Italian Wedding Soup is a classic soup featuring pasta, fresh greens and tiny meatballs. It’s perfect for a chilly fall evening, if fall ever comes that is.
It’s still in the high 90s here, how about where you are? I am giving up on waiting and just cooking like it’s fall. Not to mention I have a client who gets at least two soups every time they order no matter what the time of year it is and this Italian Wedding Soup is one of my new favorites.
Don’t worry if you’re not feeling romantic, this soup is actually named ‘married soup’ (minestra mariata) referring to the fact that green vegetables and meat go well together. Whether you want to go more traditional with escarole or keep it easy with spinach, the greens add a nice fresh dimension to this substantial soup.
The deep flavor of Italian Wedding Soup comes from a combination of chicken and beef stock, parmesan (or parmigiano reggiano if you’re fancy) and tiny meatballs that are packed with flavor and cooked right in the soup. All this combines in a dish that’s still quick to make but tastes like you slaved all day making dinner instead of hiding from the children in the garage sneaking a glass of wine. Just me?
Another great thing, this soup is hearty enough for the biggest appetite since it’s loaded with meatballs, pasta, beans and some obligatory vegetables. If you’re really pressed for time, use Italian sausage instead of making the meatballs and the soup will still be delicious. I like mine to be half to two-thirds broth but you can certainly cut back on the broth or add extra pasta/beans/balls to make it even more filling. Add a loaf of crusty Italian bread with plenty of butter and this will become a new family favorite.
Italian Wedding Soup
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced carrots
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 6 cups total broth or stock; a combination of chicken and beef or one or the other
- 3 leaves kale stems removed, thinly sliced
- 1/2 can cannellini beans or other tasty bean
- 1/2 cup ditalini or other small pasta
- 2 tablespoons bread crumbs
- 1 T milk
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan plus more for the table
- 1/2 teaspoon salt and generous sprinkling of pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 ground pork
- 1/2 ground beef
- In a four quart pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and carrots over medium high heat for five minutes. Add garlic and sauté 30 seconds.
- Add broth/stock, kale and beans and bring to a boil.
- Add pasta and cook for five minutes keeping soup gently boiling.
- While pasta cooks, combine breadcrumbs and milk. Add remaining meatball ingredients and mix thoroughly.
- Pinch off small bite size pieces of meatball mixture into a rough round shape and drop into simmering soup. Cook five minutes from the time the last meatball goes in.
- Serve topped with extra Parmesan.