Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup 1920 2560 Daryl Duarte

Italian Wedding Soup

This classic soup is often served at Italian weddings – hence – the name.  My mother made this often – and not for wedding celebrations – but for everyday dinners.  When I was a boy, I could not control myself when a bowl of this soup was presented to me – I ate it so fast - I typically burned my tongue.  Truth be told, I still eat this soup – too quickly – because – it is that good.    


  • 8 cups of chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 large head escarole
  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • The shredded white and dark meat from a 3 to 4 lb roast chicken
  • 1/2 lb orzo pasta


  • Pour the chicken stock into a large soup pot and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer.
  • Peel the carrots and chop them into rounds.
  • Wash and chop the escarole into 1 " long pieces. Do not mince!
  • In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the meat, eggs, salt and pepper and mix only to blend.
  • Fill a small bowl with cold water and set near the stove and soup pot.
  • Dip your fingers into the water, wet your palm and using your fingertips, scoop a small amount of meat mixture into your hand and roll it between your palm and fingers forming a small 1-inch ball drop the meatball gently into the simmering broth.
  • Continue until all the meat balls are in the broth. (This method of cooking the meat balls is like “poaching” chicken or fish.)
  • Once the meat balls have all risen to the top of the broth, you can add the carrots, and escarole. Bring the soup to a slightly more vigorous simmer and cook for about 10 minutes.
  • Then, add the shredded chicken to finish the soup. Cook gently for 10 more minutes.
  • In a separate pan, bring heavily salted water to a boil and cook the orzo pasta (or your choice of small soup pasta) according to the package instructions. I prefer slightly undercooked pasta for soup – as it always will cook a bit more when added to the soup.
  • To serve - dish out the soup into a bowl, top with pasta and some fresh mozzarella, or grated pecorino Romano cheese.      


 I don’t put the cooked pasta into the main soup pot – because if there are any leftovers – the pasta will get sodden and overcooked. You want the remaining pasta to be kept separate from the remaining soup. You can freeze the soup and use any leftover pasta another way during the week.
Recipe Rating