Italian Wedding Soup

Delicious and warming Italian Wedding Soup is perfect for lunch or as a starter to your favorite meal guaranteed to warm your belly this season with chicken, meatballs, chicken broth, white wine, carrots, celery, spinach or kale, Romano cheese, Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs.

The term “wedding soup” is a mistranslation of the Italian language phrase “minestra maritata (“married soup”),” which is a reference to the fact that green vegetables and meats go well together.

Italian Wedding Soup

The minestra maritata recipe or Wedding Soup as we know it, is also prepared by the families of Lazio and Campania during the Christmas season (a tradition started from the Spanish domination of Italy to the present days) Some form of minestra maritata, was long popular in Toledo, Spain, before pasta became an affordable commodity to most Spaniards.

The modern wedding soup is quite a bit lighter than the old Spanish form, which contained more meats than just the meatballs of modern Italian-American versions.The modern version of the wedding soup found in restaurants and homes is quite a bit lighter than the old Spanish form, which contained more meats than just the meatballs of modern Italian-American versions.

For the meatballs:

  • 3/4 pound pork
  • 1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 2/3 cup fresh white bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

For the soup:

  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 cup minced yellow onion
  • 2 cups diced carrots (3 carrots), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 cup diced celery (2 stalks), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 10 cups homemade chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • above recipe for meatballs
  • 2 Chicken breasts precooked and diced
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 24 ounces baby spinach or kale washed and trimmed

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. For the meatballs, place the ground pork, sausage, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Pecorino, Parmesan, milk, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl and combine gently with a fork. With a teaspoon, drop 1/2 inch meatballs on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. (The meatballs don’t have to be perfectly round.)
  3. Bake for 30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside.
  4. 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 sauté until softened, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken stock and wine and bring to a boil.  Turn the burner down simmer and cook for about 6 to 8 minutes.
  5. Add the meatballs and diced chicken to the soup and simmer for 10 minutes. Add fresh parsley and basil, then kosher salt and pepper. Stir in the fresh spinach or kale and cook for 1-2 minute for spinach, 4-5 minutes for kale until the leaves are just wilted.
  6. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle each serving with extra grated Parmesan.

 

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11 thoughts on “Italian Wedding Soup

  1. Joanne/WineladyCooks says:

    This is a delicious Italian Wedding Soup Heidy. I grew up having this soup all the time and I carried on the tradition when I got married. I don’t make it often any more but my daughter will request I make it for her every now and then. Thanks for sharing your recipe which brought back some wonderful memories.

    Like

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