What is Italian Wedding Soup?
This soup is one of those things that I’ve had at restaurants a few times, but we never made it at home. I always assumed it was a soup that was traditionally served at Italian weddings, but wikipedia disagrees.
The term “wedding soup” comes from the Italian language phrase “minestra maritata” (“married soup”), which is a reference to the flavor produced by the combination/”marriage” of greens and the meat.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedding_soup
Regardless of where it came from, it’s a tasty, cozy soup that will please a crowd. Usually, this soup has orzo pasta, but I had a really hard time finding gluten-free orzo, so I decided to use rice instead. If you’re able to eat gluten without a problem, you’re welcome and encouraged to use orzo pasta instead of rice!
Another difference in my soup is that it’s packed with stuff. I’m not a fan of broth-y soups that don’t have much substance, so this soup is packed with veggies and rice and meat so that you’re not having to fish around for the good stuff. The downside there is that it can be a bit thick if you reheat it, so you may want to add a bit of broth or water to your bowl before you pop it into the microwave.
Leave a comment below to let me know if you try this soup, and what other soups you want to see on the blog!
Italian Wedding Soup
For the Meatballs
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp granulated garlic
For the Soup
- 2 tbl olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (TIP: use a microplane to quickly grate the garlic)
- 4 medium carrots, diced (approx. 1 1/2 cups)
- 4 stalks celery, diced (approx. 1 1/2 cups)
- 1-2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup dry arborio rice, cooked to package directions
- 1 bunch dino kale, de-stemmed and chopped into small pieces
- 2 large eggs
Make the Meatballs
- Preheat the oven to 375º F.
- Add spices to the ground pork and knead until combined.
- Form small meatballs, approximately 1/2 inch in diameter, and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake the meatballs for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown.
Make the Soup
- While the meatballs are cooking, heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. (This is also a perfect time to start cooking the rice according to package directions in a separate pot.)
- Add the onions and sauté the onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute, until fragrant.
- Add the carrots, celery, salt, and pepper, and sauté for 5 minutes, until soft.
- Add the broth and turn the heat to high to bring to a boil. Once the soup is boiling, reduce to a simmer.
- Add the meatballs and their drippings to the pot, and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the cooked rice and kale, and simmer for another 5 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until they're completely combined.
- Turn the heat off. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the soup, while stirring constantly.
- Garnish with fresh parsley or grated cheese and enjoy!
- If you tolerate gluten, you’re welcome to substitute orzo pasta for the rice.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.