Italian wedding soup: An old school, simple comfort food

Tina Howell

Italian wedding soup is an old school soup recipe that consist of meats and vegetables. My dad used to tell me about my grandpa making this soup often when he was growing up. It's a relatively inexpensive and easy recipe that feeds the whole family. So why is it called wedding soup? According to Wikipedia, the term "wedding soup" comes from a mistranslation of the Italian language phrase "minestra maritata" (meaning married soup), which is a reference to the flavor produced by the combination or "marriage" of greens and the meat. This hearty soup can be made in bulk and freezes well so you can have plenty of leftovers for a later time.


For the meatballs:

  • 1/2 pound of ground pork
  • 1/2 pound of ground meat
  • 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
  • NOTE: You can use either regular or Italian breadcrumbs, just cut back on the seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of fresh parmesan cheese, shredded

For the soup:

  • 1 cup of Acini di Pepe pasta
  • 10 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 ounces of fresh baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Fresh shredded parmesan, for serving
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  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground pork, beef, breadcrumbs, egg, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and parmesan cheese.
  • Roll the mix into small meatballs.
  • Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook until browned. Remove the meatballs and set them aside.
  • Then add the onions, celery and carrots to the pan. Cook over medium heat until the vegetables are tender, approximately 10 minutes.
  • Mix in the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
  • Add the vegetables and Italian seasoning to a large stock pot or Dutch oven.
  • Pour in the chicken broth, stir and bring to a low boil.
  • Add the pasta and meatballs. Stir and cook until the pasta is tender.
  • Right before the pasta has finished cooking, add in the spinach and stir until wilted. 
  • Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Serve topped with shredded parmesan and enjoy!

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Host of Fleurs Truly Podcast, Editor-in-Chief and Writer covering the Saints and all things New Orleans... sports, food, music, festivals and more.

New Orleans, LA

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