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Valerie Bertinelli's Low-Carb Italian Wedding Soup

Nathan Congleton / TODAY
Cook Time:
25 mins
Prep Time:
35 mins

Chef notes

This soup proves you can cut carbs without compromising on taste. Leafy greens, flavorful broth, mini turkey meatballs and fresh Parmesan add all the flavor you need while keeping this dish light and healthy.


  • 1/4 medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 pound ground dark meat turkey
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 Parmesan rind (optional)
  • 4 cups chopped escarole (from about 1 head)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Parmesan, for serving
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for serving


For the meatballs:

Put the onion, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper in a food processor and pulse until very finely ground. Add the parsley and pulse until the parsley is finely chopped. Add the egg and pulse until combined. Add the turkey and Parmesan and pulse until very well mixed.

Line a rimmed baking pan with parchment or foil. Roll the mixture into small 1-inch meatballs, transferring them to the baking pan (the mixture is very sticky, I use two spoons to shape the meatballs).

For the soup:


Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or large, wide pot over medium-high heat. Add half of the meatballs and cook, stirring gently occasionally, until browned on most sides and just cooked through, 3-4 minutes. Remove the meatballs to the baking pan (they will cook again so don't worry about contamination). Repeat with the remaining meatballs.


Add the onion, celery and carrot to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth, Parmesan rind, 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a brisk simmer.


Add the meatballs to the soup and return to a simmer. Add the escarole and simmer until slightly wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove the Parmesan rind and discard.


Sprinkle with parsley, a drizzle of olive oil and more Parmesan on the side.