Vegan Italian Wedding Soup*
Happy Sunday, Soupers! Ever wake up craving a specific dish? Yup, that’s me today and I knew exactly how I wanted to make it. But there was a hitch — no orzo in the house and it’s Sunday, so no grocery stores open. There’s only one thing to do…improvise. That’s exactly what we did with this Italian Wedding Soup, adapted from the website, Cooking Classy!
So it’s still “veganuary” and looking for ways to transition to plant-based eating. We started with the meatballs in the dish. Instead of ground beef and pork balls, we turned Beyond Meat burgers into balls and it worked pretty well, and they are delicious!
One tiny caution, the flavor you normally get from the beef and pork balls gets lost. A professional chef may have a better idea, but I found that by taking the long cook approach to my veggie broth —letting it simmer on low for at least two hours,really brought out the flavor so when I added the plant-based balls (lightly seared in a pan with olive oil) to other ingredients, it came together nicely.
Oh, and what about the orzo? Please don’t kill us but we substituted with cooked couscous and you know what? It was … awesome! So in the end, not a faithful Italian Wedding soup, but a totally delicious alternative nonetheless.
So if you’re like us, and looking or ways to gradually transition from eating so much meat per week, this, along with introducing new veggies and fruits seems to be a good way — -at least for our family — to retrain our palates to eat differently!
1 tbsp olive oil
3 medium carrots diced
1 medium shallot diced
2 stalks of celery diced
2 cloves garlic
2 medium potatoes cubed
3 liters vegetable broth
1 small leek chopped
1 cup dry orzo, or 1 cup cooked couscous
6 oz fresh spinach finely chopped
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 bay leaves
1 spring thyme
1 splash lemon juice
Finely shredded Parmesan , for serving (a vegan option)
2 Beyond Meat Burger patties
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp minced fresh oregano
1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan (a vegan option)
1 large egg (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
- Prep 25min
- Meal Time Lunch
- Serves 4
For BeyondMeat Meatballs:
- Add plant-based hamburger patties to a large mixing bowl. Add in bread crumbs, parsley, oregano, Parmesan, egg, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper
- Gently toss and break up mixture with hands to evenly coat and distribute. Shape mixture into very small meatballs, about 3/4 inch to 1 inch and transfer to a large plate.
- Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the meatballs and cook until browned, turning occasionally (to brown on 2 or 3 sides), about 4 minutes total.
- Transfer meatballs to a plate and cook any remaining balls. Note, that the meatballs are only seared. They will cook thoroughly in the soup
- Bring veggie stock to a boil with bouillon. Add balsamic vinegar, paprika and bay leaves to the stock and cook on low heat.
- Saute chopped potato, shallots, carrots, leeks, garlic and spinach.
- Add vegetables mixture to stock.
- Re-add the meatballs
- Add salt and pepper to taste and cook for about 25 minutes. Near the end of cook time (ten minutes), remove the bay leaves.
- Add in Parmesan cheese to the stock.
- Add more salt and pepper to taste.
- Finish with a splash or lemon juice and serve in a bowl.