This lightened-up version of classic Italian wedding soup trades pork meatballs for turkey and orzo pasta for spelt. With its chewy, al dente texture, Spelt adds extra heartiness as well as important fiber.

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 155 min

Total time: 170 min

Italian Wedding Soup with Turkey Meatballs and Spelt
Copyright Recipe © 2015 Woodland Foods


Makes 10 servings

  • 1 Cup Spelt, rinsed

  • 8 Ounces Ground Turkey

  • 8 Ounces Sweet Turkey Italian Sausage, casings removed

  • 1 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs

  • 2 Eggs, lightly scrambled

  • 1 Cup Parsley, chopped and divided

  • 1/4 Cup Milk

  • 1/4 Cup Pecorino Romano, grated

  • 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated, plus more for garnish

  • 1/8 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

  • 1 Zest Of 1 Lemon

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, divided

  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Kosher Sea Salt Flakes, divided

  • 3/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Peppercorns Dustless, divided

  • 1 Onion, diced

  • 3 Cloves Garlic, minced

  • 8 Cups Chicken Stock Or Broth

  • 1 Head Escarole, root end removed, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Add spelt to 2-1/2 cups water in large sauce pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 90 minutes. Drain and set aside.

  3. Meanwhile, combine turkey, sausage, bread crumbs, eggs, 1/4 cup of parsley, milk, cheeses, nutmeg, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in large mixing bowl. Mix with hands until well incorporated. Form meatballs roughly 1 inch in diameter, and set on prepared baking sheet.

  4. Transfer sheet to oven and bake meatballs until cooked through, about 12 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add stock, and season with remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes.

  6. Add turkey meatballs, spelt, remaining parsley and escarole to saucepan and cook just until escarole wilts, about 2 minutes. Check seasoning, and adjust to taste.

  7. Ladle into serving bowls, and serve topped with more Parmesan cheese.