A bowl of piping hot soup is always welcomed on cold, wintry days but even on warmer days, it is a lovely starter or entree with crusty bread or a salad. I served this soup for a friends birthday lunch this week and everyone commented how much they liked it.
Italian Wedding Soup
For the meatballs:
- 3/4 pound ground chicken
- 1/2 pound chicken sausage, casings removed
- 2/3 cup fresh white bread crumbs
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the soup:
- 2 tablespoons good olive oil
- 1 cup minced yellow onion
- 1 cup diced carrots (3 carrots), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
- 3/4 cup diced celery (2 stalks), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
- 10 cups homemade chicken stock
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup small pasta such as small shells, tubetini or stars
- 1/4 cup minced fresh dill
- 12 ounces baby spinach, washed and trimmed
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the meatballs
Place the ground chicken, sausage, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Pecorino, Parmesan, milk, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl and combine gently with a fork.
With a teaspoon or scoop, drop 1 to 1 1/4-inch meatballs onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. (You should have about 40 meatballs).
Bake for 30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside.
For the soup
Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot.
Add the onion, carrots, and celery and saute until softened, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the chicken stock and wine and bring to a boil. Add the pasta to the simmering broth and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the pasta is tender.
Add the fresh dill and then the meatballs to the soup and simmer for 1 minute. Taste for salt and pepper.
Stir in the fresh spinach and cook for 1 minute, until the spinach is just wilted. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle each serving with extra grated Parmesan.
NOTE: I added just a 6-oz. bag of baby spinach and felt it was plenty.
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