Italian Wedding Soup

This recipe appears in my Marina Martindale novel, The Reunion. One of the supporting characters, a teenager and aspiring chef, creates this dish for his older brother, who’s come down with the flu. I love Italian wedding soup, but had never tried preparing it myself, so first I would have to try it in my own kitchen.

As I started researching recipes I discovered many variations of Italian wedding soup, all of which sounded delicious. So I combined the best of the best and created my own interpretation. The result was fabulous. It came out better than expected.





For the meatballs

  • 1 pound ground beef, ground chicken or ground turkey
  • OR ½ pound ground meat with ½ pound ground pork
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 egg

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and knead together like a meatloaf. Roll into small meatballs, about ½ to 1 inch in diameter. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until brown. Yields approximately 40 to 50 meatballs. Set aside.

For the soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ medium sized yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced (optional)
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced (optional)
  • 10 cups, (2 ½ quarts) chicken stock
  • ½ cup dry white wine (such as Chardonnay)
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 1 cup small pasta (such as stars or small sea shells)
  • 2 teaspoons salt (if desired)
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dill
  • 12 ounces fresh spinach, washed and trimmed
  • OR 1 can of spinach or 1 package of frozen spinach (defrosted)

While the meatballs are baking sauté onion, garlic, carrots and celery, (if desired) in olive oil in a stockpot for approximately 5 to 6 minutes. Add chicken stock and white wine and bring to a boil. Once soup mixture is boiling beat egg in a small mixing bowl with a whisk until slightly frothy. Pour egg slowly and incrementally into soup mixture, whisking the soup mixture continuously until all of the egg has been added. Add pasta, salt, (if desired) and pepper and allow mixture to simmer for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until pasta is soft. Add meatballs and dill. Cover and simmer on low for another 10 minutes. Add spinach and simmer for another 1 to 2 minutes before serving. Once soup is ladled into bowls top with grated Parmesan cheese.