Calabrian wedding soup

35 - 45
soy free

This warming main-course soup is not actually a wedding tradition—in the southern region of Calabria or anywhere else in Italy. The “marriage” in its name is translated from the Italian, minestra maritata, meaning “married soup.” As in any perfect union, the meal’s components (meatballs, greens, orzo) have their individual personalities, but with help from a little spice, they come together to form a delicious bond.


  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 or 2 carrots
  • 1 or 2 celery ribs
  • Peeled fresh garlic
  • 10 ounces ground turkey
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 pasture-raised organic egg
  • Meatball seasoning blend (dried oregano - granulated garlic - sweet smoked paprika - bread crumbs - Parmesan)
  • ½ cup orzo
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ¼ pound baby kale



Prep the vegetables

  • Peel and coarsely chop the yellow onion.
  • Scrub or peel the carrots and trim off the ends; coarsely chop the carrots.
  • Trim the ends from the celery; coarsely chop the celery.
  • Finely chop, press, or grate enough garlic to measure 1 teaspoon.


Cook the vegetables

In a medium sauce pot over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons oil until hot but not smoking. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, 3 to 5 minutes.
While the vegetables cook, prepare the meatballs.


Make the meatballs

  • Cut off a small corner of the ground turkey packaging and drain off any excess liquid. Transfer to a plate and pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Strip the parsley leaves from the stems; coarsely chop the leaves. Set aside half for garnish.
In a medium bowl, using a whisk or fork, blend the egg with the meatball seasoning blend and half the parsley. Add the turkey, season generously with salt and pepper, and mix until just combined. Using wet hands, form the mixture into 1-inch balls.


Finish the soup

Add the orzo, chicken broth, meatballs, kale, and 3 cups water to the sauce pot, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the orzo and kale are just tender and the meatballs are cooked through, 12 to 18 minutes.



Transfer the soup to individual bowls, garnish with the remaining parsley, and serve.

Nutrition per serving: Calories: 720, Protein: 46 g, Total Fat: 31 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 15.5 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5 g, Saturated Fat: 7 g, Cholesterol: 190 mg, Carbohydrates: 67 g, Fiber: 9 g, Added Sugar (organic cane sugar in broth): 0 g*, Sodium: 640 mg *Contains trace amounts.

Contains: milk, wheat, eggs

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