Vegan Italian Wedding Soup Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Vegan Italian Wedding Soup

A longtime vegetarian (and soup lover), Jennifer Lang of Oakland Park, Fla., was inspired to make a veg version of Italian wedding soup, she says, “because I’d see it on restaurant menus, and I could never order it because it always had meat.” This recipe received an honorable mention in our 2008 Reader Recipe Contest.



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4 Tbs. olive oil, divided
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1 medium white or yellow onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
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2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.), plus 1 whole clove, peeled, divided
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¾ cup diced carrot
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¾ cup diced celery
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1 Tbs. Simply Organic Oregano
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1 Tbs. Simply Organic Basil
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1 Tbs. Simply Organic Parsley
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6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
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¾ cup ditalini pasta
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1 pkg. vegan meatballs, defrosted (18 small meatballs)
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1 5-oz. pkg. fresh spinach
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2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice


1. Heat 2 Tbs. olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and minced garlic; sauté 5 minutes, or until beginning to soften. Stir in carrot and celery, and cook 5 minutes more, or until onion is soft and just beginning to brown. Add oregano, basil, and parsley, and cook 1 minute. Stir in broth, and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat to medium, add ditalini, and cook at low boil 5 minutes, or half of cooking time stated in ditalini package directions. Add meatballs, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 Tbs. oil in skillet over medium heat. Add remaining garlic clove, and crush with wooden spoon in oil while heating. Add spinach; cook 3 to 5 minutes, turning constantly so spinach becomes evenly coated and wilted, but still bright green. After meatballs have simmered, add spinach and lemon juice to soup, and season with salt and pepper.

Nutrition Information: 

9 g
Total Fat: 
11.5 g
Saturated Fat: 
2 g
25 g
0 mg
499 mg
6 g
5 g
Serves 6

Comments on this Recipe

I made this for dinner last night, but I used veggie italian sausage instead and less spinach than the recipe calls for. The lemon isn't overpowering at all and adds a nice tangy flavor... So good!

This soup is fabulous! It's easy to make (I even leave off the spinach at times and it's still good!), delicious and inexpensive! A real winner-thanks!

Please, please, please, use Escarole in your soup instead, which is better suited to this recipe than spinach. I am a first generation American-Italian. Every year we eat this soup on special occasions and we use escarole. We do not call it Italian Wedding Soup we call it Escarole soup. It was never called Italian Wedding Soup - this is a mistranslation of the meaning and name of the soup.

This soup is so yummy. I made it exactly per the recipe but added pepper. I could eat it all day long.

This soup is truly gourmet! Even my picky toddler loved it. If you are looking to impress with a great meal, I suggest this soup.

Escarole isn't always available everywhere.

Yum! I have been craving Italian Wedding soup since becoming vegetarian 2 years ago, but figured a veg version would never compare to the soup my Italian mom used to make me when I was little. But we loved this! We used kale in place of the spinach and Quorn meatballs (which I wish didn't have egg but that was all my store had - they also didn't have escarole). I did end up adding more broth & seasonings as well because we like very brothy soups. This soup is surprisingly delicious for how simple and easy it is :) Thank you Jennifer Lang!

This is very much like a soup I made for many years for my family before we became vegan. I added an 8 oz. can of tomato sauce. Love having the "meat" balls already made.

looks good, we have a similiar recipe to this, but we use escarole. I stopped eating meat but I missed eating Escarole soup, so I made a vegetarian version of it for my family and they all loved it!

Making this now for the second time. It was a real hit, even with the meat lovers.

Excellent! I used leftover brown rice instead of pasta, and Swiss chard instead of spinach. Thanks for the recipe!

I make this at least once a winter since I fund the recipe years ago. I absolutely love it.