Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup

Mike Nadelman
Italian Wedding Soup is a brothy soup made with a combination of chicken and beef broth, meatballs, small pasta, and spinach or other greens. Contrary to the name, it is not served at Italian weddings. Instead, the name comes from the Italian phrase “minestra maritata” which translates to “wedded soup”. It’s said to be a reference to how well the different flavors come together, like a marriage.
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Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian, Soup
Servings 6 Servings



  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/3 cup Italian-seasoned dried bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup finely diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion diced small
  • 1 large carrot peeled and diced small (1/4-inch pieces)
  • 1 stalk celery diced small (1/4-inch pieces)
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 5 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 24 meatballs see note
  • 1/2 cup dry acini de pepe pasta
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for serving


Make the Meatballs:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat 1 or 2 rimmed baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix together all the meatball ingredients (except the olive oil) until evenly incorporated.
  • Using a tablespoon-sized cookie scoop, form mixture into balls (you should end up with approximately 30 meatballs.)
  • Heat the olive oil over medium-high in a large skillet. Working in batches, add the meatballs and brown on all sides, about 4 minutes. (Add more olive oil if needed and turn down heat if they’re starting to over-brown. They should just have a nice golden crust.)
  • Place browned meatballs on the baking sheets and transfer to the oven to finish cooking for about 15 to 18 minutes (or until an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees F.)

Make the Soup:

  • In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrot, and celery and sauté, stirring, until vegetables are tender and onions are softened and translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Season with the crushed red pepper flakes, oregano, and a bit of salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Pour in the chicken broth, beef broth, and vinegar; bring to a boil.
  • Add in the cooked meatballs and acini de pepe pasta; reduce heat and gently simmer for 12-15 minutes.
  • Take off heat and add in the spinach; stir until wilted.
  • Serve in bowls with 4 to 5 meatballs each and top with some freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Enjoy with crusty bread on the side!
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