In the Instant Pot, Italian Wedding Soup only takes less than an hour to make this rich brothy soup with meat and vegetables.
Italian Wedding Soup
Italian Wedding Soup is so comforting and versatile because you can thicken it to make it hearty or leave out the thickener to make it a lighter-brothy soup. Regardless of the weather, it's always a big hit in my family!
What Is Italian Wedding Soup?
Italian wedding soup actually does come from Italy - but it wasn't traditionally served at weddings. Instead, the name comes from the Italian phrase minestra maritata, which means "married soup." It describes the marriage or unity of the ingredients.
Traditional Italian wedding soup contains some kind of bitter leafy greens in a hearty meat broth. It originally didn't have meatballs - that's an American addition.
Enjoy Italian Wedding Soup In The Summer
Even though people typically think of soups as a winter or fall dish, there really isn't a specific time you can enjoy this soup. It tastes amazing all year long.
Recently, I was craving a hot bowl of soup the other day. Usually, I'd want a nice big bowl of Soba Noodles with Shrimp Salad or BBQ Korean Kalbi.
Believe it or not, sometimes I want a big bowl of soup like Pho or Udon in sweltering weather. This time, I decided I wanted to make a nice bowl of Italian Wedding Soup.
Did you know that hot and spicy food can cool you down when it’s sweltering out? You see, hot food - both kinds - make you sweat. But as the sweat evaporates, your skin temperature goes down and makes feel cooler. And this phenomenon has an actual term called, “ gustatory facial sweating,” according to Luke LaBorde, a professor of food science at Penn State University. Who knew? No wonder Latin America and South Pacific Islands’ cuisines use the hottest peppers in the world and they also don’t shy away from soups!
Why Make Italian Wedding Soup In The Instant Pot?
I might want hot soup, but I don’t want to sweat bullets while cooking. So of course, I looked to my Instant Pot to do the work.
Luckily, I was asked to review "Paleo Cooking with your Instant Pot®" by Jennifer Robins. It's a Paleo cookbook and has a recipe for Italian Wedding Soup.
Italian Wedding Soup is so comforting and versatile because you can thicken it to make it hearty or leave out the thickener to make it a lighter-brothy soup, which is how I made it.
Paleo Cooking with your Instant Pot® Cookbook
I had Jennifer’s book since it was published beginning of the year and have been enjoying many of her recipes. And no wonder it made the #1 Bestseller list so many times on Amazon! Her recipes are so easy to make, they do not require exotic ingredients, and she offers 80 recipes that include soups to sides to entrees to desserts!
So her book came to the rescue when I wanted to make a hearty Italian soup last week. And if you are like the rest of the world and want to make soup as the weather gets colder, you’ll want to make this Italian Wedding Soup. Better yet, buy her book "Paleo Cooking with your Instant Pot®" for more scrumptious recipes like Shrimp Scampi, Instant Pot Roast, Chicken Tikka Masala, Cowboy Chili, and even Chocolate Pots De Crème.
These paleo meatballs are made with organic ground turkey and a paleo-friendly flour such as cassava or tapioca. Then, they are sweetened with maple syrup. If you want to speed up the cooking process, you can buy some paleo-friendly pre-made meatballs.
All Italian wedding soups have some sort of leafy greens in them. I used spinach in this one. You can also use kale or arugula.
This is optional and isn't found in most traditional Italian wedding soups. If you want to make it heartier, you can add some couscous.
The carrots and onions add nutrition and fiber to the soup. You can also add some celery if you want even more vegetables in it.
Making your own bone broth or stock is so easy that once you learn, you won't go back to buying store-bought again.
Yes, you can use soy sauce. It will have a lot more salt in it, so go with the low-sodium version. Soy sauce usually has gluten in it, which makes it not paleo-compliant.
This is a perfect soup to freeze. Let it cool completely and then store it in a zippered plastic freezer bag. Lay the freezer as flat as possible on a baking sheet and place the sheet in your freezer so that the soup freezes flat. When you are ready to eat it again, just let it thaw overnight in your refrigerator and then reheat on the stove.
If you leave out the couscous and use sugar-free sweetener instead of maple syrup, this can be considered keto-friendly. The cassava flour for the meatballs might give it a high amount of carbs too, so you might have to cut back on them.
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Italian Wedding Soup from Paleo Cooking with your Instant Pot
For the Meatballs
- 1 lb organic ground turkey
- 3 tablespoon cassava flour tapioca, arrowroot or almond flour
- 3 tablespoon coconut milk
- 2 tablespoon coconut aminos
- 1 tablespoon 100% maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Pinch sea salt
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast optional
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil ghee, or lard
For the Soup
- 1 onion diced
- 64 oz organic or homemade stock
- 1 cup diced carrots
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- pepper to taste
- 1 cup spinach chopped
- 1 c grain-free gluten-free couscous optional
- 2 tablespoon tapioca arrowroot or cassava flour for thickening (optional)
- Assemble the meatballs by combining meatball ingredients, except for the cooking fat, in a bowl and mix well by hand. Form meatballs between 1 and 2 inches in diameter and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Press the Sauté button on the Instant Pot and drizzle the cooking fat into the inner pot. Place the assembled meatballs into the bowl and brown them on all sides until they are firmly intact, or about 5 minutes. They do not need to be cooked entirely through as they will continue cooking in the broth.
- Continue using the sauté feature to cook your diced onion until it is slightly translucent and begins to brown. If you need to add a bit of additional cooking fat, you can do that now.
- Secure the lid of your Instant Pot, close the pressure valve and press the Soup button (high pressure, 30 minutes). Allow the cooking cycle to complete, and then you can quick-release your steam valve. Once it is safe to open, you can remove the lid and toss in your chopped spinach. Stir well until spinach wilts.
- Add in your stock, meatballs, carrots and seasonings, reserving the spinach for later. If you are using grain-free couscous, you can add that now as well.
- At this time, if you want to thicken your soup and did not use the grain-free couscous (which naturally thickens it), you can make a slurry with tapioca, arrowroot or cassava flour. To do this, remove ¼ cup of the broth and whisk in the starch until it has dissolved. Now add the slurry back into the soup pot, stirring until it thickens, usually a couple of minutes.
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