Recipe By James
Published Jan 1st
Prep 20m Cook 40m Additional - Ready In 60m
Servings 10 servings Calories 381.1

This is one of those soup dishes ideal for warming the soul during a winter day. This is similar to an Italian wedding soup but creamy with meatballs and potato gnocchi. I make my own chicken stock and meatballs but you can use store-bought.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, or as needed
  • 4 (32 ounce) cans low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 2 cups thinly sliced escarole
  • 2 (17.5 ounce) packages potato gnocchi
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 6 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil or Italian parsley
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, or more as needed for serving
  • 1 ¼ pounds ground beef
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Cooking Directions

  1. 1 Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat and saute onion until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken stock, bay leaf, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper and bring liquid slowly up to a simmer, about 5 minutes.
  2. 2 Meanwhile, prepare the meatballs. Combine ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, onion powder, Italian seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Mix until well combined. Roll mixture into tiny 1/2-inch meatballs.
  3. 3 Once the soup is boiling, carefully drop meatballs one by one into the pot. Bring back up to a slow simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Skim off any gray muck that comes to the top with a spoon and discard.
  4. 4 Add carrots, escarole, and gnocchi and bring soup back to a simmer. Stir in half-and-half, spinach, and herbs. When gnocchi rise to the top, remove from heat.
  5. 5 Remove bay leaf and serve soup with Parmesan cheese.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 381.1
  • Carbohydrate 26.1 g
  • Cholesterol 90.5 mg
  • Fat 21.6 g
  • Fiber 2.4 g
  • Protein 20.9 g
  • Saturated Fat 10.4 g
  • Sodium 634.2 mg
  • Sugar 2.6 g

Chef's Notes

You can use ground turkey instead of ground beef; You can refrigerate the soup after the meatballs are cooked overnight and skim fat off the top the next day.


  1. I used frozen Italian meatballs and did everything in my slow cooker. First put the broth, seasonings, meatballs, carrots, garlic, and onion for about 3-4 hours on low. Then added 1 cup dairy-free half and half (took some broth out and whisked the half and half in so it wouldn't curdle), added the gnocchi, spinach, - Read more ...
  2. As soon as I saw "Skim off any gray muck ", I knew I had to make it. All kidding aside, this was awesome! I used frozen meatballs (so I didn't have any gray muck) and frozen spinach which made this super easy. Thanks for a great Comfort Food recipe and getting me to try - Read more ...
  3. This was wonderful and probably the best soup I've ever served. Thank you for the recipe!
  4. A previous review said the soup was too thin so I cut the chicken broth to 12 cups and kept everything else the same. It was still too thin. I had leftovers so thought to thicken with instant potato flakes. That helped immensely. Good flavors all around.
  5. Super easy and delicious!!
  6. Terrific. Make your own gnocchi, it’s easy!
  7. I made this recipe as written excluding the escarole, I could not find any locally. It is also listed as optional on the recipe poster's original recipe. I also used gluten-free gnocchi and breadcrumbs. For chicken broth, I used a combination of reduced sodium and regular chicken broth. As written this recipe was salty and - Read more ...

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