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Italian Wedding Soup

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“Soup is the song of the earth… and the home.” – Louis Pullig De Gouy

Italian Wedding Soup in a white bowl

Frost on the grass, cold wind blowing, and smoke rising from the chimneys… Sure signs that winter is here. After a long cold day of work on the farm, there is nothing better than to come inside to a fire in the hearth and hot Italian Wedding Soup on the stove. 

The Season of Soup.

In winter, a favorite soup in the farmhouse is Italian Wedding Soup. The juicy meatballs, fresh vegetables, and hearty broth warms the belly and feeds the soul. It pairs perfectly with some warm bread with butter. This is comfort food at it’s finest. 

Some secrets about Italian Wedding Soup.

According to AboutFood.com, this soup originated in Naples and its original Italian name is really minestra maritata, which means “married soup” in relation to the “marriage” or unity of all the ingredients.

Some Italian Wedding Soup recipes call for cooking the meatballs and the pasta in the soup, I prefer baking the meatballs in the oven to ensure they’re thoroughly cooked.  I also prefer cooking the pasta separately, rather than in the soup, because I find that cooking the pasta in the soup makes the broth too starchy and the noodles too soggy. 

Meatballs on a baking sheet.

Soup that Satisfies.

The beauty of soup is that it’s incredibly easy to make it your own. Add the vegetables you like best, switch up the meat, substitute rice for pasta… Just to name a few variations. The options are endless and soup can be an incredibly fun way to get creative in the kitchen.

This easy, delicious, and satisfying Italian Wedding Soup recipe is a family favorite and my hope is that after trying it, it will become one of your favorites too. 

Looking for more delicious and easy soup recipes? Check out my “Recipes” highlight on Instagram and my Butternut Squash and Ginger Soup recipe here on the blog.

Happy National Soup Month!

Italian Wedding Soup in a white bowl
Yield: 8 servings

Italian Wedding Soup

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

In winter, a favorite soup in the farmhouse is Italian Wedding Soup. The juicy meatballs, fresh vegetables, and hearty broth warms the belly and feeds the soul. It pairs perfectly with some warm bread with butter. This is comfort food at it's finest. 

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 2/3 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 ounces ground beef
  • 8 ounces ground pork
  • Sprinkle of salt and fresh ground pepper

For the soup:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 carrots cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 2 stalks celery cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 12 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup or more of small pasta (ditalini or stars)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1- 5 ounce bag of baby spinach (stems removed)
  • 5-6 ounces chopped escarole 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. For the meatballs, place the onion, parsley, egg, garlic, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, ground beef, ground pork in a bowl and combine gently with a fork. With a tablespoon, drop 1 to 1 1/4-inch meatballs onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. (You should have about 25-30 meatballs. They don't have to be perfectly round.) Bake for 30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside.
  3. In the meantime, for the soup, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and saute until softened, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken stock and cooked meatballs, bring to a boil. Add the pasta to the simmering broth and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Or, if you prefer, wait and cook the pasta separately to add to the soup later.
  4. Taste for salt and pepper. Stir in the fresh spinach and escarole and cook for 1 minute, until the spinach and escarole are just wilted. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.
Italian Wedding Soup in a white bowl with a soup spoon next to it on the table.

 

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