This soup was inspired by Italian Wedding Soup (minestra maritata). The name is a reference to the fact that the greens and the meats marry well together in the soup. Eventually, pasta was added as an ingredient when it became more readily available. You may choose to add other greens such as kale, cabbage, or escarole in rustic Italian style. Look for the freshest seasonal green in your local supermarket or farmer's market and just cut it down to bite size, so tougher greens cook quickly.
With the addition of pasta, this soup serves as a complete meal, and it is a quick and easy dinner! The mini-meatballs are a real “kid-pleaser.” Use lean ground turkey or lean ground beef or half and half. The soup is not only low fat, but a good source of protein and vegetables as well. You can try it with tofu or shredded chicken for a quick variation. We hope you enjoy this one-pot dinner!
Servings: 12-14 servings (approximately 38 meatballs)
The calories, fat, cholesterol, protein and sodium are very similar for both the ground turkey and ground beef options. What is less obvious is the difference in iron content between the two options. It should be noted that the heme iron in the ground beef option will make the iron content in the spinach more bio-available and more easily used by your body. If you have a tendency to anemia, this can be an important difference to be considered between the two options.