Despite its name, this soup has nothing to do with weddings in Italy. It’s actually mistranslated from the phrase “minestra maritata” or “married soup”. The ‘married’ specifically refers to the combination of vegetables and meats.
That marriage of vegetables and meat is exactly what we kept in mind when piecing together this recipe. Some recipes call for cabbage, but to be honest I’ve never been a fan of it, so instead I went for a leafy green I feel is much more flavorful: spinach. I also made some quick meatballs cooked separately to get that nice crispy outer layer, then added them to the broth. Serve this soup in a bowl and top with a little Parmesan cheese for garnish. Keep reading below for our favorite Italian wedding soup recipe…
Italian Wedding Soup
(makes 8 servings)
- 3/4lb ground chicken
- 1/2lb Italian sausage, casings removed
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, optional
- 2/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup graded Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup minced yellow onion
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 3/4 cup diced celery
- 10 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup small pasta
- 1/4 cup minced fresh dill
- 12oz baby spinach, washed and trimmed
- Place the ground meats, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Parmesan, milk, egg, red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl and combine.
- Roll 1″ meatballs onto a plate or cutting board until all the meatballs are rolled. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on a large skillet over medium-high heat. Transfer the meatballs to the hot skillet. Cook, turning until browned all over (3 to 5 minutes). It’s okay if they’re still a little pink in the middle, they will continue to cook in the broth. Set the meatballs aside on paper towels.
- For the soup, heat the other 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-low in a large pot. Add the onion, carrots, and celery, and sauté until softened (about 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally). Add the chicken broth, wine, Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaf, then bring to a boil. Add the pasta to the broth and cook an additional 6 to 8 minutes, or until the pasta is tender.
- Add the fresh dill, then the meatballs to the soup and simmer for an additional three minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Stir in heavy cream (if using) and spinach, and cook for 1 minute, or until the spinach has just wilted.
- Serve the soup in bowls and sprinkle with extra grated Parmesan cheese.
Recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa