Italian Wedding Soup

A very simple to make chicken soup featuring mini meatballs, vegetables, and pasta in a deliciously seasoned broth. 

 

I make this recipe anytime I want a delicious, hearty, and comforting bowl of soup to fill me up.

 

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This soup was a favorite of mine growing up. We always served it before each holiday meal. However, we never called it Italian Wedding Soup. In fact, I never even heard of Italian Wedding Soup until I was an adult. We simply referred to it as Escarole and Meatball Soup.

 

The name of this soup didn’t come about because it was served at Italian weddings. Instead, it was a translation of the Italian name minestra maritata, which means married soup. The marriage isn’t between two people, but rather between the vegetables and meat that play a big part in the soup.

 

Escarole and Meatball Italian Wedding Soup

 

Escarole and Meatball Soup

 

There’s a lot going on in this soup with the meatballs, escarole and other vegetables, chicken, and pasta. So it’s not surprising that it’s considered a marriage.

 

Ingredients:

 

Meatballs
1 lb ground beef/pork/veal mix
1 egg
¼ cup Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated
¼ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tbsp parsley
salt & pepper, to taste

 

Soup
¾ cup orzo
1 cup chicken, cooked and shredded
3 qt chicken broth
1 cup carrots, chopped or petite
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
2 cups escarole, washed and chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
salt & pepper, to taste

 

There’s lots of room for variations with this recipe. Some substitutions might be:

Meatballs – Ground beef, ground turkey, ground chicken

Chicken broth – Homemade chicken stock

Escarole – Fresh baby spinach

Pasta – Acini de peppe, mini bowties, or ditalini

 

In a large dutch oven, bring the chicken broth to boil. Add in the carrots, celery, and escarole. Season with Italian seasoning and salt & pepper then return to a boil. Once the soup is boiling, then cover and lower it to medium-low heat for 30 minutes.

 

In a large mixing bowl, combine all the meatball ingredients and mix well with your hands.

 

Meatball mix for soup

 

Roll the mixture into tiny meatballs. I usually roll them about ¾ to 1 inch in size. Set the meatballs aside while you boil a pot of water.  

 

Mini Meatballs for Soup

 

Add in the meatballs and gently boil for 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the meatballs and add them to the soup.

 

Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Then add in the cooked chicken and the uncooked orzo. Cook for 10 minutes or until the orzo is completely cooked.

 

It is fantastic topped with grated Pecorino Romano cheese!

 

Be sure to check out some of my other favorite Italian soup recipes:

Sicilian Fish Stew
Pasta Fagioli
Tomato Fennel Soup

I know you are going to love this very easy to make Italian soup as much as I do. It’s the perfect hearty comfort meal.

 

Italian Wedding Soup

 

If you give it a try, leave me a comment below and let me know what you think.

Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup

MaryJo
Traditional escarole and meatball Italian soup.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Soup
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground beef/pork/veal mix
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup Pecorino Romano cheese finely grated
  • ¼ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • salt & pepper to taste

Soup

  • ¾ cup orzo
  • 1 cup chicken cooked, shredded
  • 3 qt chicken broth
  • 1 cup carrots chopped
  • 2 celery ribs finely chopped
  • 2 cups escarole washed, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  • In large dutch oven, bring chicken broth to boil. Add in the carrots, celery, escarole, Italian seasoning, and salt & pepper. Return to boil, then lower to medium-low heat for 30 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, combine all the meatball ingredients; mix well with hands. Roll mixture into tiny meatballs, approximately ¾-1 inch in size. Set aside.
  • Bring a pot of water to boil. Add in the meatballs and gently boil for 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the meatballs and add them to the soup.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer for 20 minutes. Add in the cooked chicken and orzo. Cook for 10 minutes or until the orzo is completely cooked.
  • Serve topped with grated Pecorino Romano cheese, if desired.
Keyword escarole, meatballs, soup

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