healthy vegetarian italian wedding soup
Equipment: Large soup pot (I used a 5 qt. Dutch oven); potato masher.
  • For the white bean balls:
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 large yellow onion, divided (1/4 c. + the rest)
  • 3 c. cooked white beans (2 - 15 oz. cans)
  • ½ c. whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • ¼ c. nutritional yeast or flour
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 T. soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tsp. all-purpose no-salt seasoning blend (I used Mrs. Dash)
  • 1 tsp. each: dried thyme, basil, and oregano
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Optional: 1 egg (this helps the bean balls to stay together, but if you leave it out, they're just a little crumbly, which is OK)
  • For the soup:
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • The rest of the chopped onion, from above
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 c. small dried pasta, such as orzo
  • 9 c. vegetable broth
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice (from ½ the lemon you zested, above)
  • 5 oz. baby kale or other dark leafy greens
  • ¼ tsp. each sea salt & freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ c. chopped fresh basil
  • Optional: Grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
  1. To make the white bean balls: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, mash the white beans until they form a paste (I used a potato masher for this). Try not to leave too many unmashed beans - really get in there and mash 'em! Stir in the rest of the ingredients: ¼ c. chopped onion, white beans, bread crumbs, garlic, nutritional yeast or flour, olive oil, soy sauce or tamari, dried spices, lemon zest, and egg (if using). You might need to use your hands to mix it all together. Form the bean mixture into golf-ball-sized balls using your hands and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Spray the tops with a little more cooking spray. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown.
  2. To make the soup: While the bean balls are cooking, heat 1 T. olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the rest of the chopped onion (minus that ¼ c. you used for the bean balls), carrots, and celery, and a little bit of salt. Cook and stir for 5-7 minutes, or until the onion starts to brown and caramelize. Add the garlic and the pasta and cook for about a minute more. Gently pour in the broth and let it all simmer together for about 10-15 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Fold in the lemon juice, greens, salt & pepper, and fresh basil.
  3. To assemble the dish: Place 3-4 bean balls in the bottom of a single-serving soup bowl. Gently ladle the soup over the bean balls. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese if using. Enjoy!!
Recipe by radish*rose at