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Classic Italian Wedding soup complete with spinach, tiny pasta, shredded chicken, and meatballs
This past weekend was quite dreary and rainy. Perfect soup weather, in my opinion. Not that one needs an excuse to eat soup. Because, soup.
I made a big pot of this on Sunday and we’ve been eating the leftovers throughout the week. However, if you’re not into eating the same meal multiple times throughout the week, this soup freezes well, too.
At its most basic, Wedding Soup is made up of greens, pasta, meatballs, and a clear broth. And according to Wikipedia, it gets its name from an Italian phrase that means “marriage soup,” referring to the flavor produced by the “marriage” of the ingredients. Fun fact. This recipe beefs things up a little bit by adding some vegetables and shredded chicken.
This recipe is based heavily on the recipe from Brown Eyed Baker.
For the meatballs (yields ~36 1-inch meatballs)-
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 small onion, grated
- 4 tbs Parmesan cheese, grated
- 2-3 tbs Italian bread crumbs
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 egg
For the soup –
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced into rounds
- 4 ribs celery, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 12 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup acini di pepe pasta
- 8 oz baby spinach, roughly chopped
- 1 lb chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (rotisserie chicken can be used here, too)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese, shredded (optional)
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. To make the meatballs, place all ingredients in a medium to large bowl. Get your hands dirty and mix everything together until just combined. Shape the meat mixture into 1/2- to 1-inch balls and place on the prepared baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
While the meatballs chill for a bit, heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook until the onions are translucent.
Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the meatballs and simmer for 7 minutes. Add the pasta and simmer for 6 more minutes. Add the spinach and simmer for an additional 3 minutes. Next, add the shredded chicken and simmer for approximately 30 minutes more. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle into bowls and top with a bit of Parmesan cheese, if desired.