How to Make Italian Wedding Soup

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The poetically-named soup, "minestra maritata," has caused its share of confusion over the years. Translated, the phrase means "marriage soup," because of its pairing of greens with meat. Over the years, however, the combination of chicken stock, meatballs, greens and sometimes pasta became known as Italian wedding soup. When you're arranging this marriage of food items in your own stockpot, use the freshest and best-quality ingredients to ensure the wedding is a happy one.

How to Make Italian Wedding Soup
(Alfredo Tisi/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • Mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon
  • Ground meat (pork, beef, veal, turkey or a combination)
  • Egg
  • Grated cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano, Romano or a combination)
  • Bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Stockpot
  • Pasta (small, round type)
  • Colander
  • Cooking greens
  • Cutting board and chef's knife
  • Homemade or high-quality chicken stock
  • Ladle
  • Bowls or tureens
  • Parsley (optional)
Step 1

Blend the meatball mixture. Use 1 egg yolk for every 1/2 pound ground meat, along with a couple of spoonsful each of grated cheese and bread crumbs, as well as salt and pepper to taste.

Alfredo Tisi/Demand Media
Step 2

Form the ground meat mixture into 1/2-inch balls, and set the meatballs aside.

Alfredo Tisi/Demand Media
Step 3

Cook pasta in boiling water. Use the lower end of the time range indicated on the package. Drain the pasta and set it aside.

Alfredo Tisi/Demand Media
Step 4

Chop a large bunch of cooking greens, using a rough chop. Escarole is a traditional choice, but you can also use kale, chard, curly endive or spinach. Set aside the greens.

Alfredo Tisi/Demand Media
Step 5

Assemble the soup. Bring 3 or 4 quarts chicken stock to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the uncooked meatballs and chopped greens into the chicken stock, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through and the greens have wilted. Add a ladle or two of cooked pasta just before bringing the soup off the heat.

Alfredo Tisi/Demand Media
Step 6

Ladle the soup into individual bowls, making sure each bowl has four or five meatballs. Garnish with additional grated cheese and chopped parsley, if desired.

Alfredo Tisi/Demand Media

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