Italian Wedding Soup Recipe

Ingredients:

For the Meatballs:

  • 1/2 lb ground beef (80/20 or 85/15)
  • 1/2 lb ground pork (or mild Italian sausage)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For the Soup:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup small pasta (like acini di pepe, ditalini, or orzo)
  • 10 oz baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Instructions:

  • Make the meatballs: In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, ground pork, Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, egg, parsley, oregano, salt, and pepper. Mix gently until just combined (don’t overmix). Form into small meatballs, about 1-inch in diameter.
  • Brown the meatballs (optional): For extra flavor, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Brown the meatballs in batches over medium-high heat, turning until browned on all sides. Remove meatballs and set aside. (Note: You can skip this step and cook them directly in the soup, they just won’t have the seared flavor).
  • Sauté the vegetables: In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute, until fragrant.
  • Build the soup base: Add the chicken broth, wine (if using), bay leaf, salt, and pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
  • Cook the meatballs: Carefully add the meatballs to the simmering broth. Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through.
  • Add pasta and spinach: Stir in the pasta and cook according to package directions, until al dente. In the last minute of cooking, add the spinach and stir until wilted.
  • Finish and serve: Remove the bay leaf. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper, if needed. Serve hot with a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

Tips:

  • Make it ahead: You can make the meatballs and the soup base a day in advance. Store separately in the refrigerator and combine just before serving.
  • Customize it: Add other vegetables like chopped zucchini or diced bell peppers.
  • No meat? Substitute the meatballs for cooked white beans or chickpeas for a vegetarian version.

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