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Slow Cooker Vegan Italian Wedding Soup

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  • Yield: Serves 6-8 (with 4-6 "meatballs" per serving) 1x



For the soup:

  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10 cups vegetable broth
  • 10 ounces baby spinach
  • 1 cup acini di pepe pasta (or pastina/stars pasta)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Extra freshly ground black pepper and vegan parmesan cheese for serving

For the vegan “meatballs”:

  • 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed and 2 1/2 tablespoons water)
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs + 2 tablespoons, divided (both panko and regular work fine)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons vegan parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


For the soup:

  1. In the slow cooker, add onion, celery, carrot, garlic and vegetable broth. Cook on low for 5 hours.
  2. With 20 minutes left in cooking time, stir in the baby spinach and pasta. After 20 minutes, turn off the slow cooker, add lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serve with vegan meatballs and freshly ground black pepper and vegan parmesan cheese.

For the vegan “meatballs”:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. To make a flax egg, stir flaxseed with water and let sit in the fridge for 15 minutes, or until thickened.
  3. In a food processor, add chickpeas, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese, parsley, basil, onion powder, garlic salt and flax egg. Pulse to combine.
  4. Mix 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs and 2 tablespoons vegan parmesan cheese in a small bowl.
  5. Roll chickpea mixture into small balls (about 1 tablespoon mixture each) and roll in the breadcrumb/cheese to coat.
  6. In two batches, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium high heat. Saute balls for 5-7 minutes, or until browned.
  7. Transfer sautéed balls to a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
  8. Serve vegan meatballs on top of soup.