Wedding Soup with White Bean Balls and Kale

One of our new favorite cookbooks is Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook. While the language is certainly not appropriate for all ages, the recipes we've tried have been big hits with everyone! This recipe takes a little prep, but it is well worth it, and perfect for those who might be looking to incorporate more meatless dishes into their cooking repertoire. 

Bean Ball Ingredients

  • Cooking Spray

  • 1 large onion

  • 2 cans white beans

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/4 cup flour

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 2 teaspoons Italian blend no-salt seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon Italian herb mix

  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Soup Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

  • 2 carrots, peeled & chopped

  • 2 ribs celery, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 cup small dried pasta (I used tri-color rotini)

  • 9 cups vegetable broth

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 4 cups kale, chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt & pepper (or to taste)

  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray with cooking spray.

  2. Drain the white beans and mash until a paste forms (an immersion blender works well). Stir in 1/4 cup of the chopped onion, bread crumbs, 3 cloves minced garlic, flour, olive oil, soy sauce, seasonings and lemon zest into the beans. If the mixture is too wet, add more bread crumbs or flour; if it's too dry, add a bit of water. Roll into golf-ball sized balls and place on prepared baking sheet. You should be able to get 20-25 balls from the mixture. Spray the tops with a bit more cooking spray. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown, turning them over halfway through.

  3. Meanwhile, saute the rest of the onion, carrots, celery and olive oil until the onion starts to brown. Add the garlic and pasta and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the broth and let simmer until the pasta is tender, about 10-15 minutes. Finally, fold in the kale, lemon juice, salt, pepper and parsley and turn off heat.

  4. Place 4-5 balls on the bottom of a soup bowl and gently ladle the soup over them. The balls may slowly break down in the heat of the soup, which is normal.

Tip:  I store the leftover soup separate from the bean balls. This way I can reheat the balls in a toaster oven or microwave before adding them to the hot soup.  

Makes 6 servings. Each serving contains 252 calories, 45 grams carbohydrate, 13 grams protein, and 2 grams fat.

If you enjoyed this recipe, here are a few more from Coach Karen: