Italy is a European country widely known for its rich culture and delicious food. This country has been the most loved tourist destination because of its ancient architecture, Vatican City, and livelihood.
Italian cuisines and culture have a strong influence on western countries too. Italian has been the origin of many famous delicacies like Pizza and Pasta, which we love without any doubt, a well-known painter like Leonardo da Vinci, renowned monuments, structures, sports, and many more to count.
Along with other delicacies, Italian Wedding Soup is another well-known savoury dish that is a staple food in Canada and originated in Italy. Let’s find the magical ingredients which make this recipe delicious and flavorful.
History of Italian wedding soup
Italian wedding soup was known as the “peasant soup” because it was made from leftover meat, specifically pork and some vegetables like chicory, cabbage, lettuce, chard, spinach, endive, and escarole. The soup was heavy to keep the peasant’s tummy full all day. Though, the American version is one lighter side.
The pasta was introduced over time and is added to this soup to make it more delicious. In Italy, Italian wedding soup is also called “Minestra Maritata,” where ministry means veggies marry marinate the meat and can be called Married soup.
Basics of Italian wedding soup
What is the first word that comes to your mind when your Italian wedding soup? Might you be thinking of a soup the married couple eats on their wedding day?
So let’s start from the basics, why this soup is named Italian wedding soup. So, there is a literal reason behind this name because in this soup, the ingredients, i.e. the meat and the veggies, ‘marry’ or mixed up well with each other, which makes this Italian wedding soup.
This soup is made of long-cooked chicken stock made at home, which is rich in flavour. So, for making this recipe, you need to have basic things like meatballs, greens, herbs, parmesan cheese, Acini de Pepe, bread crumbs, and much more that will add more to the flavour.
Ingredients for Italian wedding soup
Italian wedding soup is a specialty of all Italians. Still, you don’t need to go to Italy to have this wedding soup because you can have it in the comfort of your home by just collecting some basic ingredients from your nearby grocery stores.
Italian food contains flavour because of herbs, seasoning, salads, soups, and cheese. These ingredients add unique flavour to all the lovely Italian cuisines. So, now we are starting by collecting the ingredients to make the delicious soup! The ingredients mixed in this wedding soup are readily available.
Meatballs are made up of ground meat and some seasoning, minced onion, garlic, eggs, bread crumbs, etc., then rolled into small balls. Meatballs can be baked, fried, steamed, or braised in sauce.
The meatballs used in the Italian wedding soup are made with some of the basic ingredients found in the kitchen or from your nearby grocery store. These meatballs are used in pasta, salads, and soups. Here is the list of the ingredients to make tasty homemade tender meatballs at home.
It is an important part of Italian wedding soup. The peasants earlier made meatballs of bigger size to remain full throughout the day. But now Americans have mini or tiny meatballs in the wedding soup.
- 8 oz of lean ground beef or 8 oz of ground pork
- 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley
- 1 1/2 tsp of minced oregano
- 3 teaspoons of fresh parsley
- 3 tablespoons of fresh chives
- 3 teaspoons of fresh sage
- 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- Grounded salt and black pepper
- 1 Tbsp of olive oil
Soup is made by mixing different kinds of vegetables, chicken, and other seasonings to make it more flavorful. Soups are of different types, but here’s the Italian wedding soup; the soup is brothier and has more vegetables and small pasta to add more Italian touch to its recipe. Here is a look at the ingredients you need for the soup.
- 1 1/4 cups of diced carrots\
- 1 Tbsp of olive oil
- 1 1/4 cups of diced onion
- 3/4 cup of celery
- 1 1/2 Tbsp of Garlic minced
- 14.5 oz cans of chicken broth
- 1 cup of acini de pepe or orzo pasta
- 6 oz of fresh spinach
- grated parmesan cheese for serving
There is a note to remember to pick all the fresh ingredients to make this soup more flavorful.
Greens of the Soup pot
All the greens are included in the Italian wedding soup, whether kale, cabbage, endive, spinach, or baby spinach. Instead of frozen spinach, chicory, and lettuce will increase the nutritious value of the soup.
Earlier peasants used to add bitter green vegetables, either leftover or not expensive. But it is best recommended to add freshly picked vegetables to add crunch and taste to the soup.
Herbs and spices are the basic ingredients of this wedding soup. Herbs are the soul of any recipe, which adds more aroma, taste, and flavour. Different kinds of herbs are added according to the different recipes.
Parsley, sage, chives, and black pepper are some important ingredients to include in the wedding soup. Italian seasoning is a must in the Italian wedding soup, like a heart to the human body.
Now collecting the ingredient for which Italy is famous for “Pasta.” Here in Italian wedding soup, pasta plays an important role. So, the best choice for this wedding soup is Acini de Pepe or orzo pasta. Though it is best advised not to add more to the soup, we will end up having pasta and not soup.
Acini de Pepe
Acini de Pepe pasta is small and cylindrical, which makes it the most favourable choice for this delicious soup. This pasta is popularly called soup pasta because it makes a great recipe for soups and salads.
Acini de Pepe pasta is not prepared like others which are boiled in water and then cooked. It is made of semolina. In Italian and Latin phrases, it is known as “grains of pepper” or “seeds of grapes” because of its small size.
This pasta is another famous pasta variety chosen for the soup. This pasta is also famous for the name short-cut pasta. This pasta looks like rice grains and is a healthier option than other pasta varieties
Orzo pasta is made of whole flour, making it a healthy option to try out when planning a healthy recipe or Italian wedding soup.
Ditalini, or very short macaroni, is used in dishes like soups and salads. This pasta is often called thimble-sized or salad macaroni because of its tiny size.
During the development era, Italy increased the production of this short-cut pasta, becoming famous among people.
Bread and Cheese
As we are in the making of savoury Italian soup cuisine, how can we forget about cheese? A bread slice of bread loaf is a great piece at the serving table and is good to serve with.
Parmesan cheese is also the best choice because it is flowy, cheesy, and flavorful. It can be added to the soup while stirring, at the end while serving, or both.
Tips for the best Italian wedding soup
Though every chef or foodie has tips, they swear by while making this flavorful broth. Here are some of the important tips to remember:-
If you first simmer meatballs in the broth, it will not be good as if you would brown the meatball first and then into the broth.
- Homemade meatballs taste different so if you try, then try making tender and mini meatballs.
- As mentioned earlier, fresh herbs are a game-changer.
- Fresh bread crumbs will set the taste of the soup apart.
- Italian cuisines never lack garlic. Don’t forget to add it.
- Italy and cheese go hand in hand, so never forget parmesan cheese in the soup or the dressing!
As mentioned above, you can choose the different types of pasta according to your preference because it adds a great taste to meat broth!
Italian Wedding Soup Recipe
As of now, I hope all the ingredients are ready in your kitchen. So now, after all the ingredients are collected, the meatball broth recipe calls. So, now immediately jump on to the recipe to make you drool more.
Italian wedding soup recipe varies from place to place and person to person, but this recipe calls out the basic procedure of this soup making.
Instructions to follow:-
Everybody has their way of making Italian wedding soup. Some prefer to make meatballs in the oven or dutch oven, and some prefer simmering meatballs in the crock pot.
This wedding soup is also referred to as a one-pot recipe. So, here’s a very simple recipe to follow and make at home and enjoy with your family.
- Before making the meatballs, you need to preheat the oven. You must line a baking sheet with foil, set an oven-proof roast rack over the top, and spray the top with non-greasy cooking spray.
- In a separate large bowl, beat an egg, garlic, beef, pork, bread crumbs, parsley, oregano, pepper, and salt, and mix this mixture well.
- After mixing well, coat the meatballs and distribute them. Ensure to make small meatballs in size. You can use your hands as well.
- Bake the meatballs until they are browned and cooked, then separate them in a bowl. If you are using frozen meatballs, you must simmer them in the crock pot.
You can also make extra meatballs and freeze them for many days. Then you can instantly use frozen meatballs at family gatherings in any recipe.
Now we can start the soup part.
- Take the olive oil with garlic, celery, onion, and carrots and cook well in a large soup pot for soup and at medium heat. Stir frequently the other vegetables until they soften and add flavour to the broth.
- Pour in the chicken broth, beef broth, and soup with salt and pepper for a better taste.
- Add the pasta and transfer the meatballs to the boiling broth. And set it to low heat to get nicely cooked up.
- If you want more chicken broth in the soup, you can reduce the pasta according to your preference. The meatballs will finish cooking.
- Cover the lid and let it cook until the pasta becomes tender. Stirring occasionally, you can check the soup’s progress and not forget the Italian seasoning.
- You can also cook your pasta separately to avoid any taste or volume change in the broth because it needs more beef broth to cook pasta. So, it’s all up to you.
- Put in the spinach a few minutes before serving. Let the spinach simmer and spread its smell to the soup. If you are using frozen spinach, let it heat for some time before serving.
For each serving, put a lot of grated parmesan cheese on the soup and keep a fresh crunchy bread loaf.
You can make this soup in large quantities, and you can also refrigerate the Italian wedding soup, to serve any guest but make sure to preheat it before for 20 minutes approximately.
As so many different recipes are available for this soup, you can opt for anyone to follow.
You can also make some complimentary salads to enjoy with your soup. Italian wedding soup contains a lot of nutritious value because it has all the green veggies, cheese, bread, and pasta, which means healthy in taste.
For all those who want to know the calories or the nutrition about this, here’s a quick sneak of all the nutritious values:-
- 336 kcal, Carbohydrates: 25 g
- Protein: 27 g
- Fat: 13 g
- Saturated Fat: 5 g
- Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g
- Monounsaturated Fat: 5g
- Cholesterol: 64 mg
- Sodium: 580 mg
- Potassium: 887 mg
- Fibre: 4 g
- Sugar: 2 g
- Vitamin A: 8126 IU
- Vitamin C: 38 mg
- Calcium: 160 mg
- Iron: 4 mg.
Perfect Side Dishes with Italian Wedding soup
As we prepare the soup you would need some side dishes to try it with, and for those delicious recipes, you need to follow the authentic Italian chefs out there.
So, here are the side dishes that go perfectly with the Italian wedding soup:- Salami Sandwich, Ravioli, Breadsticks, Wedge Salad, Croutons, Crusty bread, Crostini and many crusty and crumbly options to try.
Canadian Restaurants for Italian Wedding soup
If you can’t handle the tickling of your taste buds after reading the recipe of this wedding soup, and if you want to try Italian wedding soup outside somewhere. You can choose from the below-mentioned restaurants to dine out with your family and friends.
Buca Osteria and Bar
It is also referred to as the best dining and wine to have Italian cuisine with your friends. You can have the best Italian wedding soup here. The atmosphere of this eatery is amazing. The staff and service are said to be very warm.
East Side Mario’s
East Mario’s are also famous for its delicious pizza. This is known to be famous for vegetarian Italian cuisines, and Italian wedding soup is one of them. You can have a good time with your friends while having this delicious wedding soup. You can also try other Italian cuisines like pasta and salads here.
This eatery excels in providing authentic and vegetarian Italian cuisine. You would be trying out Italian wedding soup here with your family as the staff is also known to be friendly.
It is situated in the beautiful courtyard, which sets a great mood for having a great brunch with your family. You can try vegetarian Italian cuisine and Italian wedding soup here.
I hope this has helped you make a great recipe for the next family gathering!
Also, read 16 wonderful things to do in Calgary.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- The name wedding comes from the Italian phrase minestra maritata which means ‘married soup. ‘ Why is it married? It’s the marriage of ingredients, and the resulting delicious flavor, in the soup! All wedding soups are going to have green vegetables and meat.
- What we have come to know and love as Italian Wedding Soup, is actually an ancient Neapolitan soup called minestra maritata, which translates to “married soup”, not wedding soup. It refers to the ‘marriage’ of bits of inexpensive meat and leafy greens which make up the main ingredients.
- They can include simple salted bites like olives, crisps, and nuts, or include some old cheese like Parmesan Cheese, mozzarellas and cherry tomatoes, salami, fried vegetables, mini quiches, and a refined selection of canapés and appetizers.
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