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Easy Italian Wedding Soup

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Easy Italian Wedding Soup combines mini meatballs with veggies, orzo pasta, a tasty broth, topped with parmesan cheese! One of my favorite soup recipes EVER.

Overhead shot of two bowls of Easy Italian Wedding Soup on a wooden tray.

I had my first Italian Wedding Soup at a restaurant MANY years ago. It was SO good that I started searching for a good recipe for it. This was before the era of Pinterest and the large scale of blogging sites that exist today. So this recipe is a combination of a couple of recipes I found at a bookstore and then several tweaks I’ve made along the way. I’ve been making it for years and it’s definitely one of my favorite soups of ALL TIME.

Confession. My family gets tired of all the soup I make. Mike is warming up to it (no pun intended) but the boys are done with soup by mid-January. I just get so dang excited when the temps cool under 80 (yes, crazy!) that I start making soups and stews and breads to dip in the soups… It’s just so exciting! And how many times can I say “soup” in one paragraph??!!

Close up of a white bowl of Italian Wedding Soup, with parmesan cheese.

Ingredients needed for the mini meatballs:

  • Ground Meat – A combo of any ground meat you prefer. I used beef and turkey sausage, but I often use beef and pork.
  • Eggs – Two eggs are needed.
  • Bread Crumbs – Use Panko breadcrumbs for these meatballs.
  • Parmesan Cheese – Make sure you freshly grate a wedge of parmesan cheese. Cheaper than the powdered cheese, and way more delicious.
  • Garlic – Just three cloves of fresh garlic. (You could also use 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder.)
  • Seasonings – Italian Seasoning, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Water – Cold water adds moisture and makes it easy to form these meatballs.
Collage of 1) the meatball ingredients in a bowl, and 2) the raw meatballs.
Collage of 1) the veggies for the soup, and 2) the broth ingredients plus orzo.

Other soup ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • Olive Oil – Use olive oil to sauté the fresh veggies.
  • Veggies – Chopped carrots, celery, onion, and garlic. You’ll add fresh spinach leaves at the very end of the cooking process.
  • Broth – A combo of chicken and beef broth makes the tastiest base for this Italian Wedding Soup.
  • Bay Leaves – A couple bay leaves are optional.
  • Pasta – Use orzo pasta in this soup.
  • Seasonings – Just S&P.
A large stockpot full of Easy Italian Wedding Soup, with a soup ladle inside.

Tips for making EPIC Easy Italian Wedding Soup:

  1. Make up a bunch of mini meatballs and freeze them for when you make this recipe, or for meatball subs. It’s a super quick meal to make when the meatballs are ready to go. I used a combination of lean ground beef and turkey sausage in this batch, but you could use a combination of beef, pork, turkey, chicken, or whatever you prefer for your meatballs.
  2. If you like a thicker soup, use more orzo pasta. If you like more broth, use less.
  3. The meatballs cook perfectly right in the soup. But you could also bake them in the oven instead, and then add them afterward.
  4. Remove those prickly stems from the baby spinach before you add them!
  5. The broth combo of beef and chicken makes this super tasty. But you could use all of one if so desired, or even vegetable broth.
  6. I don’t recommend freezing this soup because the spinach will get weird. But you could freeze the meatballs!

How to prep in advance to put this meal on the table during the week.

  • Make the meatballs and store in the refrigerator.
  • Chop up all the veggies in advance, and remove the stems from the spinach.
  • Place all pantry items out on the counter ready to go – the orzo pasta, broths, and spices.
A soup ladle filling a serving bowl of soup.

Do you know why this soup is called “Italian Wedding Soup”?

I’m going to tell you why. Even if you don’t really care. 😀

Many people believe that it was a soup served to a bride and groom at their wedding – to give them extra strength and vigor to get them through their wedding night. Hmmm…

Not true. The meaning has to do with the “marriage” of the meat and the vegetables in the soup. One ingredient is very different from the other, but they go well together. (Kind of like most couples I know!)

And there you have it. The true meaning of Italian Wedding Soup. Now we can all go forward in peace and prosperity. Don’t forget to whip up a batch of Norma Jean’s French Bread for dipping in the soup. THAT, my friends, is a marriage made in heaven.

Two bowls of Easy Italian Wedding Soup.

Kitchen Tools used for this recipe: (Affiliate Links)

Make this soup next: Chicken Tortilla Soup

Please let know if you try this recipe. Be sure to comment and leave a review on the blog so I can see what you think. You can also like my Facebook Page, follow me on Pinterest, and catch me on Instagram.

xoxo ~Sue

Easy Italian Wedding Soup

Easy Italian Wedding Soup combines mini meatballs with veggies, orzo pasta, a tasty broth, topped with parmesan cheese! One of my favorite soup recipes EVER.
4.5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: easy Italian Wedding Soup, italian wedding soup
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 411kcal
Author: Sue Ringsdorf

Ingredients

For the mini meatballs: (approximately 44 mini meatballs)

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound turkey sausage – or use pork sausage
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese – freshly grated
  • 3 cloves garlic – minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper – to taste
  • 1/3 cup cold water

For the soup:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large carrots – peeled and chopped
  • 4 stalks celery – chopped
  • 1 large onion -chopped
  • 3 whole garlic cloves – minced
  • 7-8 cups chicken broth
  • 5-6 cups beef broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 parmesan rind – optional
  • 1 1/2 cups dried orzo pasta – use less if you like a thinner soup
  • 4 cups fresh spinach – stems removed
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper – to taste
  • Parmesan cheese – for serving

Instructions

For the meatballs:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, turkey sausage, egg, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, spices and water. Use your hands to gently combine, being careful to not over-mix. Form into mini meatballs. This should make approximately 44 meatballs.)
  • Refrigerate meatballs until ready to add to soup. (You can also freeze these meatballs ahead of time.)

For the soup:

  • In a large stock pan, sauté the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic in olive oil, until the veggies begin to soften. Add chicken broth and beef broth and bring to a boil.
  • Add meatballs, bay leaves, and the parmesan rind (optional). Reduce heat to a slow boil, and stir gently to keep the meatballs from breaking apart. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • After the meatballs have simmered for about 10 minutes, add the orzo pasta. Simmer until al dente, approximately 15 minutes.
  • Add the spinach during the last five minutes of cooking. Serve with parmesan cheese on top.

Notes

  • These meatballs can be made in advance and frozen until ready to make the soup.
  • You can bake the meatballs in the oven (instead of cooking them in the soup) and add them later in the cooking process.
  • The orzo pasta will continue to plump up as it sits. You may need to add more broth to the leftovers.

Nutrition

Calories: 411kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 2080mg | Potassium: 1002mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 7653IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 157mg | Iron: 4mg

7 Comments

  1. Diane Balling says:

    I made your Italian Wedding Soup with leftover turkey thrown in from our Christmas dinner, along with the meatballs…and the family loved it! Thank you, Sue, for sharing all of your delish recipes! <3

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Hi Diane! I’m so happy you enjoyed the soup. Thanks for letting me know! 🙂

  2. I love this soup! One of the best soups ever!

  3. Vicki L McKie says:

    Absolutely love this soup! I prepared the meatballs and soup on a Sunday minus the pasta and spinach. When I came home from work on Monday all I had to do was add the orzo pasta and spinach and my dinner was on the table within 30 minutes! Great recipe for a working mom and the meatballs were fabulous 🙂 It’s a keeper – thank you Sue.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Thank you Vicki!! ? You are the best!

  4. Love this! I had to laugh when I read this because I love soup, and can’t wait for the temp to go down so I can make soups for dinner. But the men in my family are not convinced soup is a meal!
    Can’t wait to try the recipe.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Men are all the same. Haha! I hope you enjoy:)

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