Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Soup Series: Italian Wedding Soup

half of one small onion, chopped
4 carrots, washed and chopped
2 stalks celery, washed and chopped
1 clove garlic, sliced paper thin
8 cups chicken broth
1 cup bone broth if you have it
1 small bundle of escarole, washed and chopped OR 1/2 of one small bag of baby spinach chopped OR 1/2 of 1 10 oz bag frozen spinach 
1/3 box of small pasta - I usually use acini di pepe or ditalini or pastina
kosher salt

1 lb meatball mix
1 egg
A dash of half & half
1/4-1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1.5 tbs dried parsley
1 tsp onion powder -eyeball it but at least 
1 tsp garlic powder 
1 tsp celery salt
salt and pepper


Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a stock pan or dutch oven. Add the carrots and celery and cook about 5 minutes, then add the chopped onion and garlic and saute another three minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil.

While the stock is working, make your meatballs. You want to mix everything together by hand, adding bread crumbs by feel. You want them to stick together but not be too wet or too dry. Start with a quarter cup and add more if you need to. If you add too many bread crumbs, correct with half and half. 

Complete and set aside, and when the stock is at a boil, drop them in one by one close to the pot. Let those go on medium heat while you clean up any mess you made from making them. Resist the urge to stir.

Hit it with a few pinches of kosher salt and make sure it's at a boil. Add your small pasta.

Let it boil to package directions for firm pasta. Throw in your escarole or spinach towards the end of that. 

This freezes well so don't be afraid to do that.

If you just came for the recipe, there you are. If you are someone who likes reading beyond that, here you are: 

If you've read this blog for more than five minutes, you know I cook a lot yet I rarely post recipes. Why? Because I don't measure a lot of the time, and I'm always adding or subtracting or substituting, and I always want to tell people what they could do differently which gets really long. Bottom line, I'm loosey goosey. I wasn't always that way - it only comes from loving to cook, doing it often, and learning the rhythm of food. Now I like to have recipes to start with, but I tweak everything a little to make it more fun. However, people often ask for the recipe of something I made. And people want measurements, goddamnit. I'm approximating so I can share some recipes on Tuesdays because Tuesdays suck so I will feed you recipes to make you feel better.

But first a haiku for Haikuesday:
A haiku for soup?
Slurp me up, lovin' spoonful.
Good to the last drop, mofo.
I know you don't often hear this, but this soup is a situation where you want your balls to be small. Your meatballs that is. Hey ohhhhhh.
You can use any small pasta for this soup. I chose ditalini. Why? Because in the song Brass in Pocket I always thought the line I've been driving, Detroit leaning was I've been driving, ditalini. That's why.
I went crazy on the spinach, so I strained some out and got myself a nice little spinach side dish. Popeye, call me.


  1. Thank you for this post, as you know I fail at the art of 'a pinch of this, a dash of that.' I can't wait to try this, my dego hubby will be so HAPPY!

  2. YUM! Looks delicious. Perfect for these cool fall nights.

  3. Yum! And there can never be too much spinach!

  4. Yum! And there can never be too much spinach!

  5. I love a haiku containing the word mofo! And I cook the same way - loosely goosed. It's also why I don't share a lot of recipes.

  6. I love a haiku containing the word mofo! And I cook the same way - loosely goosed. It's also why I don't share a lot of recipes.

  7. Love the mofo at the end of the Haiku. It totally adds to the overall feel of it! LOL! That soup sounds delicious!

  8. I've actually never made Italian Wedding Soup... and I'm not sure why. I should make it because it's so good! Thanks for linking up with us!

  9. this soup is going to be in my belly this weekend, so help me god. Also, that haiko is the best thing since sliced bread. i want it on a tshirt!

  10. I almost never post recipes because I am terrible at taking pictures. Today I did, though, which is weird.

    I have never had Italian wedding soup, if you can believe it. I love spinach and pasta and soup so it seems like this would be a natural fit. Maybe it's time to give it a try.

  11. this is how i know you're a good cook- you dont always post recipes because they arent always exact. this is exactly how my mom does it and i wish i was as good as her.

  12. Haha, you said balls :) no, but seriously this looks goooood.

  13. It is cold and rainy here right now and a bowl of this soup would be absolutely perfect. I won't be making any soups like this in my small boat kitchen any time soon, but I'm bookmarking it for later. Love your story about the ditalini. :)

  14. This looks AMAZE!!! I've never had Italian wedding soup before and I'm not sure why! It's got every ingredient that I love! Thanks so much for linking up with us! :)

  15. I will be making this and will use spinach! I am a substituter and a non-measurer when I can- always use the correct dosage of baking soda or baking powder. Love creating stuff.
    I usually adjust every recipe to fit me!
    Best way to get veggies is in soup.
    Thanks Mom Mom aka Madge !

    Love your MOMMA

  16. Gosh it looks delicious! Hawkeye would be all over those meatballs, I'll have to try it!

  17. Yum, this sounds delicious. It reminds me of my Italian grandmother's recipe for wedding soup. She made it with acini de peppe, which is tiny little pasta balls and she sometimes put chicken and the tiny meatballs in it.

    The tiny meatballs were a bonus, like finding the prize in a box of cereal!

  18. This looks like a totally delicious soup!

  19. Yay for Tuesdays and sharing your kitchen secrets...and yes, I am the one that needs exact measuring and detailed instructions! :)

  20. This looks like such a great comfort food soup on an overcast or drizzly day. I can't wait to try!! I also definitely am not a rule follower when it comes to cooking, so I appreciated your directions, haha.

  21. Hi! Your Italian wedding soup has been nominated as one of the "Best Italian Wedding Soup Recipes on the Net". To vote for it, please visit http://easyitalianrecipes.org/soup-recipes/best-italian-wedding-soup-recipes-on-the-net-vote-for-your-favorite/ (your recipe is positioned at #85).

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