I’ve never tried Italian Wedding Soups before though I’ve seen it plentiful on menus. Most of the time, the meatballs are beef and if you know me well enough, I can get very picky when it comes to beef. I never knew what were the origins of the Italian Wedding Soup either. My best guess was it might be a soup served often at an Italian Wedding? After some Googling and yes the help of Wikipedia, I found out that it’s just a soup that consist of vegetables and meat and it’s very common in Italian restaurants in US. I guess, I was totally wrong about this being a typical soup being served at a Italian wedding! Extracted from Wikipedia, “The term "wedding soup" is a mistranslation of the Italian language, minestra maritata ("married soup"), which is a reference to the fact that green vegetables and meat go well together. Some form of minestra maritata was long popular in Toledo, Spain before pasta became an affordable commodity to most Spaniards, though the modern wedding soup is quite a bit lighter than the old Spanish form, which contained a large variety of meat, rather than just the meatballs of modern Italian-American versions”
Long story short, I modified and came up with my version of Italian Wedding soup very much inspired by Ina Garten. Her Italian Wedding Soup recipe can be found HERE. This soup is a perfect for lunch (or dinner) during one of those cold wintery days!
ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP RECIPE
Part A (Meatballs)
- 3 Hot/Spicy (Fresh) Italian Sausage (about 9 oz), Squeeze the meat from the casing
- 6 oz ground pork
- 1/4 cup Italian Bread Crumbs
- 1 Tbsp Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 2 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Parsley
- 2 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Cilantro
- 1 Tbsp Milk
- 1 Large Egg
- 1 Pinch of salt
- 1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
- 2 Tbsp Oil
- 2 Stalk Celery, Finely Chopped (About 1 Cup)
- 2 Medium Onion, Finely Chopped (About 1 Cup)
- 3-4 Cloves Garlic, Finely Chopped
- 1 Cup Macaroni Elbows
- 10 Cups Chicken Stock
- 6 - 8 Oz Spinach
- Black Pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix Part A (meatballs), place the ground pork, sausage, bread crumbs, parsley, cilantro, Parmesan cheese, milk, egg, salt, and pepper in a bowl and combine gently with a fork. With a teaspoon, measure about 1tsp of meatballs, roll them and drop them onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. (You should have about 80 x 1 tsp size meatballs). Bake for 20 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside.
In the meantime, prepare part B (soup). In a pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add garlic, onion and celery and saute until softened, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken stock bring to a boil. Add the pasta to the simmering broth and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Add the meatballs to the soup and simmer for 1-2 minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the fresh spinach and cook until the spinach is just wilted. Serve immediately.
June’s comments: Feel free to omit the cilantro if you’re not a big fan of it. I love cilantro very much and try to include them in my meals whenever possible! This recipe serves 4-6.