Vegan Italian Mini Meatball Orzo Soup

Inspired by a classic Italian Wedding Soup recipe, this cozy vegan soup features mini meatballs made from Impossible meat, a rich and savory tomato broth, fiber-rich kale, and tender orzo pasta.



for the mini vegan meatballs:

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 c panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp vegan parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 c soy milk
  • 1 package Impossible ground beef substitute

for the orzo soup:

  • 2 tbsp good quality olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 3 stalks of celery, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 c tomato paste
  • 8 cups vegan chicken broth* or a mix of broth and water
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 68 stalks of kale, stems removed and roughly chopped


  1. To make the meatballs, preheat the oven to 375 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  2. In a large bowl, add all of the meatball ingredients except the meat substitute. Stir well and let this mixture soak for 10 minutes before mixing in the vegan ground beef. Form this mixture into mini meatballs, about 1 scant tablespoon or 15-16 grams. Gently roll each ball in your hands (clean wet hands work best for this). Line the meatballs up on the baking sheet, leaving a bit of space between them. This recipe should make 25-27 meatballs.
  3. Transfer the pan to the oven for 8 minutes, then remove and flip each mini meatball and return to the oven for 5-8 more minutes or until evenly browned but still moist. Set the meatballs aside when they’re finished cooking.
  4. Meanwhile, start your soup. Heat a large soup pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the diced onion, carrot, and celery along with a pinch of salt and cook for 8-10 minutes until softened and slightly browned in spots. Add the minced garlic, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, and tomato paste and stir well. Add a splash of water to help the tomato paste loosen up and coat the veggies evenly. Cook this mixture for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. 
  5. To the soup pot, add the vegan chicken broth and bay leaves. Increase the heat to high and allow the soup to come to a rolling boil before adding the orzo and decreasing the heat to medium-low. Allow the soup to simmer steadily until the orzo is al dente, about 10 minutes.
  6. Stir in the chopped and washed kale and cook until the kale has wilted into the soup. Taste the broth and add more salt or other ingredients if desired. Add the meatballs and stir through or reserve them to add to individual servings. 
  7. Serve the soup garnished with vegan parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes. I recommend storing leftover soup and meatballs separately. 


  • for this recipe, I usually use 2 cubes of the Edwards & Sons Not Chick’n Bouillion along with 2 tsp of the Trader Joe’s Vegan Chickenless Seasoning dissolved in 8 cups of water.