Italian Wedding Soup

by Melissa on January 10, 2011

There are few things better than a nice, warm bowl of soup on a cold, blustery day. Since we have had so many of those days lately, I thought I would share one of my favorite soup recipes. Italian Wedding Soup is a broth-based soup, but the hearty, homemade meatballs and pasta make it very filling. Even if you don’t like spinach, give this soup a try. The spinach cooks down and takes on the flavor of the broth, but adds color and texture.

This soup could certainly be a meal on its own, but I served it with a basket of fresh, soft garlic knots and it was a warm, comforting and delicious dinner.

Italian Wedding Soup


  • 3/4 pound ground chicken or ground turkey
  • 1/2 pound chicken sausage, casings removed and crumbled, or finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup fresh white bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 cup minced yellow onion
  • 1 cup diced carrots (3 carrots), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup diced celery (2 stalks), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 10 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup small pasta such as tubetini, stars or orzo
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh dill (optional, I omitted)
  • 12 ounces baby spinach, washed and trimmed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the meatballs, place the ground chicken, sausage, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Pecorino, Parmesan, milk, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl and combine gently with a fork. With a teaspoon, drop 1 to 1 1/4-inch meatballs onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. (You should have about 40 meatballs. They don’t have to be perfectly round.) Bake for 30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside. 

In the meantime, for the soup, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and sauté until softened, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken stock and wine and bring to a boil. Add the pasta to the simmering broth and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Add the fresh dill and then the meatballs to the soup and simmer for 1 minute. Taste for salt and pepper. Stir in the fresh spinach and cook for 1 minute, until the spinach is just wilted. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle each serving with extra grated Parmesan.

Source: Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics.

P.S. Did you know Made in Melissa’s Kitchen has a Facebook page? I would love it if you would become a fan! :)

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

blog is the new black January 10, 2011 at 9:04 am

I’ve made Ina’s IWS recipe before- awesome! This looks perfect for a cold, snowy day!


Jolene ( January 10, 2011 at 11:53 pm

YES!! I was hoping someone would post a recipe for Italian Wedding soup! I have been eating the canned stuff, and developed a liking for Italian Wedding, and now I want to make some homemade, because homemade soup is always much better!!!


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