Italian Wedding Soup For Crafting the Perfect Flavors With Ingredients And Spices

On cool nights, there is nothing quite like the comfort of wrapping your hands around a warm bowl of Italian Wedding Soup. Discover an authentic Italian wedding soup recipe, packed with flavorful ingredients and easy instructions to recreate this classic dish. This delightful concoction has journeyed from the heart of Italy; right into my kitchen and now to yours, weaving a thread of culinary heritage that goes beyond just cooking.

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Italian Wedding Soup

Every spoonful tells a story, offering a comforting embrace that’s as rich in flavor as it is in history. The delicate broth, brimming with tender meatballs and hearty greens, speaks of rustic Italian kitchens and the love poured into every pot. 

And isn’t that what makes food so much more than just sustenance? A delicious connection binds us to places, traditions, and people.

In this article, you’ll find a step-by-step guide to recreating this classic soup, marrying old-world charm and modern convenience. We’ll explore its origins, explore its nuanced flavors, and offer tips to perfect your soup-making skills

So, let’s venture together into the delightful world of Italian Wedding Soup.

What Is Italian Wedding Soup?

Italian Wedding Soup is a traditional Italian soup that features a harmonious mix of meat, leafy greens, and often small pasta or rice. The name might suggest that it’s served at Italian weddings, but this is only sometimes the case. 

Instead, the “wedding” refers to the “marriage” or perfect blending of the ingredients — typically meat and vegetables — to create a hearty, nutritious dish.

While every family has their own specific version of the soup, the above elements typically feature in most variations of Italian Wedding Soup. It’s a warming and comforting dish often enjoyed during the colder months but can also be enjoyed year-round.

History Of Italian Wedding Soup 

Italian Wedding Soup, known in Italy as ‘Minestra Maritata,’ literally translates to “married soup.” Its origins are steeped in rich culinary traditions, though not necessarily linked to weddings as its English name suggests. 

Here are some key historical points and interesting facts about this beloved soup:

Origin – The soup hails from Naples in Southern Italy. The term ‘maritata’ in its original name refers to the marriage between the various ingredients—greens and different types of meat—that make up the soup. The perfect balance and blend of these ingredients give the soup its distinctive taste.

Interesting Facts About Italian Wedding Soup

  • Translation Misinterpretation: The soup’s association with weddings is the result of a mistranslation. In Italy, the soup was typically consumed as a hearty meal, especially during the cold winter months, but it wasn’t a traditional wedding dish.
  • Soup for Strength: In some regions of Italy, it was a tradition to serve this kind of rich, meaty soup at Christmas or Easter to restore strength following the lean eating period of Advent or Lent.
  • Variations Across Regions: Like many traditional dishes, the recipe for Italian Wedding Soup varies between regions and households. Some variations include different types of meat, such as sausage or chicken, or a variety of greens like endive, escarole, or kale.
  • American Adaptation: Italian Wedding Soup gained popularity in the United States through Italian immigrants. The version commonly found in the U.S. often includes meatballs, acini di pepe (tiny pasta), and spinach, which might differ from traditional versions in Italy.
  • Served Year-Round: Although it is a warm, comforting soup that is often associated with cold weather, many people enjoy Italian Wedding Soup all year round. Its light yet savory qualities make it a versatile dish for any season.
  • Symbol of Italian Cuisine: Italian Wedding Soup embodies the key characteristics of Italian cuisine—simplicity, balance of flavors, and quality ingredients. While the recipe might vary, the principles of Italian cooking remain consistent in its preparation.

What Makes The Soup Special?

Soup holds a special place in cuisines across the world for several reasons.

  • Versatility: From the lightest broths to the heartiest stews, soups can be tailored to every taste, dietary requirement, and occasion. There are endless possibilities for ingredients and flavors, which can be adjusted based on seasonality, region, or personal preference.
  • Comfort: A warm bowl of soup often brings a sense of comfort and well-being. Many people associate soup with being taken care of when they’re sick or feeling low, creating a strong emotional connection.
  • Culinary Tradition: Every culture has unique soup recipes, often with historical and cultural significance. Preparing and enjoying these soups allows us to connect with our roots or explore other cultures.
  • Nutrition: Soup is an excellent way to combine various nutritious ingredients into a single dish. The liquid content aids in hydration and digestion, and ingredients like vegetables, legumes, and lean proteins offer a balanced meal.
  • Economical and Sustainable: Soups often use leftover ingredients or less desirable cuts of meat, reducing food waste. They’re also usually inexpensive to make, offering a cost-effective meal option.
  • Ease and Convenience: Many soups can be made in one pot, reducing cleanup time. They can also be prepared in large batches and frozen for future meals, making them a convenient choice for busy lifestyles.
soup special

Ingredients List

For Meatballs

Ground turkey1/2 lb
Sweet Italian turkey sausage (not pre-cooked), removed from the casings1/2 lb
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese1/4 cup
Plain dry bread crumbs1/4 cup
Large clove garlic, minced1
Minced flat-leaf parsley2 tsp
Large egg1
Kosher salt1/2 tsp
Fresh black pepper1/2 tsp
Olive oil2 tsp

For The Soup

Chicken stock (homemade or low-sodium store-bought)6 cups
Small onion, diced1
Head of escarole, chopped into bite-size pieces1
Red pepper flakesLarge pinch
Kosher saltTo taste
Fresh black pepperTo taste

Ingredient Tips

Italian Wedding Soup is a hearty, flavorful soup that usually consists of a rich chicken or vegetable broth, tiny pasta like acini di pepe, vegetables, and meatballs. Here are some ingredient tips for making a delicious Italian Wedding Soup:


  • Homemade vs Store-Bought: Homemade chicken or vegetable broth is often richer and more flavorful. However, a good-quality store-bought broth can work well.
  • Seasoning: If using store-bought, use a low-sodium version to control the salt content.


  • Type: Acini di pepe is the traditional choice, but you can also use orzo or small shell pasta.
  • Cook Separately: Cook the pasta separately and add it to individual servings to prevent it from becoming mushy.


  • Greens: Escarole or curly endive is traditional, but spinach or kale can be suitable substitutes.
  • Onions and Garlic: Sauté these first for a flavor base.
  • Carrots and Celery: Optional, but they add extra flavor and texture.


  • Meat: You can use beef, pork, chicken, or a mixture. For a healthier option, ground turkey works well.
  • Size: Keep the meatballs small, as they should be bite-sized.
  • Seasoning: Don’t skimp on the herbs. Parsley, garlic, and grated Parmesan can add a lot of flavors.

Herbs and Spices

  • Fresh vs Dried: Fresh herbs like parsley and basil will offer brighter flavors, but dried herbs are more convenient.
  • Bay Leaves: Add a bay leaf or two during the simmering process for additional depth of flavor.
  • Pepper: A dash of black or red pepper can kick the soup slightly.


  • Parmesan: Use freshly grated Parmesan for the best flavor in the meatballs and as a garnish.

Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients?

Modifying the Italian Wedding Soup recipe to fit various dietary preferences or restrictions like keto, paleo, gluten-free, or Whole30 is quite possible and easy. Here are some suggestions:

  • Keto

You can eliminate the pasta, which is high in carbs, for a ketogenic version. Instead, increase the number of meatballs and vegetables. Consider adding some low-carb veggies like zucchini or bell peppers. Also, use a binder for keto-friendly meatballs, like almond flour or crushed pork rinds, instead of bread crumbs.

  • Paleo

Again, you’ll need to remove the pasta for a paleo-friendly soup. Substitute it with more vegetables or a paleo-friendly noodle, like spiralized zucchini or sweet potato. Ensure the meatballs are made with almond cream or coconut flour instead of bread crumbs.

  • Gluten-Free

To make the soup gluten-free, use a gluten-free pasta variety or substitute pasta with a gluten-free grain like rice or quinoa. Ensure your meatballs are bound with gluten-free alternatives like breadcrumbs or oats.

  • Whole 30

For a Whole30 version, remove the pasta and cheese from the recipe. Increase the vegetables, and ensure the meatballs are made without breadcrumbs or cheese. You could use almond meals as a binding agent in the meatballs.

The Recipe With Other Ingredients

Recipe Directions

Cook the Meatball

  • Combine ground turkey, sausage, cheese, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, egg, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Mix well.
  • Form the mixture into meatballs and set aside.

Cook the Soup

  • Heat olive oil in a skillet and lightly brown the meatballs.
  • In a Dutch oven or stockpot, simmer chicken stock with onions, escarole, and red pepper flakes.


  • Reduce heat to simmer and add the meatballs to the pot.
  • Cook uncovered for 5 minutes until meatballs are cooked through.

Season and Serve

  • Taste the soup and adjust seasoning if needed.
  • Serve hot or refrigerate/freeze for later use.
Recipe Directions

Variations, Add-Ons For The Recipe?

Italian Wedding Soup is already full of flavor and variety, but if you want to switch things up, there are several optional add-ons you can consider:

  • Different Greens: Traditionally, the recipe uses escarole or spinach, but you can also try using kale, Swiss chard, or even collard greens for a different flavor and texture.
  • Variety of Proteins: Chicken meatballs are classic, but you could experiment with turkey, beef, or even vegetarian alternatives like lentil or mushroom-based meatballs.
  • Additional Vegetables: Add carrots, celery, bell peppers, or tomatoes for extra color, texture, and flavor.
  • Different Grains: If you’re not a fan of acini de pepe, you can substitute it with other small kinds of pasta, rice, quinoa, or even small-shaped whole grains like farro or barley.
  • Beans: Cannellini beans or chickpeas could add extra protein and make the soup even more hearty.
  • Spices and Herbs: Feel free to experiment with additional herbs and spices to adjust the flavor to your preference. Basil, rosemary, thyme, or even a bay leaf could all add extra depth of flavor.
  • Cheese: While Parmesan is traditional, you might also try Pecorino Romano for a sharper flavor or ricotta for a creamy addition.
  • Heat: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce if you like a little heat in your soup.

Scaling The Soup

Scaling up a recipe involves proportionally increasing each ingredient to maintain the balance of flavors and textures. However, there are a few things to consider when scaling up a soup recipe, like the Italian Wedding Soup. Here’s how you can go about it:

Scale Up

  • Decide how many servings you want. If the original recipe serves 4, and you want to feed 8, you need to double the recipe.
  • Multiply the quantity of each ingredient by the factor you determined. If you’re doubling the recipe, multiply each ingredient by 2.
  • Consider your cooking equipment. Make sure your pots and pans are large enough to handle the increased quantity.
  • Adjust cooking times as needed. More food may take longer to cook, but not always twice or thrice as long, so monitor the dish closely.

Scale Down

  • Decide how many servings you want. If the original recipe serves 4, and you want to feed 2, you must halve the recipe.
  • Divide the quantity of each ingredient by the appropriate factor. If you’re halving the recipe, divide each ingredient by 2.
  • Use smaller pots and pans if needed to ensure your ingredients cook properly.
  • Adjust cooking times as needed. Less food generally cooks faster, so monitor the dish closely to avoid overcooking.

What Is Used For Garnishing Soup?

Garnishes add a final touch to a soup, elevating its visual appeal and adding a burst of flavor or texture. Here are some common garnishes used for different types of soups:

  • Fresh Herbs: Parsley, cilantro, chives, dill, or basil can add a fresh, bright flavor and a pop of color.
  • Cream or Yogurt: A drizzle of cream, sour cream, or yogurt can add a touch of richness and a nice visual contrast, especially for pureed or spicy soups.
  • Cheese: Grated Parmesan, cheddar, or a dollop of ricotta or crème fraîche can add a savory richness. Cheese can be particularly good on vegetable or tomato-based soups.
  • Croutons or Breadcrumbs: These can add a crunchy texture contrast to smoother soups.
  • Seeds or Nuts: Toasted pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, or chopped nuts can add a crunchy texture and a boost of flavor.
  • Freshly Ground Pepper or Red Pepper Flakes: These can add a bit of heat and a touch of color.
  • Citrus Zest or Wedges: A bit of lemon, lime, or orange zest can add a fresh, bright note, particularly to creamy or rich soups.
  • Olive Oil or Infused Oils: A drizzle can add a touch of richness and a glossy sheen.
  • Bacon Bits or Ham: These can add a salty, savory note and a bit of texture, particularly good in potato or bean soups.
  • Sliced or Diced Fresh Vegetables or Fruit: Avocado, apple, cucumber, or even fresh berries can provide a refreshing, crunchy contrast to a creamy soup.

Can I Make Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

Both a slow cooker and an Instant Pot are excellent tools for making soup, including Italian Wedding Soup, and can really help to develop and meld the flavors together.

Slow Cooker

  • Prepare the meatballs as per the recipe, then lightly brown them in a skillet.
  • Add them along with the chicken stock, diced onion, and red pepper flakes to the slow cooker.
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
  • About 30 minutes before serving, add the chopped escarole and let it wilt and cook in the soup.
  • Adjust the seasonings, and serve hot.

Instant Pot

  • Use the sauté function on the Instant Pot to brown the meatballs in batches.
  • Add the chicken stock, diced onion, and red pepper flakes. Secure the lid and set the pressure release to sealing.
  • Cook the soup on manual high pressure for 8 minutes.
  • Once the soup is done, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then move the pressure release valve to venting to release any additional pressure.
  • Open the lid and stir in the escarole, letting it wilt in the hot soup.
  • Adjust the seasonings, and serve hot.

Can I Use Store Bought Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?

You can use store-bought broth to make Italian Wedding Soup, which can be a great time-saver. When choosing store-bought broth, aim for a low-sodium version; so you have more control over the salt content in your soup.

However, if you have the time and the means, making your own broth can bring a whole new level of flavor to your soup. Homemade broth is often richer and more flavorful than store-bought versions, allowing you to control all the ingredients that go into it.

Ultimately, choosing between homemade and store-bought broth depends on your preference, dietary restrictions, and the time you have available for cooking. Regardless of choice, your Italian Wedding Soup can turn out delicious!

Can I Use Different Types Of Meat/Fish/Pasta/Vegetables Etc For The Soup?

Italian Wedding Soup is a versatile dish, and you can certainly modify it based on your preferences or dietary needs. Here are some suggestions:

  • Meat: You can experiment with different types of ground meat for the meatballs. Chicken, beef, or even a mix of pork and beef can be used. You could use a meat substitute or make “meatballs” from lentils or chickpeas for a vegetarian version.
  • Fish: While it’s not traditional, you could use fish or seafood. Perhaps a firm fish like cod or halibut could be formed into “meatballs.” Or you could add shrimp or scallops into the broth towards the end of cooking.
  • Pasta: Any small pasta will work well in this soup. You could try orzo, ditalini, or even small shells. For a gluten-free version, use a small gluten-free pasta or substitute the pasta for a grain like quinoa.
  • Vegetables: The traditional vegetable in Italian Wedding Soup is escarole, but feel free to experiment with other greens. Spinach, kale, or Swiss chard would also work well. You could also add other vegetables, such as carrots, celery, or peas, for additional flavor and nutrition.
 Use Different Types Of MeatFishPastaVegetables Etc For The Soup 

Success Tips – Tips And Tricks For Making Soup

Creating a delicious soup involves a combination of proper prep work, cooking techniques, and ingredient selection. Here are some tips and tricks to help you achieve the perfect bowl of soup:

Prepping Time

  • Prep Your Ingredients in Advance: Cut all your vegetables, measure your ingredients, and have everything ready before you start cooking. This is known as mise en place and can save you a lot of time and stress in the kitchen.
  • Pre-Cook Certain Ingredients: Some ingredients, like the meatballs in Italian Wedding Soup or certain tough vegetables, may need to be cooked or browned before adding to the soup. This can add a deeper flavor to your soup.

Cooking Time

  • Don’t Rush the Cooking Process: Let your soup simmer gently. Rushing by increasing the heat can lead to overcooked vegetables and a lack of flavor melding.
  • Add Ingredients at the Right Time: Not all ingredients should be added at the same time. Some ingredients, like pasta or delicate vegetables, should be added towards the end of the cooking process to prevent overcooking.
Tips And Tricks For Making italian soup

Nutritional Values

Italian Wedding Soup is a hearty and nutritious meal, providing a balanced mix of protein, carbohydrates, and vegetables. The lean turkey meatballs supply protein, while the pasta offers carbs for energy.

The soup also incorporates leafy greens like escarole, a good source of fiber, vitamins A, C, and K. Please note exact nutritional values will depend on the specific ingredients and quantities used.

What Are The Total Calories In The Soup?

The total calories in an Italian Wedding Soup recipe can vary significantly based on the specific ingredients and their quantities used in the recipe.

However, a typical serving of Italian Wedding Soup (about one and a half cups or approximately 350 grams) often has somewhere around 250-350 calories.

While knowing the calorie count can be helpful, it’s also essential to consider the nutritional value of the food. Italian Wedding Soup can be a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, especially if it’s loaded with vegetables.

Dietary Restrictions For The Soup

Soup can be an excellent choice for many different diets, but certain ingredients commonly used in the soup could pose problems for specific dietary restrictions. Here are a few examples:

  • Gluten-Free Diet

Many soups include ingredients that contain gluten, such as wheat-based noodles, barley, or certain types of broth that might have wheat-derived ingredients. Look for labeled gluten-free soups, or make your own soup using gluten-free ingredients.

  • Dairy-Free Or Lactose-Free Diet

Cream-based soups often contain milk or cream; others might have cheese or butter. Again, look for soups labeled as dairy-free, or use dairy substitutes when making soup at home.

  • Vegan Or Vegetarian Diet

Many soups are made with meat or poultry; even vegetable soups might be made with chicken or beef broth. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, choose soups labeled as such or make your own using vegetable broth and plant-based proteins.

  • Low Sodium Diet

Commercially prepared soups can be high in sodium. If you’re watching your sodium intake, look for low-sodium versions or make your own soup at home where you can control the salt content.

  • Low Carb/Keto Diet 

Many soups contain starchy ingredients like potatoes, rice, or noodles. If you’re following a low-carb or keto diet, you’ll want to choose soups that are low in carbohydrates or make your own using low-carb vegetables and plenty of protein.

  • Allergies

Some soups may contain common allergens like dairy, wheat (gluten), or shellfish. Always check the ingredient list if you’re buying soup, or be careful of the ingredients you use if making it at home.

Health Benefits Of The Soup

Soup is a versatile dish that can be packed with a variety of nutritious ingredients, providing numerous health benefits. Here are a few reasons why including soup in your diet can be beneficial:

  • Hydration: Soups, especially broth-based soups, have high water content, which can contribute to your daily fluid intake and aid in hydration.
  • Nutrient Rich: Soups can be packed with various vegetables, lean meats, beans, and whole grains, all of which provide essential vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fiber.
  • Weight Management: Soups, particularly broth-based varieties, tend to be low in calories and have a high water and fiber content, which can help you feel fuller for longer. This can benefit those trying to lose or maintain a healthy weight.
  • Easy to Digest: Soups are typically easier to digest because the ingredients are cooked in liquid. This makes them a good option for people with digestive issues or when you’re sick, and your appetite is reduced.
  • Versatility: Soup can accommodate various ingredients, making it easy to adjust recipes based on dietary needs or restrictions.
  • Immune Support: Many soup recipes, such as chicken soup, contain ingredients like garlic, onion, and chicken broth, known to have immune-boosting properties.
  • Lower Sodium Intake: When you make your own soup, you can control the amount of salt you add, allowing you to make healthier choices compared to some high-sodium canned soups.
  • Bone Health: Bone broth-based soups are rich in collagen and other nutrients that can contribute to bone and joint health.

Nutrition Table

Italian Wedding Soup Nutrition Table

How Can I Make Soup Lower In Sodium?

Making soup lower in sodium is easy with a few simple adjustments:

  • Use low-sodium or no-sodium broth: Store-bought broth can contain high sodium levels. Look for low-sodium or no-sodium options. Better yet, make your own at home to control the salt content.
  • Don’t Over-Salt: Be mindful of how much salt you add during cooking. Remember, you can always add more at the end if needed.
  • Rely on Herbs and Spices for Flavor: Rather than relying solely on salt for flavor, use a variety of herbs and spices. Garlic, onions, peppers, and herbs like thyme or rosemary can add a lot of flavors without adding sodium.
  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Processed foods often contain added sodium. By using fresh ingredients wherever possible, you can significantly reduce the amount of sodium in your soup.
  • Rinse Canned Goods: If using canned ingredients, rinse them thoroughly under cold water to remove excess sodium.

How Can I Make The Soup Lower In Sugar?

Italian Wedding Soup is generally low in sugar, mainly containing savory ingredients like meat, vegetables, and broth. However, if you’re looking to minimize sugar content further, here are a few suggestions:

  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Processed or canned goods can sometimes contain added sugars. Using fresh ingredients wherever possible can help avoid this.
  • Check your Broth: Some store-bought broths or stocks can contain added sugars. Check the label to ensure you’re choosing a sugar-free option.
  • Skip the Carbs: If you’re very concerned about sugar, you could leave out the pasta, as carbohydrates eventually break down into sugars in the body. However, this will drastically change the dish, so it’s only recommended if you strictly avoid carbs and sugars.
  • Watch your Bread: If you traditionally serve your soup with a side of bread, consider that this could be adding sugars as well. Opt for whole-grain bread or skip the bread altogether.

How To Serve The Italian Wedding Soup In The Best Way?

Serving Italian Wedding Soup properly can genuinely elevate your meal. Here are some steps to make sure your presentation is as delicious as the soup itself:

  • Warm Bowls: Start by warming your bowls slightly, either by rinsing them in hot water or placing them in a warm oven for a few minutes. This ensures the soup stays hot for longer once served.
  • Portion Sizes: Italian Wedding Soup is quite hearty due to the meatballs and pasta, so be sure to fill the bowl evenly. A cup or cup and a half per person is a good starting point.
  • Garnishing: Once the soup is ladled into bowls, garnish with a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a little bit of chopped fresh parsley. This adds an extra layer of flavor and makes the dish look even more appealing.
  • Accompaniment: Serve the soup with a slice of rustic Italian bread or a garlic breadstick on the side for dipping. You could also offer a simple green salad to complete the meal.
  • Serve Immediately: Soup is best served immediately while it’s still hot. If you’ve made the soup in advance, be sure to reheat it thoroughly before serving.

Perfect Side Dishes To Complement Soup Recipe 

The simplicity and heartiness of Italian Wedding Soup make it a satisfying meal on its own, but various side dishes can beautifully complement it. Here are a few ideas:

  • Crusty Bread: A slice of crusty bread or a warm baguette is perfect for dipping into the broth. Try serving it with garlic bread or knots for a garlic kick.
  • Green Salad: A crisp, fresh salad can balance the warmth and heartiness of the soup. Try a simple green salad with vinaigrette, a Caprese salad, or a Caesar salad for an Italian-themed meal.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Roasted vegetables can add a different texture and deeper flavors to your meal. Try roasting seasonal vegetables with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich: A classic pairing, a grilled cheese sandwich, and a bowl of soup make for a comforting meal.
  • Bruschetta or Crostini: These Italian appetizers can provide a crunchy contrast to the soup. You could top them with various ingredients, like tomatoes, basil, roasted vegetables, or a spread like tapenade or ricotta.
  • Antipasto Platter: An assortment of Italian cold cuts, cheeses, olives, and marinated vegetables could make a delightful starter or side dish.
  • Italian Stuffed Peppers: If you’re looking for a heartier side, Italian stuffed peppers filled with rice, ground meat, and cheese could be a great option.
  • Pasta Salad: A cold pasta salad could provide a refreshing contrast. Please keep it simple with fresh vegetables, olive oil, and vinegar, or make it more substantial with cheese and Italian meats.

How Long Can We Store The Soup?

Storing Italian Wedding Soup properly can help maintain its freshness and quality. Here are the steps to do so:

  • Cooling: Allow the soup to cool slightly before storing. However, please do not leave it at room temperature for more than two hours to avoid bacterial growth.
  • Thawing: When you’re ready to use the frozen soup, it’s best to thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. If you’re in a hurry, use the defrost function on your microwave or place the soup container in a bowl of warm water to speed up the thawing process.

Can You Make Soup In Advance?

Soup is one of those dishes that often tastes even better the next day, making it a perfect dish to prepare in advance. The flavors have more time to meld together, resulting in a more flavorful soup.

To make soup in advance, prepare the recipe as instructed, then let it cool completely. Once cool, transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator.

When you’re ready to serve the soup, heat it over medium heat until it’s hot, stirring occasionally. If the soup has thickened too much in the fridge, add some water or additional stock to thin it out.

Just remember that if your soup contains pasta, like Italian Wedding Soup, the pasta may absorb some of the broth and become softer over time. If this is a concern, you can cook the pasta separately and add it to the soup when you’re ready to serve.

What Can Be Done With Leftover Soup? 

Leftover soup can be more versatile than you might think. Here are some creative ways to repurpose it:

  • Pasta Sauce: Reduce the soup on the stovetop until it thickens, then serve it over pasta. If your soup is chunky, you should puree it first.
  • Stew or Casserole Base: Use the soup as a base for a stew or casserole. Add some extra vegetables, cooked meat, or beans, then top with biscuits or a mashed potato crust and bake.
  • Rice or Grain Dish: Cook rice or grains like quinoa or barley in the soup instead of water or broth to infuse them with flavor.
  • Stir-Fry Sauce: Use the soup as a sauce in a stir-fry. Cook your protein and vegetables first, then add the soup and let it simmer until everything is well coated.
  • Freeze for Later: If you can’t use the leftovers right away, soup freezes very well. Just be sure to cool it completely before transferring it to a freezer-safe container. You can keep it frozen for up to 3 months.
  • Bread Dip: Heat up the soup and use it as a dip for crusty bread. This works best with thicker, pureed soups.

Special Tools Required While Cooking Soup

While you can make a basic soup with just a pot and a heat source, having the following tools can make the process easier and more enjoyable:

  • Large Soup Pot or Dutch Oven: A good-sized pot (4-6 quarts for a standard soup recipe) is crucial. A heavier pot like a Dutch oven is beneficial because it heats evenly and retains heat well, improving the soup’s flavor.
  • Sharp Knife: A sharp knife is essential for chopping vegetables and cutting meat. It’s safer and makes the work go faster and more smoothly.
  • Cutting Board: You’ll need a sturdy cutting board for prep work.
  • Ladle: A ladle is handy for stirring soup as it cooks and for serving it.
  • Skimmer: This tool is handy for removing foam or impurities that rise to the top of the soup as it cooks.
  • Immersion Blender: If you’re making a pureed soup, an immersion (or stick) blender allows you to blend the soup right in the pot.
  • Slow Cooker or Instant Pot: These tools are unnecessary but can make soup-making more convenient, especially if you want to set it and forget it.
  • Heat-Resistant Spatula or Wooden Spoon: These are used for stirring, ensuring nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.
  • Soup Bowls and Soup Spoons: You’ll need bowls and spoons to serve the soup.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What Can I Use As A Substitute For The Meatballs?

    You can substitute the meatballs with vegetarian alternatives like lentil or mushroom-based meatballs or even tofu for a vegan version. For a non-vegetarian option, chunks of chicken or turkey could also work.

    Can I Freeze Italian Wedding Soup?

    Yes, Italian Wedding Soup freezes well. Allow the soup to cool before transferring it to freezer-safe containers, leaving some space for expansion. It can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.

    What Other Types Of Greens Can I Use In Place Of Spinach Or Escarole?

    Other greens that can work well in this soup include kale, Swiss chard, or collard greens. The cooking times may vary slightly, so be sure to add the greens towards the end of the cooking process to avoid overcooking.

    I Don’t Have Acini De Pepe Pasta, What Else Can I Use?

    If you don’t have acini de pepe, you can use other small pasta shapes like orzo, ditalini, or even broken spaghetti. Alternatively, you could use a grain like rice or barley.

    The Soup Is Too Thin. How Can I Thicken It?

    If your soup is too thin, you can remove a portion of the soup, blend it, and then add it back to the pot. This will give it a thicker texture. Another option is to simmer the soup a bit longer, allowing some liquid to evaporate and thicken the soup.

    Tantalizing Italian Wedding Soup Recipe to Spice Up Your Special Day

    Tantalizing Italian Wedding Soup Recipe to Spice Up Your Special Day

    5 from 8 votes
    Recipe by Hanna Barnes Course: Soup Recipes


    Prep time


    Cooking time





    Looking for a delicious Italian wedding soup recipe? Discover a flavorful blend of meatballs, greens, and pasta in this classic Italian dish. Follow our step-by-step instructions to create a hearty soup that will warm your heart and satisfy your taste buds.


    • Ground turkey

    • Sweet Italian turkey sausage (not pre-cooked)

    • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

    • Plain dry bread crumbs

    • Large clove garlic, minced

    • Minced flat-leaf parsley

    • Large egg

    • Kosher salt

    • Fresh black pepper

    • Olive oil

    Step-By-Step Directions

    • Cook The Meatball
      Combine the ground turkey, sausage, cheese, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, egg, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl. With your hands, mix everything until all the ingredients are incorporated.
    • Prepare The Mixture
      Form the mixture into meatballs about the size of large walnuts, and place them on a plate.
    • Cook The Soup
      Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over low-medium heat. If necessary, lightly brown the meatballs in batches and set them aside
    • Simmer
      Reduce the heat to simmer, and gently add the meatballs to the pot. Cook, uncovered, over low heat for 5 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through.
    • Serving
      Serve the soup hot. Alternatively, let it cool completely and then refrigerate or freeze it for later use.


    • Meatballs: The meatballs are traditionally made with a mixture of beef and pork, but you can use turkey or chicken as a lighter alternative. Remember to work the mix evenly to keep the meatballs tender
    • Escarole: Escarole gives the soup a slightly bitter edge that balances well with the rich meatballs. If you can’t find escarole, feel free to use other greens like spinach, kale, or endive.
    • Broth: A good quality chicken broth is essential for the soup base. You can make your own or use a low-sodium store-bought variety for convenience; if you’re using store-bought, taste before adding any additional salt.
    • Pasta: Small pasta shapes are used traditionally, such as acini di pepe, orzo, or even small shells. They add a lovely texture to the soup. Add the pasta towards the end of cooking time to prevent it from becoming mushy
    • Spicing: A pinch of red pepper flakes adds a hint of spice. Adjust to your preference.
    • Serving: Serve the soup hot, garnished with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and a side of crusty bread for the perfect comforting meal.
    • Storing and Reheating: The soup can be refrigerated for up to four days or frozen for up to three months. Add a bit more broth when reheating, as the pasta can absorb it as it sits.
    Hanna Barnes

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