Italian Wedding Soup

January 29, 2020 Updated: January 29, 2020
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Italian Wedding Soup

This strong chicken broth packed with meat, pasta, and greens originated in Southern Italy, where it had exactly nothing to do with weddings. The Italian name for the soup means “wedded broths” and refers to the mix of proteins and vegetables used to make it. Immigrants brought the soup to the United States where it gained an aura of romance. The story goes that this soup is served at weddings to fortify the bride and groom for post-wedding activities. Traditionally, the meatballs are made of pork, veal, and beef, but modern cooks often opt for beef alone or ground chicken in place of veal. The important thing is to make tiny, tightly-packed meatballs that will hold together.

Makes 6 servings

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot or green onion
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 24 prepared meatballs, 1/2-inch in diameter
  • 8 cups strong chicken broth
  • 1 cup acini de pepe pasta
  • 2 cups chopped fresh escarole or spinach
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Freshly grated Parmesan, to taste

In a soup pot, combine olive oil, basil, and shallots over medium-high heat. Saute for 2 minutes, then add carrots, meatballs, and chicken broth. When mixture begins to simmer, stir in the pasta. Cook for 15 minutes or until pasta is tender. Add chopped fresh greens, cover, and cook an additional 2–3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and garnish with Parmesan.