Deluxe Italian Wedding Soup

Several months ago I was surfing the net looking at recipes, one of my weaknesses, and came across a recipe for Italian wedding soup. This was one soup I’d never had and therefore never attempted to make, but once I read the ingredients I knew it was one the family would love.

Unfortunately, as happens with many/most of the recipes I print off the internet, the recipe for Italian wedding soup got stashed in a pile of recipes that I wanted to try no less than seven inches thick. Yep, that baby was buried and buried good.

Fortunately, well sort of, a month after I printed off the recipe, Hubby and I were invited to a wedding and guess what soup they served? You got it! Italian wedding soup. I say “sort of” because before we were served I got all excited and told Hubby that I had a recipe for this soup that I wanted to try. Well, we each took one bite and that was it. The waiter hadn’t even served everyone at our table and we asked him to remove our uneaten bowls of soup. It was awful.

Once the soup was removed, Hubby turned to me and whispered in my ear, “If that’s what Italian wedding soup is supposed to taste like, don’t bother making it.”

I was disappointed, but definitely not discouraged. If there’s anything I know, there isn’t a recipe out there that can’t be made better, or at least in this case, edible. So yesterday was the day I decided to take a shot at making what appeared to be a fairly easy soup, but with a few definite changes.

First, I’m not a huge fan of spinach in a soup. It’s okay, but my family prefers kale. This worked out perfect for me, because although it is the middle of winter here in Michigan, we’ve only had a few snow falls and the kale out in the garden is so hearty, that it’s still thriving. Nothing like fresh kale from the garden to make any soup better.

Second, the recipe I’d found called for kidney beans. Unfortunately, I’d used the last of my home canned kidney beans in chili a week ago. In my opinion though, kidney beans seemed a bit too much for this soup. I’m not really sure if you know what I mean by “too much” but kidney beans tend to be a heavier bean. I substituted great northern beans, which are lighter and smaller. I think this bean was subtle, but definitely held its own along the acini di pepe and meats.

Third, and most important, I added shredded chicken to the soup. Although traditional wedding soup does not include this, the chicken really made it pop. Having it shredded made the addition subtle and not overbearing. It blended in nicely with the remaining ingredients.

Deluxe Italian Wedding Soup

DSCF3105

  • 1 Egg
  • 3 Tbsp. Italian Bread Crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1/4 Cup Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt, divided
  • 1/8 tsp. plus 1/4 tsp. Pepper, divided
  • 1/2 pound lean Ground Beef
  • 1/4 Cup uncooked Acini Di Pepe Pasta
  • 1 medium Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 8 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 Pint Great Northern Beans
  • 1 Extra Large Cooked Chicken Breast, shredded
  • 4 Cups Fresh Kale, chopped
  1. In a large bowl, combine egg, bread crumbs, 1 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, onion powder, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Add ground beef and mix until well combined. Shape into 1/2 inch meatballs. Place meatballs in a 13 x 9 pan and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Drain meatballs on paper towel and set aside.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.
  3. In a stock pot, saute onion and celery in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in broth, beans and kale. Bring to a low boil. Stir in pasta, shredded chicken, meatballs, and remaining salt and pepper.
  4. Cover and continue to cook at a low boil for 1 hour. Garnish with remaining Parmesan cheese.

This version of Italian wedding soup received a rave review from the entire family. Hubby told me he never would have thought it was the same soup we’d been served at the wedding some months ago and told me it was definitely “company worthy.” That’s what I was shooting for, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

Deluxe Italian Wedding Soup

  • Servings: 8 Servings
  • Print

DSCF3105

Ingredients

  • 1 Egg
  • 3 Tbsp. Italian Bread Crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1/4 Cup Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt, divided
  • 1/8 tsp. plus 1/4 tsp. Pepper, divided
  • 1/2 pound lean Ground Beef
  • 1/4 Cup uncooked Acini Di Pepe Pasta
  • 1 medium Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 8 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 Pint Great Northern Beans
  • 1 Extra Large Cooked Chicken Breast, shredded
  • 4 Cups Fresh Kale, chopped

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine egg, bread crumbs, 1 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, onion powder, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Add ground beef and mix until well combined. Shape into 1/2 inch meatballs. Place meatballs in a 13 x 9 pan and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Drain meatballs on paper towel and set aside.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.
  3. In a stock pot, saute onion and celery in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in broth, beans and kale. Bring to a low boil. Stir in pasta, shredded chicken, meatballs, and remaining salt and pepper.
  4. Cover and continue to cook at a low boil for 1 hour. Garnish with remaining Parmesan cheese.

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4 thoughts on “Deluxe Italian Wedding Soup

  1. It definitely looks like you managed to improve the original recipe.:)

    As much as I know, the term “wedding soup” came because of mispronunciation of the original term for “married soup”, which was about the good combination of the ingredients in the soup, not the wedding itself.
    It has many variations, but I doubt such a rustic and hearty soup was meant to be served on a wedding dinner.

    Liked by 1 person

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