Thursday, October 10, 2013

Italian Wedding Soup

If there's one thing that I love about fall, it's soup.  I love eating it.  I love making it. I love the way it entices my kids to eat vegetables that would otherwise sit lonely and unloved on their plate. Soup melds flavors. Soup offers comfort. Soup warms the soul.

I was first introduced to Italian Wedding Soup when a southern neighbor brought over a pot of it shortly after the birth of my third child.  Strangely, she wasn't Italian and no one was getting married.

The name, it turns out, is a mistranslation of the Italian phrase, "si sposono bene", meaning that two things are well married.  The marriage of the greens and meat in clear broth is such a delightful combination that it was widely described as si sposono bene.

There are hundreds of variations on the recipe, but the soup usually contains greens such as spinach, escarole or broccoli rabe, meatballs, and tiny pasta in a chicken broth.

Here's my take with turkey meatballs (for the semi-vegetarian daughter) and fire-roasted tomatoes (because they really should go in everything!)

Start your soup with a mirepoix.  That's a French word that typically means a mixture of carrots, onions and celery.  I know. I felt like being fancy.  Saute' your veggies until they are soft.

Next, add 2 quarts of chicken stock and, as long as we're being fancy, throw in 1/2 cup of white wine.

Heat up the liquid and toss in a can of diced fire roasted tomatoes.

Next, throw all the meatball ingredients in a bowl and mix.  Use your hands.  There's really no way around it.

Next, you have two options:

Type A-Person Option:  Spend an hour and roll out an entire tray of mini meatballs and bake them in the oven. Remove them from the tray and add them to the soup.

Type B-Person Option:  Find your little ice cream scooper and drop little meatball scoops into the simmering broth.  Either way works.  It's your choice.

Add one cup of cute little pasta like this curly Campanelle into the broth and cook until al dente.

Next, add a bag of spinach and stir until wilted. 

Meatballs and veggies in a rich, delicious broth.  
Now that's a marriage made in heaven!

Italian Wedding Soup
by Rachel @ Simple Girl

For the Meatballs:

1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1 egg
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, crushed

For the Soup:

1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup onions, diced
1 cup celery, diced
2 quarts chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup pasta, uncooked
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 small bag of spinach

  • Mix together the meatball ingredients in a bowl and set aside
  • In a large stock pot, saute carrots, onions and celery in 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Add broth, wine, red pepper flakes and tomatoes and bring to a simmer
  • Using a small ice cream scoop, drop balls of meatball mixture into simmering broth until all the meatball mixture has been used.  
  • Add pasta and cook until al dente
  • Add spinach and stir until wilted
  • Serve with parmesan cheese


  1. I'm glad you explained what the name means - I've always wondered about that! The soup looks amazing. Sounds like this weekend is the perfect time to start making soup!

  2. I've heard of this soup before but never tried it. I'm pinning this one and WILL be making it soon. Sounds delish! Interesting about the mistranslation too.

    If you're interested, I'd love if you shared these at Gingerly Made's Show & Tell party going on right now.

    1. Thanks for linking up to Gingerly Made's Show & Tell party. YOU've been featured!

  3. I'm definitely making the soup this week! Love soul-warming one pot meals.

  4. Beautiful, your soup is just beautiful! Sure wish I had a bowl of it right now. Hope you are having a fun weekend and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Miz Helen

  5. This looks like about the best Italian Wedding Soup I've ever seen. It's looks so much heartier than some. I can hardly wait to make it. Would you be willing to share this recipe post at our Making Monday link party? We would love it. Thanks. Have a fabulous day.

    Lori @ A Bright and Beautiful Life

  6. 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 #103).