Italian Wedding Soup

I received so many great suggestions when I asked for soysage suggestions that I was nearly overwhelmed! Last night I combined two suggestions and made peppers stuffed with red beans and rice. Since two people suggested it, I decided I’d definitely better make Italian Wedding Soup tonight. I’ve never made Italian Wedding Soup, so in my typical fashion I googled it and looked at a bunch of recipes, then with a general idea in mind, went into the kitchen and did my own thing. It looked like most recipes call for chicken broth, meatballs or sausage, and a bunch of green veggies. Spinach was called for most often, but I did see one recipe that called for a combination of broccoli and broccoli rabe and I really liked the idea of using the latter. (Other than Broccoli Cheez Soup, I’m not wild about regular broccoli in soups.) This soup turned out extremely well and I’ll definitely be making it again.

Italian Wedding Soup

1 1/2 cups chopped vegan “sausage” (I used Soysage from the New Farm cookbook)
7 cups vegan “chicken” stock
1 large leek, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed (remember I LOVE garlic, so maybe that’s a lot)
5-6 leaves green cabbage, shredded
1/2 bunch broccoli rabe, chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme or 1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme
1 cup small pasta, such as orzo or tiny shells
freshly-ground black pepper

Brown the chopped “sausage” in a large skillet and set aside.

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat a small amount of oil, then add chopped leeks and sauté for 3 minutes.

Add the carrots, celery, and garlic and sauté for another 3 minutes.

Add the broth, cabbage, broccoli rabe, and thyme.

Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Add the pasta and cook for 10 minutes or until pasta is done. Season with pepper to taste. To serve, place soup in a bowl and stir sausage into individual bowls.

Makes about 4 large servings.

Note: if you aren’t using the New Farm Soysage, you may not have to cook and add the “sausage” separately. I happened to notice last night when I made the beans & rice, though, that the Soysage just about completely disintegrated as I fried it with the bean mixture, and I didn’t want my soup to take on the gritty texture of okara. Such a texture might be okay for beans & rice, or even a nice thick stew, but I felt it would ruin Italian Wedding Soup. I think the gluten-based “sausages” I’ve made in past would have held their form if I’d just fried them with the leeks. Honestly, I’m not in love with the Soysage. I guess okara and I just don’t get along.

Anyway, the soup turned out great. When Mark surfaced from his man-cave to get a second serving, he informed me it was great and told me to tell the blog it was great. In fact, he called it “the best soup ever”, although he is prone to superlatives when it comes to my cooking. I’m also supposed to tell you that this soup was like a peanut because “the goodness is all inside”. (Earlier he informed me that I was like a peanut because the goodness is all inside and I asked him if he was trying to say I was ugly. But apparently he’s just into comparing everything to peanuts today.)

Thanks to everyone who made suggestions for the Soysage – especially the soup!


  1. Cecilia Said,

    July 16, 2008 @ 1:02 am

    Yum! I’m printing this recipe off now!!! Sound sooo good … and warm and ….

    LOL!! You and Mark are such a FUNNY couple!!! You guys cracked up up every single time … No Renae, you are SO NOT like a peanut (even though, I don’t think a peanut is ugly) … you’re beautiful inside and out ;0) I believe Mark is on my side on this … :0) Oh btw Mark, I believe you are ‘handsome’ inside and out, too!

  2. Kens vegetarian soup recipes Said,

    July 16, 2008 @ 1:07 am

    Hi, your italian wedding soup looks delicious and the ingredients sound delicious as well. I am actually interested in featuring this soup on my web site with a link from mine to your blog. If your interested please contact me via e-mail.

  3. Basil Said,

    December 29, 2010 @ 12:04 pm

    Oh, wow. This soup is on my favourites list. It’s soooo good. I added beans and corn starch too, and I thought it was a bit like chicken noodle soup, only vegetarian. This has got to be one of the best cold weather soups that I have ever tasted, that’s for sure. You always come up with great and simple recipes. So healthy, too.

  4. renae Said,

    December 29, 2010 @ 2:11 pm

    Basil, thank you; I’m glad you liked the soup. Actually, I haven’t looked at this post in a while – I think I’ll make it again this week!

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