Italian Wedding Soup

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Any excuse to make soup is okay with me.  So when my son was home sick the other day, I asked him what he’d like for dinner.  “Soup”, he replied in a sad, pitiful, scratchy whimper.  “The kind with the little meatballs in it, but not a spicy one”, he added.  I knew just what he was talking about as we’d had it about two months ago and he loved it.  Let’s face it-any soup with meatballs in it is going to be a hit kids.

Although I’m sure this soup has been served at weddings the name actually comes from an Italian phrase that translates as “married soup” referring to the fact that greens and meat go well together.  Even if this soup wasn’t intended to satiate a couples’ nuptials, it fills the bill when it comes to warming a sick kids tummy.  Enjoy!


I preheated my oven to 350 degrees then whirled 3 slices of bread in the food processor and emptied the breadcrumbs to another bowl.  To the processor I added 1 small onion diced, 3 garlic cloves, 1/3 cup parsley(basically a handful), 2 teaspoons dried Italian herb seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon cracked red pepper flakes and few pinches kosher salt then whirled until it was minced then emptied into a bowl.

meatball mix for soup

In a large bowl I combined a 20 ounce package of ground turkey (use any kind of protein you like), 1 beaten egg, the minced onion/parsley, 2/3 cup breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup grated Romano, then mixed it thoroughly.

mini meatballs for Italian Wedding Soup

Using a tablespoon as a scooper, I roughly measured out 1 tablespoon for each meatball, rolled then placed them on a sheet pan coated with cooking spray.  You’ll end up around 40 meatballs.  I got 45 because I had added a small amount of leftover turkey from a few nights earlier.  I sprayed the tops with cooking spray then baked them in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Diced onion, celery and carrot

I diced up 3 carrots, 3 ribs of celery and 1 small onion and set aside.


Then I removed the tough stems running up the center from 1 pound of kale and roughly chopped the leaves and set aside.

Mirepoix cooking

I added 3 tablespoons olive oil to a stock pot and sautéed the mirepoix (carrot, celery and onion) over medium high heat for about 8 minutes until soft.

Veggies cooking for Italian Wedding Soup

I added the kale along with 1/3 cup of pale dry sherry (a dry white wine will also work) and continued cooking until the kale wilted- about 2 minutes.

Cooked mini meatballs

I grabbed my cooked meatballs from the oven and of course had to sample a few.  A few more managed to disappear after this photo as the kids walked through the kitchen.

Italian Wedding Soup cooking

I added 12 cups of chicken stock and brought it to a boil.  When it came to a boil I added 1 cup of ditalini pasta (orzo or any small pasta will also work) and cooked for 10 minutes.  I added the cooked meatballs, reduced the heat and let simmer for 5 minutes.  I ladled into bowls and sprinkled with some more fresh grated Romano.

Italian Wedding Soup

And this was the result.  SLURP!!!  Enjoy!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Italian Wedding Soup
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A warm comforting easy soup that everyone will love with a rich stock and seasoned meatballs that are sure to please even the kids.
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Italian American
Serves: 8-10
  • 1 small onion minced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • ⅓ cup parsley finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dry Italian herb seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon cracked red pepper flakes
  • 20 ounces ground turkey
  • ⅔ cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup grated Romano cheese
  • 2 pinches kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 carrots diced
  • 3 celery ribs diced
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 pound kale (center stems removed and leaves roughly chopped)
  • ⅓ cup pale dry sherry (or dry white wine)
  • 12 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup ditalini pasta (or other small pasta)
  • fresh grated Romano for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whirl 3 slices sandwich bread in a food processor to get breadcrumbs then set aside. If you have a food processor then you don't need to minced the veggies for the meatballs. Just diced them and pulse along with the parsley, herbs and pepper until minced. In a large bowl combine the minced veggies with the remaining meatball ingredients and thoroughly mix.
  2. Using a tablespoon, measure and form the mixture into small meatballs and place on a sheetpan coated with cooking spray (you should get around 40).
  3. Bake the meatballs in the preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven when done.
  4. While the meatballs are cooking, add the olive oil to a large stockpot over medium high heat. When hot add the carrots, celery and onion cooking for about 8 minutes until soft(stirring occasionally). Add the kale and sherry cooking for about 2 minutes until the kale has wilted. Add the stock and bring to a boil.
  5. Add the pasta and cook for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the cooked meatballs to the soup and let simmer for 5 minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with a little fresh grated Romano.


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