Italian wedding soup is the ultimate feel good soup for Italians. It consists of broth, carrots and onions, pasta, Italian spices and small meatballs. It is so delicious and so simple to make.
For me, Italian wedding soup replaces chicken soup when I am feeling run down or want a comforting meal. I do not like chicken soup. Even when it is homemade, I find it lacks in flavor.
This Italian wedding soup recipe definitely does not lack in flavor and it is so hearty thanks to the meatballs and pasta added in before serving.
Now there are a ton of recipes out there about how to make this soup. I have been making this for years and I swear this is the tastiest and best way to do it.
The other great part about my Italian wedding soup recipe is that you can prepare extra meatballs and pasta and have that as a different meal on another night just by adding a little marinara sauce!
Let me show you how easy the steps are in making this Italian wedding soup:
First, you want to make your meatballs and get those into the oven to cook.
I love using pork for my Italian wedding soup because it so much flavor. You can also use ground chicken if you prefer.
The meatballs are going to be a big part of your flavor so you want to make sure they are seasoned well. This recipe makes sure of that!
Another tip, make lots of these meatballs. I always make more than I need for this soup recipe because meatballs freeze well and can be used in other meals later on during the week.
If you want to make a whole new meal with them, you can make this homemade marinara sauce and add the meatballs in and serve over pasta for another great Italian classic.
Why not make extra since you are already going through the work of making them. Trust me, you will be glad you made extra!
The second step is to prepare the base for your soup.
While your meatballs are cooking, you can start cooking down your carrots, garlic and onions. I love using a good amount of garlic in the soup because it will give so much flavor to the broth.
This is your chance to make sure that your soup is full of deliciousness.
Next, you want to cook your pasta in a separate pot and have that ready for later.
You may be thinking, why am I preparing the pasta separate from the soup especially if you were taught to cook the pasta in the soup with other recipes.
I am totally against cooking pasta in any soup recipe of mine for many reasons. First, the pasta will continue to absorb all of the broth producing a mushy pasta and leaving less broth for the soup.
Another reason is that if you plan on having your soup as leftovers (which I always advise in all my soup recipes because it tastes so good the next day) then by making the pasta separate, you do not have to worry about mushy pasta.
To keep the pasta from sticking, I like to add a good amount of olive oil to the cooked pasta when I set it aside. That olive oil will add more body and flavor to your soup later when you add it into the bowls.
I use this method for all my soups that use pasta.
The last thing you need to do with this soup recipe is add your final ingredients and spices.
For this Italian wedding soup, that is the spinach and Italian seasonings. Whenever I make an Italian soup, I will add a bay leaf, the rind of an old piece of Parmesan, salt and pepper. For this recipe, it also gets a little oregano added in.
Once all of these things are added you just let it simmer for a little bit to let the flavors all come together.
Once you have made your soup, pasta and meatballs (they are all made separate) then you can begin bringing it all together. The meatballs get added right into the soup. The pasta is served alongside the soup for people to scoop into their soup bowls along with the soup.
Serve with copious amounts of Parmesan and fresh black pepper. Good garlic bread for dipping makes it even better!
I hope you give this recipe a try. It is worth it!
Italian Wedding Soup
- 32 ounces unsalted chicken stock good quality
- 4 large carrots diced
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 16 ounces fresh baby spinach
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp dried Oregano
- 1 tsp kosher salt plus more to taste
- 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper plus more to taste
- the rind of Parmesan optional but highly recommended
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 3 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp dried Oregano
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- 1/2 lb small pasta shape acini di pepe, orecchiette, ditalini or any small pasta shape you can find.
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees
- Add your Panko bread crumbs and milk into a large bowl and mix well.
- Next add your Parmesan, salt, pepper, garlic and Oregano and mix together.
- Now add your ground pork to the bowl along with your beaten egg and with your hands, mix the meat and egg into the other ingredients until everything is well incorporated.
- Make your meatballs by scooping out a heaping tablespoon full of your mixture and gently rolling the meatballs until they form a ball.
- Place on a lined baking sheet when done rolling. Keep doing this until you have used up all of your mixture.
- Place your meatballs in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until they just turning golden on the bottom and cooked through. When they are done cooking, remove them from the oven and set aside.
- In a large heavy bottom pot add your olive oil and heat over medium for 2-3 minutes.
- After your oil is heated, add your diced carrots and onions and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Now add your red pepper flakes and garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add your chicken stock and mix well.
- Next add your fresh baby spinach and press it all into the soup as much as possible. Place a lid on the soup a let the spinach cook down, about 5 minutes.
- Once the spinach has cooked down, add your Parmesan rind, bay leaf, salt, pepper and oregano and mix well.
- reduce heat to low and let simmer for at least 5 minutes and while you make your pasta.
- Fill medium pot with water and bring to a boil.
- Add a pinch of salt and your pasta to the water once it is boiling and cook to al dente according tot he manufacturers instructions.
- Once cooked, drain your pasta and add it back to the pot.
- Add your olive oil and mix well.
- Set aside.
- Add your meatballs to your soup and gently stir.
- Ladle pasta into soup bowls and then ladle some soup and some meatballs into each bowl with the pasta.
- Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese and good garlic bread (optional).
- Serve with freshly ground black pepper.