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Italian Wedding Soup with Spinach

Updated on March 27, 2015

Italian Wedding Soup With Spinach

Everyone loves soup. There are so many different soups that if you don't like one you could try another. There are cream soups, vegetable soups, chicken noodle, chicken rice, beef with vegetables, tomato soup, chowders, seafood soup, so on and so forth.

This soup is a little different because even if you can't get your children to eat soup, they will eat this soup because of the little meat balls. You know all those commercials on TV where you see children eating soup and loving it? Well, remember that is just a TV commercial and not necessarily true. In the real world, they don't all love soup, trust me, I know. This is the one soup, they will eat. They won't even mind eating the spinach which is a plus for the vitamins it provides for them.

You can make a big batch and freeze half for another time. Great for those busy days when you don't have time to make a decent dinner.

It does have an Italian origin so, Buono Appetite!

Italian Wedding Soup With Spinach

Read to eat!
Read to eat! | Source
Chicken soup stock
Chicken soup stock | Source
Browning the meatballs in a skillet
Browning the meatballs in a skillet | Source
After the meatballs are browned
After the meatballs are browned | Source

Please Vote

5 stars from 3 ratings of Italian Wedding Soup with Spinach

Directions for the soup

You can use any chicken soup recipe you like. As in the picture above, you can see I have celery, carrots, onions and chicken in a pot of water along with seasonings which gets strained after its cooked. I do have the recipe for the soup in my hub with chicken soup.

If you don't want to go through the trouble of making your own soup, you can use a couple of large cans of chicken soup in the cans. It does save a lot of time and some of them are really good. I had an aunt who use to do that.

You will need a whole bag of spinach. It will look like a lot but when spinach cooks down it shrinks to at least one fourth. If you buy the bag where it says already washed, that will save time too, you will have to chop it up before putting it into the soup.

I use spinach, but a lot of people use any green leafy vegetable like Swiss Chard, if you like.

After the soup is strained and back into the pot or after you put the canned soup broth in the pot and heated it, add the meatballs and very small chicken noodles of your choice. I used Ditalini. The little tiny round soup noodles are also a good choice. Long noodles or rice is not usually used in this soup. Add the spinach last and cook for a couple of minutes until the spinach is cooked, which will take only about 6 or 7 minutes.

After plating your soup, garnish with a little more grating cheese. (This, of course, is optional).

For putting the soup together

Prep time: 25 min
Cook time: 1 hour 10 min
Ready in: 1 hour 35 min
Yields: Serves 8 to 10 people

Ingredients for the little meatballs

  • 1 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/8 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • to taste salt and pepper
  • to taste garlic and onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons crushed dried parsley

Directions for making the meatballs

  1. Mix all the ingredients together.
  2. Moistening your hands with water, roll very small meat balls.
  3. Heat your skillet with a little olive oil and brown the meatballs. They do not need to cook long, just get them brown, they will cook more in the soup.

History of Italian Wedding Soup

Is it really served at Italian weddings? Good question!

According to Sheri Bettis:

Legend states that it was a traditional meal at Italian weddings. Some say it was used as "energy fortification" for the couple's wedding night activities.

As with most legends, this is false. Italians do not serve this soup at their weddings.

The background of this soup originally knows as Minestra Maritata;

Minestra is Italian for soup (at one time referred to the first course);

Maritata is Italian for marriage (between pork and vegetables).

Made with pork and vegetables in a broth (beef is now more of a popular choice), the process of making this soup was creative and fun as putting pork or beef meatballs into a chicken broth and marrying them to a green vegetable. Hence the name Italian Wedding Soup!

It was originally made with scraps of pork meat, kind of a poor man's soup and yet now, it is hailed brilliantly delicious and made with finer ingredients. So now we can enjoy Italian Wedding Soup with Spinach or other greens.


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    • Rachel L Alba profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel L Alba 

      5 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Hi purl3agony, thanks for visiting and the really nice comment. It's encouraging to me. Sometimes when I'm making regular meatballs, I'll save some of the meat and make the little meatballs, cook them and freeze them. It makes it easier to make this soup whenever you want it.

      Blessings to you.

    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna Herron 

      5 years ago from USA

      This is my favorite kind of soup, but I've never found a good recipe for making my own at home. I'm eager to try this recipe, particularly now that the weather is getting colder. Thanks for posting and sharing! Pinned to my recipe board!

    • Rachel L Alba profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel L Alba 

      6 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Hi aesta1, so nice to hear from you. Thanks for visiting and the nice comment.

      Blessings to you.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      We do have meat balls many times but I just haven't put them in soups. I will now also add a bit of cheese when I make them.

    • Rachel L Alba profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel L Alba 

      6 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Thanks Cornelia for visiting and you great comments. It's a good way to get them to eat their spinach too. lol

      Have a nice holiday weekend.

    • CorneliaMladenova profile image

      Korneliya Yonkova 

      6 years ago from Cork, Ireland

      Awesome. I love soups, especially Italian style ones. Will try it definitely and I am sure the kids will love it :)

    • Rachel L Alba profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel L Alba 

      6 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Thank you GiftsByDiana, I appreciate you visit and comments. You can actually use anything you like in this soup. The traditional noodle is those little round ones, (forgot the name), which resembles rise.

      Blessings to you.

    • GiftsByDiana profile image

      Diana Burrell-Shipton 

      6 years ago from Hubbard, Ohio, USA

      One of our favorites !

      We always used rice instead of noodles though - maybe it is an Ohio/PA. thing.

    • Rachel L Alba profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel L Alba 

      6 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      LOL,, yes, I think I mentioned Aunt Mae, although I didn't mention her name, in my explanation, although I forgot about the part where she just dropped the meat balls in raw. Good point. Thanks for visiting my hubs. Have a blessed day.

    • AuntieEss profile image


      6 years ago from PA

      This is one of my favorite soups...and I'm one of those kids she spoke of that won't eat other soups! ☺️ I used to help care for my elderly Aunt, and she would whip this up all the time! If you want to save a step, and skip some fat, you can just add the raw meatballs into the simmering broth and let them cook there, before adding the noodles! Enjoy!

    • Rachel L Alba profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel L Alba 

      6 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Thank you Alicia, I appreciate your nice comment.

      Blessings to you.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This sounds like a great recipe, Rachel! I enjoyed learning about it and reading about the interesting history of its name.

    • Rachel L Alba profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel L Alba 

      6 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Thank you MyMastiffPuppies, for the kind comment. Thank you for visiting my hub.

      Thank you also Peotryman, without the cheese, any meatballs just wouldn't taste the same. Your visits and comments are surely appreciated.

      Blessings to both of you.

    • Rachel L Alba profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel L Alba 

      6 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Hi Jackie, Thanks for the great comments and for visiting. Yes, you can certainly use ground chicken instead of beef. Especially if you already have some little meatballs, use them. They should be small though. I found out like you did about ground turkey vs. ground chicken. The ground chicken does have more flavor and a little moor moist. Your comments are appreciated.

      Blessings to you.

    • poetryman6969 profile image


      6 years ago

      I like the cheese inside the meatballs. Sounds tasty.

    • MyMastiffPuppies profile image


      6 years ago

      Sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing great pictures and details. Look forward to giaving this one a try!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      6 years ago from the beautiful south

      This looks so good and although it has been awhile I know I have tried a recipe like this and really liked it. Just wondering though since I stay away from beef (not entirely but for the most part) and really love ground chicken; would that make a good substitute? In fact I have some needing fixed so hope so. I use to use ground turkey but once I tried the ground chicken it just has a much better flavor although it is not easy to find. When I do I just buy plenty and freeze it.

      Thanks for sharing! up and sharing ^+

    • Rachel L Alba profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel L Alba 

      6 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Thanks Susan, I was just done editing it. I had a few minor errors and corrected them. I'm glad you like that soup. Thanks for visiting my site.

      Blessings to you.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I was just thinking of Italian Wedding soup earlier today. Love it!


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