Italian Wedding Soup

Growing up we had giant, food-filled Christmas Eve and Christmas dinners. The seven fishes happened on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day, after the antipasti, everyone in my family would sit down to eat Italian Wedding Soup. I’m hosting Christmas dinner this year and plan to keep the tradition alive!

To me, Italian Wedding Soup tastes like family, the holidays, and comfort, and I could eat it every single day.

Meatball Ingredients:

– 1 lb ground beef (you can use a mixture of beef and pork if you want, but Anel doesn’t eat pork so I skip it)
– 1 egg
– 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
– 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
– 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
– 1/2 tsp dried parsley
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/4 tsp black pepper
Soup Ingredients:
– 2 Tbs olive oil
– 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
– 3 medium carrots, peeled, and finely chopped
– 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
– 3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
– 6 cups chicken broth
– 1 cup water
– 1 Parmesan rind
– 1 bay leaf
– 1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
– 1/4 tsp black pepper
– 1 cup cooked orzo or other small pasta
– 2-3 large handfuls baby spinach, roughly chopped
– Grated Parmesan cheese for serving


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, mix all of the meatball ingredients with your hands until they’re well-combined.
3. Using your hands again, roll the meat mixture into 1-inch (ish) balls and place them on the baking sheets.

4. Bake until they’re browned and cooked through, about 15 minutes, and set aside.

5. While the meatballs are cooking, heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery, then cook, stirring often, until the onions are translucent and the carrots are soft, about 8 to 10 minutes.

6. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, one minute more.
7. Add the broth, water, Parmesan rind, bay leaf, salt, and pepper, then bring the soup to a boil.
8. Add the pasta to the soup and cook according to package directions.
9. Reduce the heat to low and add the meatballs and spinach to the soup. Cook until the spinach is wilted.
10. Remove the Parmesan rind, and serve topped with more grated cheese.
11. Enjoy with crusty Italian bread!

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