Italian Wedding Soup
A classic Italian wedding soup recipe, with little bits of pasta, shredded chicken, spinach and of course those little meatballs!
This wedding soup recipe is the very first one that I ever posted here on my little corner of the Internet. I grew up eating it at countless restaurants, at home and, of course, at weddings. My mom would make it occasionally, but it wasn’t until two summers ago that I fell in love with it again. I’m usually not one to devour soup during the summer months, but I was going through the first trimester of my pregnancy, and spent many days not very interested in food at all. Every Sunday, my mom would deliver me a fresh pot of homemade wedding soup, and I ate it for nearly every meal throughout the week (with oyster crackers – a must!). It absolutely hit the spot.
A few weeks ago, we were celebrating my father-in-law’s birthday so I asked him what he would like for dinner. Along with meatballs and rigatoni, he requested wedding soup. I hadn’t made it myself in years, so I was excited to have the opportunity to refresh my memory and do this fabulous recipe justice with new photos :)
While the most basic wedding soups include some type of meat, a green vegetable, pasta and clear broth, I’ve always loved how wonderfully hearty my mom’s recipe is.
Not only does she do the standard miniature meatballs, but she adds shredded chicken as well. I think it gives the soup so much more oomph and definitely makes it feel like more of a meal than just a bowl of soup.
When I’m not feeling well, it’s this wedding soup, and not your typical chicken noodle soup, that soothes my soul and makes me feel better.
Between the meatballs, chicken, little bits of pasta, carrots, celery and spinach, it’s extremely healthy, too!
Italian Wedding Soup
For the Meatballs:
- 1 pound (453.59 g) ground beef
- 1 small onion, grated
- 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons Italian bread crumbs
- 1½ teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 egg whites
For the Chicken:
- 1 pound (453.59 g) boneless skinless chicken breasts
For the Soup:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small yellow onion, diced small
- 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 ribs celery, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 12 cups (2820 ml) chicken broth
- Salt & pepper to taste
- ¾ cup (127.5 g) acini di pepi or other small pasta
- 8 ounces (226.8 g) fresh spinach, chopped
- Combine all ingredients for the meatballs and shape into small (½-inch) balls. Place on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, place the chicken breasts in a large stockpot and fill with water until it is covering the chicken by at least one inch. Bring to a boil and cook until the chicken is completely cooked through, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and use tongs to remove the chicken to a large plate. Shred the chicken and set aside. Empty water from stockpot.
- Melt butter in the now-empty stockpot over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrot and garlic, and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for approximately 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Gently add the meatballs to the soup and cook for 7 minutes. Add the pasta and cook for an additional 6 minutes. Add spinach and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Add the shredded chicken. Cover again and allow to simmer for another 30 minutes or so. You can eat as soon as the chicken is re-heated, but allowing it to simmer for a little longer allows all the new flavors to meld together.
This recipe was originally published on February 11, 2007.