Italian Wedding Soup Recipe (Healthy Version)


Recipe for Healthy Italian Wedding Soup

This recipe was handed down to me from my mother who got the recipe from her mother, Irene Colucci.  Irene Colucci immigrated to western Pennsylvania from Naples, Italy when she was just a child.  Irene (Grandma to me) would always have the ingredients for Italian Wedding Soup on hand so that she was always ready for unexpected visitors.  I find it so heart warming that she would have such a beautiful dish ready to feed a hungry visitor.  Recently, during Hurricane Sandy, I found myself needing to feed some displaced neighbors who were eating meals at our home because they were without power.  Miraculously, I had all the ingredients to make Grandma Colucci’s wedding soup!  I felt I was channeling her spirit that day as I prepared and served my friends.  I hope you can make this soup for friends or unexpected visitors and warm some bellies and hearts this cold winter. 


  • 2 chicken quarters (legs and thighs)
  • 3-4 stems celery, diced not too small, include leaves
  • 1 head of curly endive (also known as frisee or chicory) chopped
  • 1 medium or 2 small yellow onions, quartered
  • 2 cans of diced tomato
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper

In a large kettle, boil 10 cups of water.  Add the chicken quarters and boil until the meat is falling off the bone.  While the chicken is cooking, prepare the meatballs.  Mix the ground turkey with bread crumbs, herbs, garlic, salt and pepper and roll into 1/2 inch balls.  After the chicken has cooked through and is tender enough to fall off the bone, remove it from the pot.  Let it cool and then shred it and remove the bones and then place it back into the pot.    Add the celery, onions, endive and tomatoes (including the tomato juice) to the pot and let simmer for 20 minutes.  Add the meatballs and chopped curly endive to the pot.  Let simmer with the lid on for about 1/2 hour.  Add salt to taste.