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).

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Prep Time: 45 min

Cook Time: 50 min

Italian Wedding Soup

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


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

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


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: (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