Italian Wedding Soup

From Ellen Kelly

2014 Jan/Feb

Margaret Nemeth, at Primal Soups in Kingsland Market, is well known in Calgary for her terrific soups. This one is gluten-free and dairy-free, if you leave out the butter.


  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1 lb. mild Italian sausage meat
  • 1 T. fennel seeds
  • 1/4 c. sherry
  • 8 c. (2 L) rich chicken stock
  • 1 t. Clubhouse Greek seasoning mix
  • 2 14-oz. cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 c. chopped fresh spinach or Swiss chard
  • 2 c. cooked rice
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


Heat the oil and butter in a large, heavy soup pot and sauté the onion until soft, but not browned. Add the garlic, celery and red pepper and cook another 3-4 minutes. Crumble the sausage meat into the pot and cook, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon. Add the fennel seeds, and then deglaze with the sherry, scraping up the bits at the bottom of the pan. Add the stock, seasoning mix, tomatoes and spinach or chard. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check the seasoning. Stir in the cooked rice and heat through, about 5 minutes. Serves 6 to 8 generously.