Once upon a time I used to think Minestrone soup from a can was great, and the hubs, he loved Italian Wedding Soup. About six years ago, I decided to make a batch of soup from scratch. It. Was. Life-changing. I’ll admit that soup can definitely makes a mess some days, but I never regret it.
Italian Wedding Soup – something they serve at a wedding over in rustic Italy? Not quite. The name actually comes from a slight mis-translation (minestra maritata = married soup). And the term “married soup” simply points out that meats and green vegetables go well together. Kinda funny how these things come to be, eh?
My learning-to-cook days involved a lot of Food Network, so naturally a handful of my favorite soups come from my favorite chef, Ina Garten. With a few tweaks I came up with an Italian Wedding Soup recipe that is sure to put a smile on the man’s face when he walks in the door. Six years later, and never to buy a can again.
Italian Wedding Soup
- 1 pound ground turkey or beef
- 1 pound ground turkey sausage
- 1 cup Italian style bread crumbs
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 large eggs
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium minced onion
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 3/4 cup diced celery
- 10-11 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup small pasta I use orzo
- 1/4 cup minced fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dill
- 6 ounces baby spinach washed and trimmed
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the meatballs, place the ground sausage, ground meat, bread crumbs, garlic, Parmesan, milk, egg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl and combine with a fork or your hands.
Roll into balls. (about 3 tablespoons big - makes about 40).
Bake for 30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside.
Once the meatballs are in the oven, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot.
Add the onion, carrots, and celery and saute until softened, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cook for another 5 minutes.
Add the pasta to the simmering broth and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the pasta is tender.
Add the dill, meatballs, and spinach and simmer for 1 more minute.
Serve sprinkled with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Need some bread to go with your soup? Try one of these: