We grew up in an Italian family, where this soup was served at most weddings and big holidays because it screams celebration. If you are familiar with this traditional dish, you’ll love our plant-based version and, if you’ve never had this before, welcome to some amazing Italian comfort food, Wicked Healthy-style!
Escarole works great here because it’s a hearty green with a slight sweetness that holds up well in soup. We especially love how it plays well with the texture of the meatless meatballs, the butteriness of the beans and broth and the softness of the pasta and carrots. We like the star-shaped pasta here but, if you can’t find it, you can also use any small-shaped pasta types like the ones we’ve listed below. Buon appetito!
TIME | 1 hour
SERVES | 8-10
3 T olive oil
1/2 T white onion, diced
1/2 C carrots, diced
1/2 C celery, diced
1 head escarole, cleaned and coarse chopped
1 can (14 oz.) white beans, rinsed
6-8 oz star-shaped pasta, Acini de Pepe or other small pasta
12 C vegan chicken stock, or vegetable stock
1 package Beyond Meat’s Beyond Beef Italian Meatballs
Black pepper, to taste
Sea salt, to taste
Quality olive oil, to finish each bowl
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Once the oven is preheated, spray a sheet pan and add the meatless meatballs. Bake for 15-20 minutes until crisp around the sides. Remove from oven and set aside. Once cooled halve each meatball.
3. Warm the olive oil in large soup pot over medium heat. Add in the onions, carrots and celery. Sauté for 4 minutes until onions are translucent.
4. Add escarole and stir well for 3-4 more minutes until wilted.
5. Turn the heat up to medium high, then add the stock and bring to a simmer.
6. Add the pasta and allow to cook until the pasta is tender, about 5-7 minutes.
7. Add the beans and halved meatless meatballs and continue to simmer for a couple of minutes.
8. Season the soup with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
9. Ladle the soup into bowls, finishing each with a drizzle of quality olive oil and serve with your favorite crusty baguette.