Italian Wedding Soup

Seemingly out of nowhere, everyone has developed a sad sounding cough. We don’t get sick often, so anytime we do I immediately pull out my arsenal of home remedies: renewed vigor in taking our fermented cod liver oil, and adding apple cider vinegar (with or without honey), grapefruit seed extract, oil of oregano, and probiotics to our daily regimen.

And, of course, chicken soup. The mother of all remedies and the remedy of all mothers.

Today being Sunday, we are used to having a large, filling Sunday meal. So rather than do just a plain chicken soup I decided to dress it up a bit. Here is my GAPS-friendly Italian wedding soup recipe.


1 organic whole chicken

1 yellow onion, skin on

1-2 ribs celery

1-2 carrots

bay leaf

salt & pepper to taste

3 quarts filtered water

2 cups previously soaked and cooked beans (I used a combo of white and black because they were on hand)

1 rib celery with leaves, chopped

1 onion, chopped

6 oz kale, chopped or torn into small pieces

1-2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

1-2 tbsp fresh basil, bruised & chopped

squeeze of lemon



3/4  lb grassfed ground beef

1 large egg

generous sprinkle of coconut flour (1-2 tbsp, I guess)

2 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

1 small clove garlic, pressed or minced

salt & pepper to taste

Put up the 3 qts water with chicken, onion, celery, carrots, bay leaf, salt & pepper and bring to a gentle simmer (this will keep the broth from clouding) for 3 hours (adding water if necessary to bring the level back up).

Remove chicken and vegetables from broth, set in a colander over a bowl to cool and return broth to a simmer.

Mix meatball ingredients (go on and get your hands dirty, it’s the only way to make a real Italian meatball with love) and form into small meatballs about 1 inch or less in diameter. Add them to a skillet over medium-high heat to brown them on two or more sides, transferring them when browned to the simmering broth.

I like to briefly saute the veggies before adding to the soup – you can do it right in the meatball skillet. Saute onions, celery, and kale and add to soup. Add beans. Simmer about 10 minutes until meatballs are cooked.

Remove cooled chicken from bones, and add to soup with the cooked carrot, chopped.

Turn off heat, add additional clove(s) of garlic and a squeeze of lemon. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Garnish with chopped basil and serve with a dash of cayenne for the daring.

Nourishing and delicious!

Linked up with Monday Mania.

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2 Responses to Italian Wedding Soup

  1. Anna says:

    Sarah, that looks and sounds so good! I’m right with you on the part about getting your hands dirty is the only way to make them with love. 🙂 I’ll most definitely be trying this one and thanks for sharing your recipe.

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