Hello Fresh Italian Wedding Soup

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Why Is It Called Italian Wedding Soup


Italian Wedding Soup sounds like a soup that is served at Italian Weddings but this is somewhat of a misnomer as it has nothing to do with exchanging wedding vows. Instead, its namesake minestra maritata, which means married soup refers to the marriage of flavors the marriage of the tantalizing herb infused broth, the marriage the al dente pasta, the marriage of the tender veggies and leafy greens and the marriage of the juicy, tantalizing meatballs. They all combine to create a happy marriage of flavors and textures.

The name Italian Wedding Soup is thought to come from its humble beginnings when peasant cooks would add whatever vegetables they had growing in their gardens or foraged along the countryside along with whatever scraps of meat they had on hand to the soup. The veggies and meat would seamlessly blend into a harmoniously marriage of ingredients.

It wasnt until centuries later that Italian-Americans turned this humble married soup soup into Italian Wedding Soup, and the romantic tales escalated with each storyteller. To further the romantic story, acini di pepe became the favorite pasta to use in Italian Wedding soup because it translates to seeds of a pepper which was known as a symbol of fertility.

What Is Italian Wedding Soup

And while were at it, why do they call it wedding soup? The exact history of what we in the U.S. call Italian wedding soup is a bit murky, though it does seem to have originated in Italy. There, its known as minestra maritata which doesnt exactly translate as wedding soup. Rather minestra maritata means wedded soup or wedded broths, referring not to a soup served at weddings, but instead likely a reference to the soup having traditionally been made with a medley of different broths. Versions of minestra maritata are found throughout southern Italy, and though some are classically served around Easter, this brothy soup, studded with meatballs and bitter greensusually escaroleis mostly enjoyed as a winter food, particularly associated with Christmas or St. Stephens Day in many places. So, TL DR no, Italian wedding soup is not a soup served at weddings, and yes, its probably a recipe that originated in Italy! Katie Parla has a nice little dive into the background of Italian wedding soup here, if youd really like to go deep. But, if youre just hungry for some soup, read on for how to make a big pot of Italian wedding soup!

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  • 8ozlean ground beef
  • 8ozground pork
  • 1/2cupfresh hearty white bread crumbs*
  • 1/4cupchopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2tspminced fresh oregano
  • 1/2cupfinely shredded parmesan
  • 1large egg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1Tbspolive oil
  • 1 1/4cups1/4-inch diced carrots
  • 1 1/4cupsdiced yellow onion
  • 3/4cup1/4-inch diced celery
  • 4clovesgarlic, minced
  • 5 cans low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1cupdry acini de pepe or orzo pasta**
  • 6ozfresh spinach, chopped
  • Finely shredded parmesan, for serving

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Adjust oven rack to top position and preheat broiler to high. Wash and dry all produce. Trim and peel carrot, then cut into ½-inch pieces. Halve onion peel and dice one half . Mince garlic. Remove and discard any large ribs from kale chop leaves into 1-inch pieces.

Heat a large drizzle of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add carrot, onion, and half the garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8-10 minutes. TIP: If veggies cook too quickly, lower heat to medium low.

While veggies cook, in a medium bowl, combine pork, ¼ cup panko , half the Tuscan Heat Spice, and a few big pinches of salt and pepper. Shape mixture into small ½-inch-wide meatballs.

Stir remaining Tuscan Heat Spice into pot with veggies. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in kale, stock concentrates, 3 cups hot water , and a few big pinches of salt. Cover pot, increase heat to high, and bring soup to a boil. Once boiling, remove lid. Carefully stir in cup orzo and meatballs. Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Cook until orzo is al dente and meatballs are cooked, about 10 minutes.

Stir half the Parmesan into soup. Season with salt and pepper. Divide soup between bowls sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Serve with garlic bread on the side.

How To Brown Meatballs


If you would like to completely render the fat first, you can brown the meatballs separately in a NONSTICK skillet or bake themon a greased baking rack placed over a baking pan in the oven, the elevatedrack will allow any grease to drip off of the meatballs.

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup.
  • Place a cooking rack on top of the baking sheet and spraywith cooking spray.
  • Add meatball in a single layer without touching.
  • Bake for 18 minutes.
  • Skip simmering the meatballs for 5 minutescalled for in the recipe and add the browned meatballs at the same time as thepasta.

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How To Freeze Soup

If you are making this Italian Wedding Soup ahead of time strictly to freezethen I would omit the pasta and spinach and add fresh when reheating. Ifyou are freezing leftovers, then you may freeze the soup with the pasta and the spinach. The pasta freezes much better than other pastas because itis so small.

  • Cool: Allow soup to cool completely before freezing to preserve the integrity of the ingredients and so it doesnt linger in the danger zone temperature for too long.
  • Package: Transfer soup to a freezer safe container or smaller containers.
  • Freeze. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Defrost/Reheat. When ready to use, thaw overnight in the refrigerator then reheat on the stove or microwave per instructions.

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How To Make Italian Wedding Soup

Making Italian Wedding Soup is simple: just shape the meatballs, sauté the veggies, then add the meatballs and pasta directly into the soup to simmer followed by the spinach. Its ready in about an hour from start to finish. The only tedious part of the recipe is chopping the herbs and rolling the small meatballs but you can enlist your kids to help or roll the meatballs earlier in the day.

Heres How to make Italian Wedding Soup:

Make Meatballs. Line a baking sheet or cutting board with parchmentpaper to add your finished meatballs to. This way they wont stick and are easyto move close to the stove. Add egg to a large bowl and whisk. Add all remaining meatball ingredients and mixwith your hands just until combined.

ShapeMeatballs. Using1 ½ teaspoons scoop, shape the mixture into 1-inch-diameter meatballs. Placeon prepared baking sheet set aside.

Sauté Veggies. Cook onions, carrots, and celery, for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté one minute. Add beans, chicken broth, and all seasonings.

Add Meatballs. Cover the soup to bring to a simmer, once simmering, remove lid and add meatballs. Simmer for 5 minutes. If you decide to brown the meatballs in the oven first , then you can skip this 5-minute simmer.

Add Pasta. Add acini de pepe and simmer an additional 8-10minutes or until meatballs are cooked through and pasta is tender.

Add Spinach. Stir in the spinach and lemon juice, allow spinach towilt, about one minute. Taste and season with salt and pepper if desired.

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Italian Wedding Soup Recipe

Now that were in the depths of winter, wereALL ABOUT soups at our house. I prettymuch have a new soup recipe coming your way every week, because I cant get enough! Theres just nothing like a big bowl of cozy,satisfying, soothing, warm soup that warms you from the inside out on a coldday. And theres nothing quite like thisItalian Meatball Soup recipe.

It boasts the rich, flavorful aromatic broth of chicken noodle soup but with juicy, tender meatballs like in albondigas soup with the veggies of minestrone soup. So essentially, its the best of the best all in one soup! Heres what makes it so divine:

Can I Substitute Other Greens Here

Italian wedding soup

I prefer the flavor of the spinach best here but kale, endive or escarole are other greens commonly used in Italian Wedding Soup and they would work fine in this recipe.

If using one of those previously listed Id recommend adding them along with the pasta as theyll need a longer cook time. The spinach cooks almost instantly whereas those others wont.

This soup might require a little more prep than some of your average soups but the extra steps and extra pan are so worth it in the end. Hope you love it too!

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This Italian Wedding Soup Recipe Is A Hearty Warm And Comforting Favorite All Made In One Pot

Italian Wedding Soup is a traditional Italian soup made with juicy, herb-Parmesan infused pork meatballs, acini de pepe, carrots, celery, and spinach all simmered in a bold, rich, aromatic, broth it is MEGA flavorful comfort in a bowl! This recipe is also all made in one pot no need to bake/sear the meatballs first! This Italian Wedding Soup recipe is customizable with your favorite veggies, favorite pasta and you can even use chicken/turkey instead of Italian sausage/beef for the meatballs. Italian Wedding Soup is make-ahead friendly stores and reheats beautifully, is freezer friendly irresistibly delicious!

How Do I Reheat Italian Wedding Soup

  • Stove: You can reheat large batches of Italian Wedding Soup on the stove over medium low heat, stirring gently until warmed through. Add additional water or broth as needed to reach desired consistency.
  • Microwave: For smaller batches or individual servings, you can reheat the soup in the microwave. Transfer soup to a microwave-safe dish, cover with a microwave-safe lid or paper towel. Microwave for 2 minutes, stir, then continue to microwave for 30-second intervals, if needed. Stir in additional broth or water to reach desired consistency.

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Tips And Tricks For Making Italian Wedding Soup:

  • Make sure you blend your pork in a food processor to make it gummy, it is essential to the texture of the meatballs.
  • If you cant find kale, a good substitute would be spinach, we have used that in the past and it has worked out well.
  • If you cannot find acini di pepe, you can use any other smaller pasta such as orzo or ditalini, or even small pearl couscous.

If you are looking for the perfect soup recipe that everyone will enjoy, this easy and flavorful Italian Wedding Soup recipe is exactly what you are needing.

Why This Recipe Works:

Italian Wedding Soup {A Quick, Easy Dinnertime Recipe}
  • With fresh, readily available ingredients the soup is flavorful, healthy and quick.
  • You can easily substitute or add ingredients to this soup recipe to make it your own.
  • It is perfect for weeknight dinners, with a mixture of greens, veggies and meat, it has a mixture of everything.

Even know this is really such a light soup, it is super filling. That is what I really like about it. A little goes a long ways with this Italian Wedding Soup Recipe.

There really are minimal ingredients and prep time, which is one of my favorite ways to cook. I dont remember the first time I tried this soup, but Ive been hooked since.

Traditionally Ive seen other Italian Wedding Soup have couscous in it, but when I started making it, couscous wasnt easily available to purchase.

So in my nature, I like to find great substitutions and what better substitution that acini de Pepe pasta. It is pretty much the same shape and texture, so it fit right in.

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What Size Meatballs Are Best

This Italian Wedding soup recipe is bestwith smaller meatballs, about 1-inch round which can be achieved using a 1 ½ teaspooncookie scoop. This size is large enoughso you can sink your teeth into a juicy meatball and they dont just get lostin the soup. They are also large enough so they are hard to overcook and remainsuper tender. You can make smaller or larger meatballs if you prefer, just takeinto consideration the cooking time and adjust accordingly.

What Can I Prepare Ahead Of Time

This Italian Wedding Soup recipe is verysimple but it does require chopping some veggies and assembling the meatballswhich can take some time. Fortunately, you can do both in advance!

  • Vegetables: The onions, celery, carrots and garlic can all be chopped ahead of time. Store the onions , carrots and celery in airtight container together and the garlic in a separate container/bag in the refrigerator.
  • Assemble meatballs: You can completely assemble the meatballs according to directions. To store, line uncooked meatballs on parchment paper and tightly wrap with foil or plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours until ready to use then simply drop uncooked meatballs directly into the soup.
  • Freeze meatballs. You can also flash freeze the raw meatballs on the parchment lined baking sheet for 1-2 hours, then transfer to a freezer safe container and freeze for 3-4 months. More detailed instructions to follow.

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How To Make Creamy Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup can also be made tantalizingly creamy by adding flour and half and half with cornstarch in place of all chicken broth.

  • Cook vegetables with 4 tablespoons butter.
  • Sprinkle & frac13 cup flour over the onions and carrots/celery the last minute of cooking and cook for one minute.
  • Instead of using all chicken broth, use 6 cups chicken broth and 4 cups half and half mixed with 2 tablespoons cornstarch OR 4 cups heavy cream without the cornstarch.

Can I Use A Different Pasta

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I prefer acini de pepe to any other pasta in Italian Wedding Soup. Their pearl shape provide a sublime textureand they are small enough you enjoy an abundance in every bite without them overwhelmingthe other ingredients.

That being said, if you cannot find acini de pepe, you may substitute with orzo pasta my last choice would be ditalini or small shells.

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A Healthy Easy Italian Wedding Soup Recipe To Kick Off The New Year

Brothy, full of dark, leafy greens and studded with moist, tender pork and chicken meatballs, our healthy Italian wedding soup recipe is everything your body needs right now . Its warm, soothing and jam-packed with nutrientslean protein in spades, vitamins A, K, B6 and C, calcium,and potassium in the Italian kale, and, because theyre made with carrots, even the meatballs themselves pack a little extra nutritional punch. Whether youre fighting off a cold, or just trying to show your body some love after a few weeks of indulgence, this light, comforting Italian wedding soup recipe is here to help you out.

Is Italian Wedding Soup Gluten Free

Italian Wedding Soup is not gluten free due to the acini di pepe and the breadcrumbs. To make gluten free soup, use gluten free pasta and gluten free bread to make breadcrumbs. You will also want to check the packaging on the Italian sausage to ensure it is gluten free or substitute with ground pork.

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How To Freeze Meatballs

I like to double the meatball recipe and use half in the soup now and freeze half for another day. Now, all I have to do is drop the frozen meatballs into the simmering soup!

  • Line raw meatballs on a parchment lined baking sheet so they arent touching.
  • Place entire baking tray in the freezer. If your freezer cant accommodate your baking sheet then use a small tray and freeze in batches. Freeze for 1-2 hours until solid.
  • Transfer meatballs to a freezer safe bag or container.
  • Label meatballs and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • When ready to use, add frozen meatballs directly to the simmering soup and simmer 10 minutes before adding the pasta.

Can I Freeze The Meatballs

Italian Wedding Soup with Pork Meatballs with Parmesan ...

Absolutely! I like to double themeatball recipe and use half in the soup now and freeze half for another day. Now, all I have to do is drop the frozen meatballsinto the simmering soup!

  • Line raw meatballs on a parchment lined baking sheet so they arent touching.
  • Place entire baking tray in the freezer. If your freezer cant accommodate your baking sheet then use a small tray and freeze in batches. Freeze for 1-2 hours until solid.
  • Transfer meatballs to a freezer safe bag or container.
  • Label meatballs and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • When ready to use, add frozen meatballs directly to the simmering soup and simmer 10 minutes before adding the pasta.

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Do I Have To Brown The Meatballs First

No! Authentic Italian Wedding Soup calls fordropping the meatballs directly into the simmering soup to cook just like I do inmy Albondigas Soup this not only saves you time by eliminating the browningstep but also infuses the broth with TONSof flavor that cannot be achieved any other way. Simply skim the fat from the broth prior toserving.

Can I Use Fresh Herbs In The Soup

I prefer dried herbs in the actual soup because they get added to the soup at the beginning which infuses the broth with flavor. You may use fresh herbs, but you will need three times the number of fresh herbs to dried herbs which can distract from the soup. Take care to add fresh herbs towards the end of cooking so they stay fresh and flavorful.

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Can I Use Store Bought Meatballs

A huge character of Italian Wedding Soup are the unique meatballs made with Italian sausage, beef, fresh herbs and homemade breadcrumbs so I HIGHLY encourage you to make these meatballs from scratch or the soup will not taste like it was intended. Nothing beats tender, juicy, homemade meatballs cooked from scratch in flavorful broth. You may use store-bought meatballs, but just keep that in mind. You will want to use Italian style meatballs.

If you dont have time to make homemade meatballs, then you can make a batch when you do have time and freeze them for later.

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