Meatball Soup with Spinach That’s Healthier than Italian Wedding Soup
This meatball soup with spinach is similar to a classic Italian wedding soup, with the same great flavors and a healthy twist. Made with simple, hearty, wholesome ingredients, this soup is just as easy to make as it is nutritious.
This recipe is leaner than the typical Italian wedding soup recipe. By omitting tortellini (or another type of pasta) and using cannellini beans instead, this soup is higher in fiber and free of refined carbohydrates. Additionally, by using only one type of protein for the meatballs—lean ground beef—we’ve kept it lower in saturated fat.
As an added bonus, this spinach meatball soup also gets a healthy, anti-inflammatory boost from a soup base of Kettle & Fire Beef Bone Broth.
Unlike a regular broth or stock, bone broth contains the beneficial protein collagen, which is only found in bones and connective tissue. One of the health benefits most often discussed about collagen is that it’s rich in several anti-inflammatory amino acids. Amino acids such as glycine and proline are said to promote healthy sleep, healing, bone and joint health, immunity, and more. It never hurts to sneak more of these nutrients in your diet.
How to Make Meatball Soup
Making meatball soup from scratch can sound like a difficult task, but with this recipe, we assure you it’s simple.
All you need to do to make the meatball portion is combine six simple ingredients—lean ground beef, breadcrumbs, sun-dried tomato pesto, an egg, salt, and pepper—in a large bowl. Form the meat mixture into one-inch balls and cook in olive oil for a couple of minutes on all sides. It’s really that simple.
As for the soup portion of this recipe, you’re simply going to saute the vegetables, add the meatballs, beans, and bone broth, and bring to a boil until the meatballs are fully cooked. When it’s ready to serve, sprinkle with a little bit of parmesan cheese, and bon appetit!
What Goes Well with Meatball Soup?
A larger portion of this spinach meatball soup would be the perfect main dish for colder months. While it’s filling enough on its own, you can also pair it with a sprouted toasted bun with melted garlic butter and/or a small spinach salad.
Spinach Meatball Soup
This meatball soup with spinach is more nutritious than a classic Italian wedding soup but with all the same great flavors. Ready in 40 minutes.
FOR THE MEATBALLS:
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato pesto
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
FOR THE SOUP:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/3 cup onion diced
- 3 stalks celery diced
- 1/2 cup bell pepper diced
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped or minced
- 2 (15-oz) cans cannellini beans
- 4 cups Kettle & Fire Beef Bone Broth (2 cartons)
- 3 cups spinach firmly packed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese for serving
Combine meatball ingredients in a large bowl and stir until blended. Use your hands and shape into 1-inch meatballs (about 20-25); wash hands.
Heat up olive oil over medium-low heat in a large pot. Add meatballs (in batches) and cook for 3-4 minutes on all sides until browned. Remove from the pot and set aside.
Add onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic. Sauté over medium-high heat until the vegetables become soft.
Stir in beans, beef bone broth, meatballs, and spinach. Season with salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil and simmer for 5-7 minutes or until the internal temperature of the meatballs reaches 160°F. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.
About the Author
Sharon Chen is the founder and creator behind StreetSmart Kitchen, a recipe website that helps busy professionals to prepare healthy meals in less time they ever thought possible.