Looking for comfort in a bowl? Meet your new favorite: Italian Wedding Soup! It’s a classic Italian soup, a “married soup” that unites tender meatballs and flavorful broth for an unforgettable taste.
In this easy Italian Wedding Soup recipe, homemade meatballs meet rich broth, creating a match made in culinary heaven. With olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and chicken stock as your base, you’re set for success.
This recipe card will guide you, whether you’re using a large pot or your trusty soup pot. Medium heat, patience, and love bring out the best in your tiny meatballs and al dente pasta. And yes, you can use chicken meatballs or even pork meatballs — versatility is key!
No matter the time of year, especially on cold winter days, this soup offers warmth and comfort. So grab your large bowl, your favorite soup recipes, and let’s make something delicious. And don’t forget, for the best results, pair it with some crusty garlic bread — it’s a game-changer!
Supplies for Making Italian Wedding Soup:
Ingredients For the Meatballs:
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1/2 pound ground pork (or just use 1 pound of either)
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 egg
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- italian seasoning to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
Ingredients For the Soup:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup small pasta like acini di pepe or orzo pasta
- 4 cups fresh greens such as spinach ,kale, or escarole, roughly chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Grated Parmesan cheese for serving
- Preheat Oven:Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Make the Meatballs:In a large bowl, combine ground beef, ground pork, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, parsley, egg, garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix gently until well combined.Form the mixture into small meatballs, about 1 inch in diameter.
- Bake the Meatballs:Place the meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or lightly greased sheet pan.Bake in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until they are browned and cooked through.
- Sauté the Vegetables:While the meatballs are baking, heat olive oil in a large pot or large Dutch oven over medium heat.Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Sauté until the vegetables are softened, about 5-7 minutes.
- Simmer the Soup:Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a simmer.Once the meatballs are done baking, add them to the pot.Add the small pasta as well. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until the pasta is cooked.
- Add Greens:Stir in the spinach or escarole and cook until the greens are wilted, about 2-3 minutes.
- Season and Serve:Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.Serve hot, garnished with grated Parmesan cheese.
Enjoy your Italian Wedding Soup with oven-baked meatballs! This method can offer a slightly different texture and flavor to the meatballs, and some people find it easier or more convenient.
Instant Pot Method
- Make the Meatballs:
- In a large bowl, combine ground beef, ground pork, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, parsley, egg, garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix gently until well combined.
- Form the mixture into small meatballs, about 1 inch in diameter.
- Sauté Vegetables:
- Turn the Instant Pot to the sauté function and heat the olive oil.
- Add onion, carrots, and celery. Sauté until the vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Pour in a small amount of chicken broth to deglaze the pot, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
- Add Remaining Ingredients:
- Add the remaining chicken broth to the pot.
- Gently place the meatballs into the broth. It’s okay if they aren’t fully submerged.
- Add the small pasta.
- Pressure Cook:
- Close the lid and set the valve to sealing.
- Cook on high pressure for 7 minutes.
- Quick Release:
- Once the cooking time is complete, carefully perform a quick release to release the pressure.
- Add Greens:
- Open the lid and stir in the spinach or escarole. The residual heat will wilt the greens.
- Season and Serve:
- Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Serve hot, garnished with grated Parmesan cheese.
Using the Instant Pot for Italian Wedding Soup simplifies the process and allows the flavors to meld beautifully. Enjoy your delicious, homemade soup!
How to Store Italian Wedding Soup
Italian Wedding Soup can be stored effectively to maintain its freshness and flavor. Here are the steps:
- Cooling Down: Allow the soup to cool to room temperature. Avoid leaving it out for more than 2 hours to prevent bacterial growth.
- Refrigerating: Transfer the cooled soup into airtight containers. If you’ve made a large batch, consider dividing it into smaller portions for easy reheating. The soup can be refrigerated for up to 3-4 days.
- Freezing: For longer storage, Italian Wedding Soup freezes well. Pour the cooled soup into freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. Make sure to leave some space at the top as the soup will expand when frozen. Label the containers with the date, and it can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
- Reheating: When ready to eat, thaw the soup overnight in the refrigerator if it’s frozen. Reheat it on the stove over medium heat until it’s hot throughout. If the soup has thickened, you can add a bit of water or additional broth to thin it out.
- Avoid Repeated Reheating: Repeatedly cooling and reheating the soup can affect its quality and safety. It’s best to only reheat the portion you plan to consume.
Tips for Making Great Italian Wedding Soup
Making a delicious Italian Wedding Soup can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Here are some tips to ensure your soup turns out perfectly:
Meatball Consistency: Ensure your meatballs are not too dense. They should be light and tender. Mix the ingredients gently and avoid overworking the meat mixture.
Uniform Meatball Size: Keep your meatballs uniformly small. This not only helps them cook evenly so you get juicy meatballs but also ensures they are a perfect bite-size for this meatball soup.
Quality Broth: The broth is the backbone of your soup, so use a high-quality chicken or beef broth. Homemade is best, but a good store-bought broth can work too.
Fresh Herbs: Use fresh herbs if possible. They add a bright and fresh flavor that dried herbs can’t match.
Low and Slow Cooking: Let the soup simmer gently. Boiling it vigorously can break up the meatballs and make the vegetables mushy.
Resting Time: Let the soup rest for a few minutes off the heat before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together.
Serve with grated Parmesan cheese on top. It adds a nice savory touch.
By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to creating a comforting and flavorful Italian Wedding Soup that’s perfect for any occasion.
What should i serve with Italian wedding soup?
- Focaccia Bread: A slice of soft, herby focaccia bread is great for dipping into the soup.
- Crusty Bread: A loaf of crusty Italian bread or a warm baguette is perfect for soaking up the rich broth.
- Garlic Bread: Garlic bread or garlic knots can add a delicious and aromatic touch to the meal.
- Green Salad: A simple green salad with a light vinaigrette can balance the richness of the soup.
- Grilled Cheese Sandwich: For a more filling meal, a classic grilled cheese sandwich can be a comforting addition.
Why is it called Wedding Soup
Italian Wedding Soup, despite its name, isn’t typically served at weddings. The name “wedding soup” is actually a mistranslation of the Italian phrase “minestra maritata,” which directly translates to “married soup.” This doesn’t refer to marriage between people, but rather to the perfect marriage or combination of flavors and ingredients – specifically, the greens and the meats.
In its traditional form, this soup typically includes a variety of greens and a mix of different meats, often meatballs or sausage. The ‘marriage’ is the harmonious blend of these savory components, creating a rich and flavorful broth. Over time, as the soup became popular in English-speaking countries, the phrase was taken more literally and became known as “wedding soup.”
Customizing Italian Wedding Soup
Customizing Italian Wedding Soup can add a personal touch and cater to various taste preferences. Here are some ways to make it your own:
- Vary the Meatballs:
- Switch up the meat: Use ground turkey, pork, sausage, or even a combination of meats such as a meatloaf blend for the meatballs.
- Change the Greens:
- Instead of spinach, try kale, escarole, or Swiss chard for a different flavor and texture.
- Experiment with Pasta:
- Use different types of small pasta like ditalini, orzo, or even rice.
- For a gluten-free version, opt for gluten-free pasta or rice.
- Adjust the Broth:
- Use beef or vegetable broth instead of chicken stock.
- Add a splash of white wine for depth of flavor.
- Add Vegetables:
- Include green beans or diced tomatoes for extra nutrition and flavor.
- For a heartier soup, add diced potatoes or butternut squash.
- Herbs and Seasoning:
- Experiment with fresh herbs like dill, parsley, or basil.
- Add a bay leaf or thyme for more aromatic depth.
- Spice it up with a pinch of red pepper flakes.
- Cheese Variations:
- Try different cheeses like Romano or Asiago instead of Parmesan.
- Creamier Texture:
- Stir in a little heavy cream or a dollop of sour cream for a richer, creamier soup.
- Lemon Zest or Juice:
- Add a squeeze of lemon juice or some zest for a refreshing tang.
Remember, the best part of customizing is that there are no strict rules. Feel free to mix and match these suggestions based on what you and your family enjoy!
So, we’ve just whipped up some seriously amazing Italian Wedding Soup, and let me tell you, it’s a total winner. This soup isn’t just tasty, it’s like a hug in a bowl, and I’m pretty sure your crew is going to absolutely adore it.
Now, it’s your turn to give it a whirl. Grab those pots and get your family involved. It’s more than just cooking; it’s about making those fun, messy, and totally worth-it memories.
And hey, once you’ve all had your fill, don’t forget to pop back here and spill the beans. Did your gang go wild for it? We’re all about sharing the food love, so your stories and snaps are totally welcome!