Italian Wedding Soup | Zephyr Foods

Italian Wedding Soup

On cold, January nights, nothing sounds better than a hearty soup. We decided on a cozy Italian Wedding Soup this week. Fun food fact: Italian Wedding Soup has nothing to do with weddings at all. Instead, the dish's name is more accurately translated to "wedded broth" as subtle flavors come together in a delightful pot of goodness. Our version marries miniature meatballs bursting with flavor with plenty of veggies in a combo that is sure to warm the soul.
Italian Wedding Soup: Gather ingredients.
Get started by gathering the ingredients for the scrumptious meatballs, which, for us, is the star of this wedded bliss. Use your fingers to combine ingredients until just mixed. Resist over-mixing, which can result in a rubbery, chewy texture at the end instead of a delectably tender meatball. 
Italian Wedding Soup: Combine meatball ingredients.
Spread the meatballs out evenly on a parchment lined baking sheet for even cooking (and easy clean-up later!)
Italian Wedding Soup: Roll meatballs.
We like to spray the meatballs generously with cooking spray before they go into the oven to bake. This helps that beautiful browned crust begin to develop in the oven. 
Italian Wedding Soup: Brown meatballs in the oven.
While the meatballs cook, chop the onion, celery and carrots for the mirepoix, which serves as the savory, flavorsome base for any great soup. 
Italian Wedding Soup: Chop onion, celery and carrots for a mirepoix.
When the meatballs are done baking, sear them in butter in a Dutch oven or stock pot. This method of reverse searing really helps to lock in the juice and to finish creating that wonderful, caramelized crust on the outside of the meatballs. This will help them hold up in the soup while it simmers later.
Italian Wedding Soup: Reverse sear meatballs.
Let those yummy base veggies sauté in the butter, fat from the meatballs, and wine so they really soak up the flavor. 
Italian Wedding Soup: Sauté mirepoix.
Once the veggies have softened, toss in the rest of the ingredients and simmer away! While this dish is traditionally made with escarole, we chose to bulk it up a bit with thinly sliced kale instead. We're so glad we did. The kale matched with the meatballs was just the stick-to-your-ribs balance we were hoping to achieve. 
Italian Wedding Soup: Simmer all ingredients on stove top.
The dish takes a little bit of time, but the end result is well worth the wait! We hope you agree. Be sure to let us know if make it!

Italian Wedding Soup

10-12 Servings
Prep Time
30 Minutes
Cook Time
55 Minutes
Total Time
1 hour 25 Minutes
  • 1 lb. 1 Source ground beef
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ c. dry breadcrumbs
  • 3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper  
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 c. dry white wine
  • 1 c. chopped yellow onion, diced
  • 1 c. chopped celery
  • 1 c. chopped carrot
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 c. chicken broth
  • 6 c. thinly sliced kale
  • 1 c. uncooked orzo pasta (or any small pasta)
  • Freshly grated Romano or parmesan cheese (for garnish)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium-sized bowl, gently combine meatball ingredients. Form into ¼ to ½ inch meatballs and place on prepared baking sheet. Spray generously with cooking spray. 
  3. Bake in preheated over for 13-14 minutes (until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F). 
  4. Heat butter in a 6-quart Dutch oven or heavy stockpot over medium heat. Add meatballs, searing on all sides (about 4 minutes). Remove meatballs and set aside.
  5. Deglaze Dutch oven or pot with white wine, gently scraping browned bits from the bottom. Cook for about 1 minute. Add onions, celery, carrots and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent (about 7-9 minutes). 
  6. Stir in broth, kale, orzo and reserved meatballs with any juice. Salt and pepper to taste. 
  7. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.
  8. Garnish each serving with grated Romano or parmesan cheese. 
Hearty Italian Wedding Soup

About the Author

Jill Turley, MS, RD/LD
Jill Turley, MS, RD/LD: Jill Turley is the Chief Creative Officer at Real Noshes. She is a registered dietitian, joyous eater, lover of the kitchen and fan of keeping life simple. She resides in Northwest Arkansas and is mom to a four-year-old whackadoodle and equally whacky bernedoodle. Follow her food adventures on Instagram @realnoshes and check-out for more resources and kitchen fun.
Join Our Mailing List

Want free coupons, new recipes, and the latest information on nutrition trends? We'll share it all - except your information. We promise to keep that just between us.