Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup

This Italian Wedding Soup is a hearty and comforting dish, brimming with homemade bite-sized meatballs, fresh carrots, spinach, onions, and tiny bits of pasta, all enveloped in a savory and tangy pesto broth. It’s a breeze to prepare, making it perfect for those nights when you crave a warm, soothing bowl of comfort food. Whether served as a starter or a main course, this soup is sure to satisfy and bring a touch of Italian charm to your table.

Why You’ll Love it:

  • Homemade Meatballs: The bite-sized meatballs add a savory depth to the soup, made with love and packed with flavor.
  • Nutritious Ingredients: Packed with fresh carrots, spinach, and onions, this soup provides a wholesome dose of vitamins and minerals.
  • Flavorful Pesto Broth: The tangy and savory pesto broth elevates the soup with its aromatic herbs and garlic, adding a Mediterranean twist.
  • Versatile Meal Option: Whether enjoyed as a comforting starter or a satisfying main dish, it’s adaptable to various dining occasions.
  • Easy Preparation: Simple to make, it’s perfect for busy weeknights or leisurely weekends when you want a delicious homemade meal without the fuss.
Italian Wedding Soup- Must Love Garlic

Ingredient Notes:

  • Homemade Meatballs: Made from seasoned ground pork, these bite-sized delights add savory depth to the soup.
  • Couscous: Quick-cooking and absorbent, couscous lends a light texture and helps thicken the broth.
  • Roasted Red Peppers: Sweet and smoky, chopped roasted red peppers enhance the soup’s flavor profile.
  • Fresh Spinach: Adds vibrant color and nutrients, wilting delicately into the soup just before serving.
  • Chicken Broth: Provides a savory base; opt for low-sodium for better control over seasoning.
  • Pesto: Infuses the broth with aromatic basil and garlic notes, elevating the soup’s Mediterranean flair.
  • Ground Sage and Ground Thyme: These herbs impart warm, earthy flavors; adjust to taste for balanced seasoning.
  • Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed for brightness, lemon juice adds a refreshing tang to complement the savory elements.

Substitutions & Variations:

  • Homemade Meatballs:
    • Substitution: Use store-bought frozen meatballs or ground turkey/chicken meatballs for a lighter option.
    • Variation: Add Italian sausage for a spicier flavor profile.
  • Couscous:
    • Substitution: Replace with orzo pasta, small pasta shells, or quinoa for a gluten-free option.
  • Roasted Red Peppers:
    • Substitution: Sun-dried tomatoes or fresh bell peppers can replace roasted red peppers.
    • Variation: Grill fresh bell peppers before adding them to the soup for a smokier taste.
  • Fresh Spinach:
    • Substitution: Substitute with kale, Swiss chard, or arugula for a different leafy green flavor.
  • Chicken Broth:
    • Substitution: Vegetable broth or beef broth can be used as alternatives.
    • Variation: Use homemade broth infused with herbs like rosemary or thyme for added depth.
  • Pesto:
    • Substitution: Replace basil pesto with sun-dried tomato pesto or a homemade spinach pesto.
  • Ground Sage and Ground Thyme:
    • Substitution: Use dried Italian seasoning blend or Herbes de Provence as a substitute.
    • Variation: Add fresh herbs like chopped parsley or basil for a fresher taste.
  • Lemon Juice:
    • Substitution: Use a small splash of apple cider vinegar for acidity.
    • Variation: Zest the lemon and add it along with the juice for an extra citrus kick.
Italian Wedding Soup- Must Love Garlic

How to Make Italian Wedding Soup:

  • Make Meatballs:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine meatball ingredients by hand until thoroughly mixed.
    • Scoop out 1 tablespoon of the meatball mixture and roll it into a ball.
    • Repeat until you have approximately 48 small meatballs.
    • Place the meatballs evenly spaced on one or two lightly oiled baking sheets.
    • Bake at 400°F for 15-20 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of at least 165°F.
  • Make Soup Base:
    • In a large stock pot, melt butter over medium-low heat.
    • Saute diced onions and sliced carrots in the butter for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent onions from burning, until onions start to become tender.
    • Stir in garlic, dried thyme, and dried sage, and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
    • Add pesto, lemon juice, chicken broth, and salt. Stir the soup base well and increase the heat to high to bring it to a boil.
    • Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the soup for 15 minutes.
  • Add Pearl Couscous:
    • Stir pearl couscous into soup base and simmer for another 20-25 minutes until pasta is tender.
  • Finish & Plate
    • Stir in diced roasted red peppers, chopped fresh spinach, and meatballs.
    • Continue to simmer for another 5 minutes until the spinach is wilted and the meatballs are warmed through.
    • Serve in bowls, topped generously with shaved Parmesan and a sprinkle of freshly cracked pepper.
Italian Wedding Soup- Must Love Garlic

Tips & Recipe Notes:

  • Meatball Preparation:
    • Consistency: Ensure the meatball mixture is well combined but avoid overmixing, which can result in dense meatballs.
    • Uniform Size: Rolling meatballs to a consistent size ensures even cooking.
    • Baking: baking the meatballs creates a crisp exterior and juicy interior.
  • Soup Base Preparation:
    • Sauteing Vegetables: Cook onions and carrots over medium-low heat until tender to develop their flavors.
    • Garlic and Herbs: Adding garlic, dried thyme, and dried sage infuses the base with aromatic depth.
    • Pesto and Lemon: Pesto and lemon juice add brightness and depth to the broth; adjust quantities to taste.
  • Adding Final Ingredients:
    • Timing: Add roasted red peppers, spinach, and cooked meatballs towards the end to preserve their texture and flavors.
    • Wilted Spinach: Stir spinach gently to wilt evenly without breaking it apart.
  • Serving:
    • Garnishing: Top with shaved Parmesan and cracked pepper just before serving for added flavor and presentation.
    • Accompaniments: Serve with crusty bread or a side salad for a complete meal.
  • Make-Ahead and Storage:
    • Advance Preparation: Meatballs and soup base can be prepared in advance and assembled just before serving.
    • Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for longer storage
Italian Wedding Soup

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Close up Italian Wedding Soup with meatballs, pearl couscous, spinach, carrots, and red peppers.

Italian Wedding Soup

This Italian Wedding Soup is a hearty and comforting dish, brimming with homemade bite-sized meatballs, fresh carrots, spinach, onions, and tiny bits of pasta, all enveloped in a savory and tangy pesto broth. It's a breeze to prepare, making it perfect for those nights when you crave a warm, soothing bowl of comfort food. Whether served as a starter or a main course, this soup is sure to satisfy and bring a touch of Italian charm to your table.
5 from 1 vote
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 cups
Calories 443 kcal

Equipment

  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Baking Sheet
  • Large Stock Pot
  • Cooking Spoon or Ladle

Ingredients
  

For Meatballs:

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 eggs

For Soup Base:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 red onion diced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 4 carrots sliced
  • 2 tsp ground thyme
  • 2 tsp ground sage
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup pesto
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 6 cups fresh spinach chopped
  • 7 oz roasted red pepper diced
  • 1 cup pearl couscous
  • 2 tsp salt
  • shaved Parmesan

Instructions
 

Make Meatballs:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine meatball ingredients by hand until thoroughly mixed.
  • Scoop out 1 tablespoon of the meatball mixture and roll it into a ball.
  • Repeat until you have approximately 48 small meatballs.
  • Place the meatballs evenly spaced on one or two lightly oiled baking sheets.
  • Bake at 400°F for 15-20 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of at least 165°F.

Make Soup Base:

  • In a large stock pot, melt butter over medium-low heat.
  • Saute diced onions and sliced carrots in the butter for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent onions from burning, until onions start to become tender.
  • Stir in garlic, dried thyme, and dried sage, and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  • Add pesto, lemon juice, chicken broth, and salt. Stir the soup base well and increase the heat to high to bring it to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the soup for 15 minutes.

Add Pearl Couscous:

  • Stir pearl couscous into soup base and simmer for another 20-25 minutes until pasta is tender.

Finish & Plate:

  • Stir in diced roasted red peppers, chopped fresh spinach, and meatballs.
  • Continue to simmer for another 5 minutes until the spinach is wilted and the meatballs are warmed through.
  • Serve in bowls, topped generously with shaved Parmesan and a sprinkle of freshly cracked pepper.

Notes

  • Ensure the meatball mixture is well combined but avoid over-mixing, which can result in dense meatballs.
  • Serve with crusty bread or a side salad for a complete meal.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for longer storage.

Nutrition

Calories: 443kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 27.1gFat: 25.2gSaturated Fat: 7.8gCholesterol: 119.2mgFiber: 0.7gSugar: 1.8g
Keyword couscous, italian wedding soup, meatballs, pasta, soup, stew
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!


1 thought on “Italian Wedding Soup”

  • 5 stars
    I added thin sliced zucchini and celery in the beginning. Extra garlic. Made my own pesto. Added some seasoning at the end. Added pearl couscous…husband said it was the best soup ever. I didn’t even add meat because we are vegetarian s.

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