Ina Garten’s Italian Wedding Soup

There are some days when it’s so chilly outside that you feel like you might not make it from the car to your front door without obtaining a bit of frostbite.  These are the days that soup feels entirely perfect and comforting for dinner.  But can soup be considered a main dish?  My husband doesn’t think so.  When soup is placed in front of him for his evening meal, he looks at me, smiles and says, “What’s for dinner?”  My loving response is, “Sweetheart… some soups are meant to be main dishes.  This is one of them.”  And it is!  This soup is chock-full of meatballs and pasta and vegetables- adapted from Ina Garten’s Back to Basics CookbookItalian Wedding Soup.


Prep for this soup first involves making the meatballs. Mix the (turkey & sausage) meatball ingredients and spoon the mixture onto a baking sheet.


Baking the meatballs in the oven makes this entire process so much simpler than trying to saute 40 meatballs in a skillet. They’re done cooking after about 30 minutes.



While the meatballs are cooking, you can prep the soup…chopped onion, carrot, and celery with chicken broth and wine. Pasta and fresh dill are added in toward the end.


Your cooked meatballs are then slipped in. It’s set to simmer for a bit before adding in fresh spinach, giving it a taste and adding in any needed salt and pepper.

Now, if this soup isn’t a meal in itself… I don’t know what is.



Warm, comforting, colorful, healthy and delicious. Serve it to your family knowing that it will fill their tummies and warm their souls in the chilly days of winter. And fyi, my husband is a good guy… a great guy. He just never had homemade soup growing up, and he ended up being entirely satisfied with this one (as dinner).

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Italian Wedding Soup

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Prep Time: 45 min

Cook Time: 50 min

This soup is UN-BELIEVABLY good. I'm addicted, and I'm afraid you might be at risk too.

Ingredients:

MEATBALLS:
3/4 pound ground turkey
1/2 pound turkey sausage, casings removed
2/3 cup fresh white bread crumbs
2 tsp. minced garlic (about 2 medium cloves)
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp. milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

SOUP:
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup minced yellow onion
1 cup diced carrots (about 3 medium)
1 cup diced celery (about 2 large stalks)
10 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup small pasta (I used mini bow-tie pasta)
1/4 cup minced fresh dill
8 ounces fresh baby spinach- trimmed, washed & patted dry
extra Parmesan cheese, for serving

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Prepare meatballs: Place ground meats, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Parmesan, milk, egg, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl and combine gently with a fork. With a teaspoon, drop 1-inch meatballs onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper (you’ll make somewhere around 40 meatballs). Bake for 30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside.

3. Prepare soup: Heat olive oil over medium-low heat in a large stock pot. Add onion, carrots, and celery and saute until softened, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken broth and wine and bring to a boil. Add pasta to the simmering broth and cook an additional 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 spinach and cook for 1 minute, until spinach is just wilted. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle each serving with extra grated Parmesan cheese.

Source: RecipeGirl.com (Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics)

Other hearty soup recipes on the blogs you might enjoy:
Tortilla Soup by Simply Recipes
Potato- Leek Soup by Pinch My Salt
Turkey- Escarole Soup by The Perfect Pantry
Broccoli and Cheddar Soup by Guilty Kitchen
Quick Chicken Corn Chowder by RecipeGirl

Leave a Comment




26 Responses to “Ina Garten’s Italian Wedding Soup”

  1. 1

    Shelby — January 24, 2011 @ 2:14 AM

    First of all – this soup looks very yummy! Secondly, I am feeling especially like not going outside today because it is -10 degrees here this morning!

    Grumpy says the same thing about soups and he never is happy if I try to feed him any kind of sandwich for dinner. He says he eats sandwiches for lunch and wants nothing to do with them for dinner!

  2. 2

    Lauren at KeepItSwee — January 24, 2011 @ 4:30 AM

    I’ve never made Italian Wedding Soup but it does look perfectly comforting for a cold day!

  3. 3

    Sandy @ RE — January 24, 2011 @ 4:45 AM

    Never made it. Looks lovely.

    I made soup this weekend and it was so yummy! That’s one thing I do love about winter! LOL

    Have a great week!

  4. 4

    Blog is the New Blac — January 24, 2011 @ 5:03 AM

    I’ve made this before and LOVED it! The only thing I didn’t like was the romano cheese. I’ll use parm next time!

  5. 5

    Jenny — January 24, 2011 @ 7:43 AM

    Every time I see a recipe for this soup, I make a mental note to try it, but for some reason I never have. I’m putting this on my list of recipes to try immediately. It looks wonderful!

  6. 6

    Monica — January 24, 2011 @ 7:58 AM

    My goodness, this looks delicious. I love that the meatballs are made with ground turkey, making it a healthier option. I’m in such a soup kind of mood lately. This recipe is a keeper.

  7. 7

    LilSis — January 24, 2011 @ 9:59 AM

    I’m glad I saw this before I finished my menu planning for the week. This looks delicious! I love that the meatballs are made with turkey and turkey sausage and are baked instead of fried. I’m making this soup this week!

    Your photos are awesome, as usual! :-)

  8. 8

    marla — January 24, 2011 @ 7:19 PM

    Lori, this Italian wedding soup looks delicious. Love Ina Gartens style of cookig – pure & simple.

  9. 9

    Creative Kitchen — January 24, 2011 @ 10:23 PM

    I’ve been wanting to make Italian Wedding soup as I never have. I love Ina’s recipes, so this will be the perfect fit. Thanks for sharing. Beautiful photos!!

  10. 10

    Janet — January 25, 2011 @ 5:51 AM

    Seeing your description and fab photos, I think I want this for breakfast! It truly does look like a hearty meal. This will be made ASAP before the Phoenix cold weather goes away!

  11. 11

    Chickee — January 25, 2011 @ 6:20 AM

    I just woke up and you are making me HUNGRY! Thanks! =)

    It’s been really cold here and I am house bound due to an injury, so soup (this one in particular) sounds marvelous. =)

  12. 12

    Barbara — January 25, 2011 @ 9:21 AM

    So glad you made it and liked it, Lori. I saw her do it…but it looked like such a chore! You make it look simple!

  13. 13

    peabody — January 26, 2011 @ 6:00 PM

    Mmm, that looks really good. My roommate would be all over that soup. I should make him some.

  14. 14

    Sabrina — November 8, 2011 @ 8:08 PM

    Just made this… tastes great! Didn’t find 8oz of spinach to be enough… thanks!

  15. 15

    Tiffany — November 20, 2011 @ 10:58 AM

    Dear Ina,

    I am a soup person. I cook anything for my family from Chinese shark fin soup (premium soup usually served in wedding banquet) to wonton, Korean tofu soup, Thai tom yum, Vietnamese pho… I am planning to make this Italian wedding soup the first time for my office Thanksgiving potluck this Monday. I like your recipe the best, and the picture is worth a thousand words!!! Thank you so much, I am adding this delicious recipe to my soup list. and it will definitely be on my family Thanksgiving dinner as well!

    Have a fabulous Sunday,

    Best Regards,

    Tiffany P.

  16. 16

    Tauna La Bare — December 3, 2011 @ 5:10 AM

    I made this for a work function and this was all anyone talked about. I changed it up a little bit by using ground chicken and hot italian chicken sausage patties. Also I added about 2-3 more garlic cloves to the meatballs and used seasoned bread crumbs and a parmesan and romano cheese mix. I omitted the wine and dill as well. It was amazing and I am now getting requests to make it for other functions. ENJOY

  17. 17

    Tauna La Bare — December 3, 2011 @ 5:12 AM

    Oh and I also used acini di pepe noodles instead. They are the little round balls. LOL

  18. 18

    Kulsum@JourneyKitchen — January 8, 2012 @ 9:30 AM

    this certainly is a meal. So much goodness going on there. Love it

  19. 19

    Milissa — February 17, 2012 @ 5:50 PM

    Good stuff, I skipped the step of baking the meatballs and just dumped them in the soup raw and let the juices cook into the broth.

  20. 20

    Rick R. Reed — December 11, 2012 @ 1:32 PM

    I grew up eating Italian wedding soup at family celebrations and as a first course on holidays (my mom was Sicilian). With all due respect to Ina, I shuddered at the inclusion of dill (really?) and, please, the soup is much better if you use escarole over spinach, although spinach will do in a pinch.

  21. 21

    Frances — February 2, 2013 @ 5:28 PM

    I first made this recipe a year ago and it is now a staple that my husband and I make. It is just the perfect soup for a cold night. The hardest part of this soup is not eating all the meatballs before you put them in the soup! Thanks for sharing this!

  22. 22

    Carla — January 10, 2014 @ 8:20 PM

    I made this today. It’s reallllly good. But the only problem is that it’s too much stuff and not enough broth! Does anyone have any recommendations? I don’t know whether to add another cup chicken broth and a no white wine, or a little bit of both.

  23. 23

    Lori Lange — January 11, 2014 @ 11:19 AM

    I always add a little more broth if that happens- and I find it happens often with soup!

  24. 24

    Beth K — January 19, 2014 @ 6:03 PM

    I made this soup this weekend and I loved it! One thing I wish there was more broth, but ill just add some more stock next time.

  25. 25

    Maggie @ Mama Maggie's Kitchen — January 22, 2014 @ 7:52 AM

    I’m pinning this. It looks so good especially right now that it’s freezing outside. Soup is perfect.

  26. 26

    Bob — February 19, 2014 @ 7:34 PM

    I made this tonight, and used ground chicken instead of turkey. I think next time I will use beef/veal/pork. I guess I’m not fond of poultry meatballs, but the dish turned out really good. Like others mentioned, it could’ve had more broth, but like I said, it was very tasty, and filling.