Contrary to what the recipe name implies, Italian Wedding Soup is not a dish that is traditionally served at weddings, Italian or otherwise. The soup, called “minestra maritata” in Italian, properly translates to “married soup” in English and refers to the fact that the ingredients (namely the greens and meatballs), blend (or marry) nicely. Our version is light yet satisfying, using ground turkey for the meatballs, fresh escarole and small cut of pasta made specially for soup.Print
Italian Wedding Soup
A flavorful, satisfying, dinner soup made with chicken broth, bite-sized turkey meatballs, escarole and pasta. Serve with Italian bread and a salad for a complete meal.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 4 to 6 dinner servings
For the meatballs:
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup soft breadcrumbs (plus more if needed)
- 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
For the soup:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 medium head escarole, roughly chopped (3 to 4 cups)
- 1/2 cup soup pasta (ancini de pepe, ditalini, stars)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment.
- Place the turkey, egg, breadcrumbs, parmesan, garlic, salt, pepper and parsley in a large bowl. Using your hands, combine thoroughly and roll into small meatballs, approximately 1/2-inch in diameter.
- Note: If the mixture is too wet to roll easily, add up to 4 more tablespoons of breadcrumbs, one at a time. You should have about 5 dozen meatballs.
- Arrange the meatballs on the prepared sheet and bake until cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.
- While the meatballs bake, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and sauté until soft and fragrant. Add the carrots and continue cooking for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
- Add the pasta and cook until tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then add the escarole and meatballs. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes longer to wilt the escarole and heat the meatballs through.
Serve along with crusty Italian bread and a green salad.