Italian Wedding Soup

14 Jan

Italian Wedding Soup, this is a classic soup in my family, we always served it at our Christmas dinner. It is a great dish to serve during the cold winters up here in Maine, and my wife and daughter love it, so everybody wins! The story of this soup is actually quite an interesting one! Italian-Americans do not call this soup “Wedding Soup” because it is served at weddings, but the name is actually a mistranslation of minestra maritata (“married soup”), which refers to the fact that the green vegetables and the meat go well together!

Normally, I make this with 50% ground lamb and 50% ground veal, but since we are trying to eat a bit leaner since the holidays, I have made this with ground turkey. You will probably also notice that I do not use egg in my meatballs, I just use olive oil instead, and a bit more cheese to bind. It is a rather simple preparation and a very comforting, light meal!

Italian Wedding Soup with Turkey Meatballs

Chicken Broth:

  • 1 whole breast of chicken (ribs and bones included)
  • 1 carrot chopped into 3 pieces
  • 1 stalk of celery chopped into 3 pieces
  • ½ bunch of parsley stems
  • 2 or 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 1/2 white onion quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic unpeeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns


  • 1 lb. Ground Turkey
  • ½ white onion diced grated
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon rosemary
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley.
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

To Finish:

  • ½ cup of acini di pepe
  • ½ lb. chopped escarole.
  1. Put the chicken breast, carrot, celery, onion, garlic, bay leaf, peppercorns, salt in a stockpot with about 2 – 3 quarts of cold water and bring to a soft boil over medium heat.
  2. Take the parsley stems and the thyme and tie with some butchers twine and place in the stockpot.
  3. Once stock comes to a soft boil, reduce to a simmer.
  4. Simmer for about 40 minutes, until chicken is nice and tender. Add a bit more water if you need to keep about 3 quarts in the stockpot.
  5. To make the meatballs, take the ground turkey and the rest of the ingredients for the meatballs and mix well in a mixing bowl.
  6. Take a rounded tablespoon of meat for each meatball and form the ball with your hands and place on a large plate.
  7. Once the chicken is done, take out the chicken breast to cool and pass the stock through a medium mesh sieve into another stockpot.
  8. Reheat broth if you need to and then one-by-one, place the meatballs in the chicken broth.
  9. Once the meatballs begin to float, simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  10. Put the acini di pepe pasta into the soup, simmer for another 10 minutes.
  11. Once the chicken breast is cool, shred the chicken and toss the ribs and bones. Then put the shredded chicken into the pot.
  12. Take the chopped escarole and wash well! Then put the escarole into the pot.
  13. Garnish with some more grated Parmigiano cheese and you are ready to serve!
Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup

10 Responses to “Italian Wedding Soup”

  1. Cecile Chapin January 14, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

    Love this recipe! This soup is one of Jay’s favorites. He like me to use hot chicken sausage to give it more of a kick. I have been cheating by using a Stonewall Kitchen kit. This would be a lot fresher tasting.
    Love the recipes.

    Cecile Chapin

    • cjdelgrosso January 14, 2012 at 11:26 pm #

      Thanks for stopping in and reading Cecile! We should have you and Jay over for dinner some weekend so you can sample some of the recipes!

  2. delicio8 January 14, 2012 at 10:08 pm #

    That looks so good! I’m about to head to the supermarket so I will try making this today. We have light snow coming down and soup sounds perfect. Thank you.

    • cjdelgrosso January 14, 2012 at 11:27 pm #

      Great! Let me know how you like it!

    • delicio8 January 15, 2012 at 9:35 pm #

      I made it and it was very yummy! I didn’t have the acini di pepe so I used stellini instead ut I used too much and it soaked up the broth. It was still delicious. I added a squeeze of lemon over the top before serving. So easy and delicious.

      • cjdelgrosso January 16, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

        I am glad you enjoyed it! Always love a satisfied reader!

  3. Kiri W. January 17, 2012 at 1:23 am #

    This looks lovely! It’s all snowy and cold in Cleveland, so a hot cup of soup would be lovely. I’ve always liked Italian wedding soup, and the turkey meatballs sounds like a great addition 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    • cjdelgrosso January 17, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

      Thanks Kiri. Cleveland? I was born and raised on the east side of Cleveland! Small world!

  4. Kaitlin January 20, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    I have eaten Italian Wedding Soup my whole life and never knew that’s why it was called Wedding Soup. Thanks for the fun fact!

    • cjdelgrosso January 20, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by my site Kaitlin! Hope for many returns!

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