Spring has sprung. It’s getting warm down here. Despite it being 85 this weekend, I whipped up a batch of low carb Italian Wedding Soup. It’s one of my faves, and is delicious any time of year. This low carb version is made with pork meatballs, zucchini, kale and a dash of hearty cream. This soup will warm you up, and keep you on track if you are low carb!
The meatballs are a simple mixture of pork sausage (like this Jimmy Dean sausage) and spices. My local grocery store carries a zero carb and sugar-free version of pork sausage, which is what I typically use. The Jimmy Dean sausage has 1 net carb for 2 oz. That will have a low impact on the overall carbs-per-serving in this recipe. The spices include minced garlic, garlic powder, onion powder, ground oregano, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
Italian Wedding Soup is traditionally made with meat and green vegetables. Kale is one of my favorite green vegetables for this soup. The Vitamin A-packed leafy greens soften in the soup. Zucchini is my other green vegetable of choice, and “subs in” for the pasta texture. I also add a little diced white onion for flavor.
The soup base consists of chicken stock and a dash of heavy cream added at the end for a flavorful, hearty finish.
Start off by mixing the pork sausage and spices. Once combined, form the meatballs. I typically aim for them to be about 1 inch in size. Next, heat a heavy-bottomed soup pot with some oil on medium high heat, and sear the meatballs on all sides until nice and brown. Be sure not to crowd the pan to allow for even searing. Once the meatballs are seared, remove them from the pan and set aside. Drain the excess oil from the pan.
Reduce the heat on the stove to medium, and add the onion. Cook until the onion becomes translucent. Add the torn kale, and cook for about 5 minutes. Next, add the stock. Bring the soup to a simmer, and add the zucchini and seared meatballs. Simmer for two to three minutes, and add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. Reduce the heat to low.
Finally, add the heavy cream and stir to incorporate. Heat over low heat for about 5 minutes, or until hot. Taste test for additional salt and pepper one last time.
Grab some bowls, dish out and serve immediately.
Low Carb Italian Wedding Soup
This hearty, low carb Italian Wedding Soup is perfect any time of year. It's packed with tasty sausage, heart-healthy kale and zucchini.
- 16 oz pork sausage
- 2 tsp ground oregano dried
- 1 tsp garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 4 oz white onion diced
- 1 bunch kale fresh, about 130 grams
- 3 whole zucchini
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- salt and pepper to taste
Combine pork sausage, ground oregano, garlic, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, onion powder and garlic powder in a medium bowl. Once combined, form 1" sized meatballs and set aside.
Next, prep the vegetables. Keep the vegetables in separate bowls or separate on the cutting board. Mince the white onion, tear the kale leaves from the thick stalk, and tear into bite-sized pieces. Finally, slice the zucchini in half length-wise, and slice to form small half-moon pieces. Set the vegetables aside.
Heat a heavy-bottomed soup pan over medium high heat. Add 1 tbsp of oil or bacon grease, and heat until shimmering. Add the meatballs, working in batches to avoid over-crowding the pan. Sear the meatballs all the way around. Set aside all of the cooked meatballs.
Lower the heat the medium. Drain the excess oil from the soup pot, reserving about 1 tbsp. Next, add the onion, and cook for five minutes, stirring frequently. Cook until the onion starts to brown and becomes translucent. Then add the kale, and cook for about 5 minutes.
Next, add the stock and bring to a low simmer. Add in the zucchini and meatballs. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until zucchini just begins to soften.
Finally, reduce the heat to low and stir in the heavy cream. Season with salt, pepper and extra red pepper flakes to taste. Dish into bowls and serve immediately.
Nutrition Information per Serving:
Calories: 433; Total Fat: 32 g; Saturated Fat: 17 g; Trans Fat: 0 g; Cholesterol: 107 mg; Total Carbohydrates: 5 g; Fiber: 2 g; Sugar: 2 g; NET CARBS: 3 g; Protein: 19 g