Friday, January 8, 2010

Italian Wedding Soup

It’s sometimes difficult for me to think up fresh healthy meal ideas when my store produce is looking so glum. That’s when I head to Southern California food blogs like Esi’s at Dishing Up Delights. She’s almost always cooking up something beautiful and green at any time of year.

The only fresh item I bought for this soup, besides the spinach and holy trinity of carrot, celery, and onion, was some pathetic looking dill. I opened the little herb box when I got home and took a big whiff. A big whiff of nothing! Dill isn’t a winter herb in Northern Idaho obviously, and wherever it came from was much to far away for it to retain its vitality.

The moral of the story for me is, don’t succumb to the temptation to purchase fresh herbs in January when dried ones work just fine.

Italian Wedding Soup


1 pound ground pork or chicken
1/4 pound hot Italian chicken sausage, casings removed
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs (Or make your own in a food processor with leftover bread)
2 teaspoons fresh garlic pressed through a garlic press, or finely minced
2 teaspoons dried parsley leaves
2 tablespoons freshly grated or dried Parmesan
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees or to 325 degrees convection if you have it, preferably. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil

2. In a bowl lightly all the ingredients with a fork or with your hands. Scoop with a cookie scoop and shape lightly with your hands into 1 to 1 ¼ inch balls. Place the balls on the cookie sheet.

3. Bake for 30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside.


3 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 cup diced carrots, cut into ¼ inch pieces
1/2 cup diced celery, cut into ¼ inch pieces
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
5 cups chicken or turkey broth
3 to 4 cups water
¼ cup dry white wine
1/2 cup Acini di pepe, or other very small pasta
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill, or 2 teaspoons dried
1 (6 ounce) bag baby spinach, roughly chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste
Freshly grated or dried Parmesan for garnish

1. In the meantime, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the onion, carrots, celery, red pepper flakes, onion powder, and garlic powder and sauté until softened, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add the wine and bring to a boil, reduce by half. Next, add the broth and water and bring back to a boil. Then add the pasta and cook for 9 minutes.

3. Add the dill and meatballs to the soup and simmer for 2 minutes. Add spinach and cook for 1 minute, until the spinach is just wilted. Then season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired.

Adapted from
Esi @ Dishing Up Delights & Ina Garten. Picture by Laura Flowers.


Michelle said...

MMMM I've always wanted to make this, this sounds so delicious on this cold day :)

Jeanette said...

I love wedding soup

Pink Little Cake said...


Esi said...

I am having the last of the leftovers today which is a good thing because looking at your pic, I am craving this again!

Patricia @ ButterYum said...

One of my absolute favorites... and you just gotta love Ancini di pepe.

Mimi said...

Oh how I love weddings! Even the soup variety.

Reiko said...

I love soup, and this looks absolutely delicious! Soup sounds really good when it's only 5 degrees outside...

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I need to make this soup. It's always been one of my favorites and your version sounds terrific. I don't think the dill would have been necessary anyway.

kittyninja2000 said...

One of my favorite soups all year!
When I make it with traditional little meatballs, I just drop them in the rolling broth raw to cook, one less pot, they cook super fast

Memória said...

What a beautiful, comforting, yummy-looking bowl of soup. I love your photos, Laura.

Cookie said...

I love Wedding Soup! I remember my first taste was actually out of a Progresso can (don't judge me!) but now I love making my own.

Mary Bergfeld said...

Laura, this is my oldest daughter's favorite soup. I'll have to make this for her our next visit. This looks wonderful.

Reeni said...

Italian Wedding Soup is one of my all-time favorites! This looks positively delicious! So comforting!

Chef E said...

I made this a few weeks ago, but we were so hungry that Sunday it was eaten up pretty fast, so I cannot blog about it! Ha! Yours certainly looks more elegant than mine did in my old coffee mugs :) On a cold night like tonight it would be welcome again...

Sarah said...

Beautiful soup Laura, one of my favorites! I checked out the site you mentioned and loved it!

Coleens Recipes said...

What a great weekend recipe!

Ashlea Taylor said...

This looks so great! I have seen Ina make this and have been dying to try it. Just came across your blog and love it... I'll be back!

Carolyn Jung said...

Now, this is a soup that will warm you and comfort you on a cold night. Mmm, must make a big pot of this.

Trissa said...

I've always been intrigued by the name of this soup! It just sounds so festive and about the herbs - I also use a lot of dried herbs, unless I can get the fresh ones from my garden... I never buy from the grocery!

Mari @ Once Upon a Plate said...

Laura, Ina's is one of my favorite versions of this soup and I almost made it for dinner this evening... GMTA! :D

Yours looks lovely, and you've made me wish I HAD made it today.

I empathize about the packaged "fresh" herbs we get at this time of year. Dismal in my region too. I suppose it makes us appreciate them all the more when they are in season, fresh and vibrant, yes?!

pTsaldari said...

Dear Laura,
First time visit to your site and I loved it. So beautifully presented. I shall be back soon.
Thank you for sharing,

You may visit me at

2 Stews said...

I've seen Ida Garten make this and always thought it looked good. And yours does, too. Maybe now that the chill has taken hold I'll give it a try. I can still brush snow off of some of my hardier herbs and use them. Dill, obviously is not one of them.

Thanks Laura....I hope you and your mother are recovering well.

Take care...Diane

The Old White Barn said...

Your version looks wonderful! I just posted a Wedding Soup recipe of my own before I came across yours - seems to hit the spot with this cold weather!

Renata said...

I think it turned out just fine for such a poor grocery shopping! Your soup looks delicious!

ASHLEA said...

Laura, I would love for you to use the dog pictures! Like I said though, I cannot take full credit. A friend sent them to me in an email and thought they were just precious. Hope you are getting good use out of them. I am trying this soup this week! Yum.

RhodeyGirl said...

congrats on the Foodbuzz news! Can't wait to meet you in February!

Erika Kerekes said...

That soup picture is divine! Can't wait to meet you in New York for the Foodbuzz Electrolux event!

hannah queen | honey & jam said...

Yum! That sounds perfect.

Sook said...

I love wedding soup and this looks fantastic! I tried making it from a cookbook but didn't turn out well. I will have to try your recipe!

bridget {bake at 350} said...

Looking forward to meeting you in NYC!!! Yay!

Milwaukee Cupcake Queen said...

Congrats on the Foodbuzz/Electrolux win. Can't wait to meet you in New York! CAKE!

Stephanie Quilao said...

That soup looks awesome! I just tweeted it @noshtopia

Unknown said...

I was just telling a co-worker today that I want to try my hand at Italian Wedding Soup...and look what I find! Now if only the weather would drop below 70...I'd feel like making soup

softhef said...

I was JUST talking to my friend about the same thing. I feel so uninspired when I go to the grocery store and it's the same 'ol thing over and over. I'm making this soup tonight! It's the perfect cold, windy and rainy day in Oregon for a warm delicious soup. Can't wait! In fact, I think I'll make it for lunch.

softhef said...

So I made the soup and just boiled the meat balls in the broth, as suggested in a previous comment. It wasn't as pretty as yours because they we're the deep brown, but it still tasted fabulous and it was really quick. love it. thanks for the good food!

Lisa said...

It must be divine providence I clicked over to your blog, tonight. I've been so busy, I've neglected my reading. The long and short is: I've been looking for a good Italian Wedding Soup recipe for...ever? This one sounds perfect!! Thank you, Laura.


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