Thursday, February 2, 2012

Italian Wedding Soup

I love soup. Especially in the winter. There is something so comforting about a hearty bowl of warm deliciousness.

Daddy and I have been trying to be good about meal planning recently, and, seeing as it's the heart of the cold weather months, we've been adding a new soup to the plan each week.

Last week's soup was one I'd been wanting to try for quite a long time - Italian Wedding Soup.

I'd only had Italian Wedding Soup a couple of times, but I loved it, so when daddy added it to the plan, I was excited. I hopped on over to Pinterest to look at recipes, and settled on this one.

Italian Wedding Soup consists of greens (usually escarole or spinach) and meat (usually meatballs) in a (usually) chicken broth, and usually contains some kind of little pasta. The components mix together, creating a "marriage" of flavors, thus the name of the soup (so I have read).

I started with the meatballs. To be a touch healthier, I opted for ground turkey instead of ground beef. Then, with little man napping and little miss busy crafting with a friend, I got to rolling. And rolling. And rolling. Until I had a pan full of mini turkey meatballs.

That pan was covered with plastic wrap and stashed in the fridge, and I set to the next prep step. Chopping. And chopping. And chopping. Carrots, onions and garlic.

(side note: did you know that five year old girls will willingly and happily eat carrots if they think they're sneaking them from you while you're cooking? Yeah. I peeled a couple of extras "by accident" and both girls grabbed pieces on their way back and forth through the kitchen as they played...)

The soup itself came together pretty easily.The vegetables are sauteed in the soup pot, then the liquid is added, and once the soup comes to a nice simmer, the frozen spinach, pasta and meatballs are added in, so that they can cook right in the soup.

I chose orzo for my pasta. I thought I had a box of ditalini in the pantry (the little tubes), but I guess we must have eaten those... so the only small pasta I had was orzo. So that's what I used.

Then, well, the soup simmers, the meatballs cook and, umm... I get to play with the kids!

A few minutes before dinner, it's time to add in the final touches - grated Parmesan cheese and some final touches of spice.

A few stirs later and dinner was ready!

The soup was delicious, but we wound up calling it stew rather than soup. The orzo just kept absorbing the liquid, so the soup wound up super thick. Which I, personally, loved. And I think the family did, too.

We sprinkled extra Parmesan on top of each serving and it was a super delicious meal.

And those little meatballs? So much fun. Even little man ate them up.

We will definitely be making this soup again.

Italian Wedding Soup
(only slightly adapted from Cinnamon Girl Recipes)

For the meatballs:
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh black pepper

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Using your hands, form small meatballs, about the size of a quarter. Set aside.

For the soup:
1/2 - 2/3 cup carrots, diced (about 5 carrots)
1 large yellow onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and fresh black pepper
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 box frozen chopped spinach
1/2 - 2/3 cup small pasta (I used orzo, the recipe called for tubettini or ditalini) (the more pasta, the thicker the soup)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving.

In a large soup pot, saute onion and carrot in the olive oil over medium low heat until soft and tender. Season well with salt and pepper. Add garlic and Italian seasoning and saute until fragrant (just another minute or two).
Add chicken broth and turn the heat up to bring the soup to a slow boil. Once it begins to boil, add the meatballs slowly, one at a time. Once all of the meatballs have been added, add the pasta and the spinach. Bring it back up to a simmer, season with additional salt and pepper, and simmer at least 25 minutes.
Stir in Parmesan cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
Serve with additional Parmesan cheese.



  1. I LOVE Italian wedding soup...that photo of the meatballs prior to you adding them to the soup, looks so good, I think I'd eat them raw (I do love tartare lol). BTW, I already have the next installment done..will be up tomorrow!

  2. Hi! Your Italian wedding soup has been nominated as one of the "Best Italian Wedding Soup Recipes on the Net". To vote for it, please visit (your recipe is positioned at #249).


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