Image updated September 2012
Italian Wedding Soup is a favorite in our house. Simple and earthy broth, tender meatballs, and pasta. What is not to like? We actually did serve this at our wedding (shh, nevermind that we are Greek, not Italian).
Rolling meatballs can kind of be a pain, but other than that, this soup comes together pretty quickly and easily. I add a little more broth than necessary because the pasta tends to absorb it when leftover in the fridge, but you could reduce the broth slightly and/or cook the pasta separately if you prefer.
Italian Wedding Soup
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 small onion, grated
2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. bread crumbs
1.5 tsp. minced fresh basil or a scant 1/2 tsp. dried
1.5 Tbsp. fresh parsley or 3/4 tsp. dried parsley
1 egg white
Combine all ingredients and make into small meatballs, about 1/2″ in diameter. (I often make these earlier in the day, just to let them firm up and the flavors meld, but it’s not necessary to do so.)
2 Tbsp. butter
1 small onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2/3 cup sliced celery (about 3 ribs)
2 cloves minced garlic
2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
6 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup acini di pepi or other small pasta (such as ditalini or orzo)
8 oz. escarole, spinach, curly endive, or green of your choice
Melt butter in stockpot. Add onion, celery, carrots, garlic and thyme, and cook until veggies begin to get tender, but not too soft, about 4 minutes.
Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Turn heat down a bit and simmer about 20-30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Drop in meatballs and cook for 2 minutes before stirring in acini di pepi. Cook about 3-4 more minutes before adding spinach. Cook spinach 2-3 minutes or until wilted, and pasta and meatballs are cooked.
Note: This recipe has been modified slightly since it was originally posted.