly recipe.




1/2 pound (8 ounces) ground pork

1/2 pound (8 ounces) ground beef

1 onion, grated

1 bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped (this yields about 1 cup of chopped parsley)

2 eggs, beaten

1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon baking powder


8 cups broth, your choice of chicken, beef or vegetable

1 cup sliced carrots

10-12 ounces chopped kale (frozen or fresh are fine)

Salt to taste


1 cup tiny pasta (orzo, ditalini or acini di pepe work fine). Add 10 grams of carbs per serving.


Parmesan cheese (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. First, use a large bowl to mix pork, beef, onion, parsley, eggs, dried Italian herbs, salt, pepper, garlic powder and baking powder. Knead mixture with your hands (you can use clean kitchen gloves) until thoroughly combined. 
  2. Portion the meatballs by using a soup spoon. Use the tip of a spoon to scoop out a quarter-sized ball of meat. The finished meatballs should be small enough to fit into a soup spoon with room for soup. Form meat into meatballs by rolling it between the palms of your hands. If the meat is too sticky, try wetting your hands with water or coating them with a bit of olive oil. Arrange meatballs on a tray until ready to cook. 
  3. This next step is optional. You can choose to fry the meatballs first to get a nice brown color, but this step isn't necessary for tasty soup. If you don't want the fuss and want to save time you can just drop them into the boiling broth for 15 minutes to cook and flavor the broth.
  4. If you want to brown the meatballs, then heat a large skillet over medium- high heat. Add a little oil to keep the meatballs from sticking. Fry the meatballs until browned all over. You can shake the pan occasionally to roll the meatballs around. This only takes a few minutes as the meatballs do not need to cook all the way through since they will finish cooking in the broth. You can ladle some broth into the frying pan to deglaze the pan and add the browned bits to the soup for added flavor. Note that this can make the broth darker and a bit cloudy. If you want light, clear broth then skip this step.
  5. Bring broth to a boil in a soup pot. Add meatballs, carrots and pasta (if using). Bring to a boil. Then turn down the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add kale and simmer for another 5 minutes until kale has wilted, but is still bright green.
  6. You may serve the soup at this point. However, you may continue to cook the soup if you prefer. I recommend pouring a ladleful of soup into a bowl, allow it to cool and taste it before deciding. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.


Tip: Watch your fingers when using a grater to grate the onion. There is no need to grate the whole onion, leave a few layers on the onion on which to grip the onion. Pay close attention or wear protective gloves to avoid accidental injury. 

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Lunch
  • Method: Boil
  • Cuisine: Italian American