Italian Meatball Soup

by Debbie
(Martinsburg, WV, USA)

I was given this Italian meatball soup recipe years ago without any explanation.

This dish is also called Italian wedding soup; a common soup name here in the US and a dish I have seen several variations of.

I have revised the original recipe several times over the years and now make this Italian meatball soup fairly frequently; both because it is fairly easy to make and we really like it. I am not of Italian descent (but I love Italy)!

I would say this recipe serves 6, but I have never really checked. I usually just double the ingredients here and then freeze whatever is leftover, so that it's easy to have whenever we want it.

(Update: Having looked it up on Yahoo! Answers, here's what I found out about Italian wedding soup:

"In Italy the soup is called 'ministra maritata'. Maritata translates as marriage, and many food historians believe that marriage referred to the ingredients mixed together, not to the soup being served at marriages. Italian wedding soup ingredients and style may date back to the Romans, but its name may be much newer. An alternate name for the soup is 'pignato grasso'.)


3 pounds/1350g chicken (split breasts)
1 pound/450g fresh carrots
Celery tops
1 onion
3 cubes of chicken bouillon
2 teaspoons of garlic salt
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon of onion powder
Accent seasoning
1 pound/450g of hamburger meat (minced beef)
1 clove of garlic
2 tablespoons of parsley
1/8 teaspoon of oregano
1/2 cup of dried breadcrumbs
3/4 cup/105g orzo (tiny) pasta shapes
1 box of frozen spinach (thawed)

Place the chicken in a stock pot and make a stock of celery tops, carrots and onions.

Add the bouillon, garlic salt, onion powder,salt and pepper and accent to the pot with the chicken.

Bring to the boil with the lid on and then simmer for 1 and 1/2 hours (on a low heat).

Take the cooked chicken out and strain the broth. Dice the carrots and put these back in the broth. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (175C). Combine the hamburger meat, garlic, parsley, oregano, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper.

When thoroughly mixed, work this mixture into bite-sized meatballs and bake in a 350 degree oven on a jelly roll pan for 15 minutes.

Add the orzo to the boiling broth and cook for 9 or 10 minutes. During the second 5 minutes of this pasta cooking, add the thawed spinach and continue cooking along with the orzo.

Add the cooked meatballs and chicken and enjoy!

Related links:

• Love pasta soup? Try my Italian pasta soup collection

• Or meatballs? Then you'll love this meatball lasagna

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Comments for Italian Meatball Soup

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Jul 18, 2009
A serious meatball soup for the seriously hungry
by: Matt - Pasta Recipes Made Easy

Wow Debbie, this 'wedding soup' is a monster! Thank you so much for sending it in...

(Update: This Italian meatball soup recipe won the 2008 Pasta Recipes Made Easy 'Reader Recipe Contest', bagging Debbie an Imperia pasta machine for her trouble!)

Have you read and tried this recipe? Drop a comment here to let us all know how it tasted...

Jan 21, 2010
A Family Favorite
by: Dessa

Thanks for sharing this recipe. My family loves Italian Wedding Soup, but I have never made it. I'm going to add this one to my soup recipes. This is going right in with my Spicy Italian Sausage Soup (Olive Garden calls it Zuppa Toscana).

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