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Italian Wedding Soup

December 13, 2012

italian wedding soup ingredients

Baby, it’s cold outside.

Yes, yes, it is.  Sometimes lyrics speak the truth.

Aaand, sometimes they don’t.  It’s more about the beat (what does Gangnam Style mean anyway?)  or should only be about that beat (why didn’t someone stop me from singing “Shoop” when I was only 11 years old??).  But, I kind of like when the lyrics mean something.

I hear people talk about life all the time all they remember are times so sad, don’t you thing that life would be awfully boring, if the good time were all that we had.  I prefer more good times, we all do, but I understand life doesn’t always have a hot bowl of soup waiting for you on a cold day.

italian wedding soup with acini

Except today it does.

With the extra work involved in making the (turkey) meatballs, Italian wedding soup is a weekend or night-before recipe.  It takes time, patience…all worth it in the end.  Very healthy (yum veggies!) and satisfying.  I chop & cook the carrots, onion & celery while the meatballs are baking.  I prefer smaller meatballs – it feels more appropriate for soup, so you will make over 40 little balls.

meatballs before baking

I only use 1/3 cup of acini di pepe (love this cute little shape!) because it expands so much.  I may even suggest 1/4 cup.  You could also use ditalini or orzo.

acini de pepe

Serve with some crusty bread.

My husband & I talked about substituting with Kale next time.  Maybe?  It’s worth a try.

meatball soup

Have you ever held your breath and asked yourself will it ever get better than tonight?  (I’m slightly obsessed with Pink.)




1 1/4 lbs ground turkey
2/3 cup bread crumbs
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup grated or finely shredded Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup yellow onion, finely diced
1 cup finely diced carrots
¾ cup finely diced celery
9-10 cups chicken broth*
1/3 cup acini de pepe
10 oz frozen spinach, thawed & squeezed dry
Freshly shredded Parmesan cheese & crusty bread for serving


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  • To make the meatballs, place turkey, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, cheese, milk, egg, 1 tsp salt, & ½ tsp black pepper in a bowl and combine gently. Make 1- to 1¼-inch meatballs onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned.  Set aside.
  • To make the soup, heat olive oil over medium-low heat in a large soup pot. Add onion, carrots & celery and sauté until softened, 5 to 6 min, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken stock/water/broth* & bring to a boil.  Add pasta to the simmering broth & cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Stir in spinach & simmer a couple minutes.  Add the meatballs & simmer for another min or two.
  • Season to taste with salt & pepper.  Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle each serving with extra grated Parmesan cheese.

*You can use homemade stock, 2-32oz containers of chicken stock (not all salted) plus water or a few cups of broth plus water.

Adapted from Ina Garten.

One Comment leave one →
  1. My French Heaven permalink
    December 13, 2012 3:59 pm

    GORGEOUS! Magnifique!!

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