Italian Wedding Soup
There was a time when our favorite go-to soup came in a can, Progresso Italian Wedding Soup. Something about the little meatballs and tiny pasta is so comforting on cold, dreary days. In our quest for healthier eating, we offer you this recipe which is so easy & quick to make using all fresh ingredients. You'll never buy canned anymore! It can be made on the stove, crockpot, or even an Instapot and can be frozen so you might want to double the batch! Meatballs can be made ahead of time using leftover meatball mixture and made into small 1/2 to 3/4 inch rounds. Store-bought meatballs can also be used, just cut to mini size. The featured picture in this post was using leftover frozen, cooked meatballs that were cut into quarters. Last week we were making meatballs so we kept some of the mixture and made mini's that we froze in the picture below. With just a few simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry, you can whip up this delicious, hearty soup for any weeknight meal served with crusty bread.
- 1 Tablespoon EVOO
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 large celery stalks, diced
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced (approximately 2 Tablespoons. Add more or less to suit your taste.
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 Tablespoon dried parsley (or 1/4 cup fresh & chopped)
- salt & pepper to taste
- 8 ounces Ditalini (small round hollow tubes) or Acini de Pepe Pasta (tiny round pasta) or Orzo (cook separately)
- 8-10 ounces fresh baby spinach, torn into pieces (escarole or endive can be substituted)
- 8 cups chicken broth (We used a combination of chicken, beef, and vegetable broth but anyone broth is fine.)
- 1/2 to 3/4-inch pre-made meatballs (use leftover meatball mixture or meatloaf mixture to make ahead or you can substitute with store-bought meatballs i.e. Costco)
- Pecorino Romano, freshly grated cheese (Locatelli) or Parmigiano Reggiano (not the stuff in the green container, please!)
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the EVOO.
- Once the pot is hot enough, add the onion, celery, & carrots & saute for about 5-7 minutes to soften.
- Add garlic, oregano, and basil. Saute another minute longer.
- Add torn spinach. Season with salt & pepper.
- Add the broth/broths.
- Bring to a boil.
- Add the cooked or raw meatballs.
- Lower heat and simmer an additional 8-10 minutes, until meatballs are heated thoroughly if pre-cooked or a little longer if cooking raw in the soup.
- Ladle hot soup into your favorite bowl, add the pasta and top with grated cheese.
Note: To make this soup gluten-free, use GF broth, GF pasta, and & GF bread or breadcrumbs in your meatball mixture.
Meatballs can be fried in oil or baked in the oven, whichever you prefer.