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Minestra Maritata (Italian Wedding Soup)

5.00 Mitt(s) 8 Rating(s)8 votes, average: 5.00 out of 58 votes, average: 5.00 out of 58 votes, average: 5.00 out of 58 votes, average: 5.00 out of 58 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5

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Level: Easy

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Description

Though it may be romantic to think so, Italians really do not serve this soup at weddings. Minestra Maritata literally translates as “Married Soup.” Its American name “Italian Wedding Soup” came from someone not familiar with Italian dialects who decided to translate “maritata” (married) as “wedding.” This soup is so named because the meatballs, broth and vegetables all blend or “marry” well together.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE MEATBALLS:
  • 8 ounces, weight Ground Beef
  • 8 ounces, weight Ground Pork (I Prefer Loose Hot Italian Sausage)
  • 1 whole Small Yellow Onion, Peeled And Grated
  • ⅓ cups Chopped Fresh Italian Parsley
  • 1 whole Large Egg, Beaten
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Peeled And Micro-planed
  • ½ cups Italian Bread Crumbs
  • ½ cups Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Or Sea Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • ¼ teaspoons Freshly-ground Nutmeg
  • 3 Tablespoons Extra-virgin Olive Oil, For Frying
  • _____
  • FOR THE SOUP:
  • 12 cups Chicken Broth
  • 3 whole Large Carrots, Roughly Chopped
  • 1 pound Escarole, Trimmed And Torn Into 1/2-in Strips*
  • 2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Oregano
  • 1-¼ cup Dry Pastina Or Acini Di Pepe Pasta
  • Kosher Or Sea Salt, To Taste
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Freshly Ground Parmesan, Plus Additonal For Serving

Preparation

1. In a large mixing bowl combine the meatball ingredients (except oil) and mix thoroughly. Shape the meat mixture into ¾ to 1-inch diameter meatballs. Bring the oil to the ripple stage in a frying pan and fry meatballs in batches (don’t crowd the cooking meatballs) to a rich brown, 3 to 5 minutes (they may still be pink on the inside but that’s okay, they’ll finish cooking in the soup). Add additional olive oil as necessary. As the meatballs cook, set them on aside on a paper towel-lined dish. You should end up with about 30 meatballs.
2. For the soup, in a large pot over medium heat, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Add the carrots, escarole, oregano, salt and black pepper to taste.
3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the meatballs. Cook the meatballs and carrots until the carrots are softened.
4. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls or into a large bowl for family service and serve accompanied by freshly grated parmesan cheese and crusty Italian or French bread.

Note: if you have trouble finding escarole, you can substitute spinach or arugula (rocket).

3 Comments

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ExpatCucina on 5.16.2011

I love this!

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Anne McCoy on 5.3.2011

This looks amazing. We love soup at our house and this will be added to our “menu.” Thanks for sharing so many of your wonderful recipes.

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Jeanne (aka NanaBread) on 5.3.2011

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
I’ve been looking for a good, authentic recipe for Wedding Soup. I cannot wait to try yours. Love it!

8 Reviews

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Dee Rider on 1.4.2018

Loved this! I had to use only ground beef and it worked just fine. Meatballs were flavorful and my family loved it. I can’t wait to try it again with ground pork mixed in and the right pasta.

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karend on 11.18.2015

I have made this recipe several times now and love it. I even made it once with ground chicken meatballs for a twist on chicken noodle soup. The Italian sausage and beef combination is wonderful.

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jodygates on 4.17.2013

I made this for 2 very picky eaters last night and they both inhaled it. It is fabulous and will be making it again.

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Pammela on 1.3.2012

Fantastic! This will be my go to. The meatballs make it, they are so tasty! I used spinach and orzo but otherwise made exactly as written. Thanks so much!!

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Cheryl Robinson on 12.10.2011

This was a delicious recipe! I love the meatballs and cooking them lightly before adding them to the soup makes them wonderful. I’ve tried many recipes for this soup but this is my favorite!

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