The classic dish Italian wedding soup earned the title not from being served at weddings, but rather from the perfect ‘marriage’ of ingredients in this delightful soup.
‘Minestra Maritata’ in Italian means ‘married soup’, which apparently is where the derived name ‘wedding soup’ derived from. Many versions of the recipe exist; however, the essence of the dish is a marriage of little meatballs and vegetables such as escarole, spinach and kale in a clear broth.
Comfort food at it’s best, and a great way to present immune boosting veggies even the kids will eat! Traditionally this soup is served with ‘Acini de Pepe’, the tiny little pasta dots, however any small pasta will do, or it can be omitted as I usually do.
I serve my soup with a generous dollop of fresh basil pesto, and grating a parmesan cheese, a delicious and most satisfying dish!
Carol’s Italian Wedding Soup
The perfect ‘marriage’ of meatballs and vegetables in this classic Italian soup.
- Prep Time: 30
- Cook Time: 40
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 12 1x
- Category: Soup
- Cuisine: Italian
For the meatballs:
1-pound ground Turkey or Chicken
1-pound ground Beef
1 large Zucchini, grated (about 1 cup)
2 cloves Garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Parsley
1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan
1 Egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning.
2 teaspoons Salt
Olive oil or Ghee for cooking
For the soup:
1 cup minced Yellow Onion
1 cup diced Carrots
1 cup diced Celery
1 cup Turnip, peeled and diced
2 cups crushed Tomatoes
10 cups homemade Chicken Stock
1/2 cup dry White Wine
12 ounces baby Spinach, Kale or Escarole, washed and trimmed
1 cup Basil Pesto
Prepare the meatballs:
- Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well together.
- With a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon, drop 1 to 1 1/4-inch meatballs onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. (You should have about 20 meatballs)
- Heat a skillet over medium high heat, add a little oil and brown the meatballs, set aside.
Prepare the soup:
- Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and sauté until softened, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Deglaze the pan with the wine, add the chicken stock and turnip, bring to a simmer.
- Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
- Add the meatballs to the soup and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the fresh spinach, kale or escarole, and simmer for a few minutes, until the greens are just wilted.
- Taste for seasoning, ladle into soup bowls and serve with a dollop of pesto and a generous grating of Parmesan cheese.
Basil & Herb Pesto
‘Pesto’ really just means sauce, this beautiful bright green pesto is a great addition to liven up any dish.
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup packed parsley leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 head garlic -roasted, peeled
1/2 cup pine nuts
3/4 to 1 cup olive oil
- In a food processor blend all ingredients with salt and pepper until smooth, add a little more olive oil as needed
- Place in storage container and drizzle a little extra olive oil over the top to keep.