Whenever someone says "Italian Wedding Soup", I picture a scene straight out of The Godfather. Plenty of double cheek kisses, elaborate traditions and rites, and enthusiastic toasts of "Per cent'anni" ("For a hundred years") from the well-heeled guests. And then there would be the food. Course upon course of traditional family dishes, delighting each guest with the flavors and freshness of Italian food. Of course, one of the primo courses would be Italian Wedding Soup...or so my romantic food fantasy went. That is, until I discovered that "wedding soup" is a mistranslation of "minestra maritata", which means "married soup". This refers to the compatibility of green vegetables and meat. Sigh. Well, at least I still have oysters and chocolate.
Now, one can quibble about the proper content of meatballs. You may prefer beef, pork, veal, or some combination of these meats. However, I decided to try something a little different. Turkey and Italian sausage. Any concern I had about the level of moisture in these meatballs was quickly alleviated as soon as I tasted one of these meatballs. I chose to use spinach in this recipe because that is what I had in my fridge. However, escarole or curly endive would work just as well.
In a large bowl, combine 1 small onion, grated; ⅓ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley; 1 large egg; 2 cloves garlic, minced; 1 teaspoon salt; ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper; and ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons bread crumbs. Stir well.
Stir in ½ cup grated Parmesan, 8 ounces ground turkey, and 2 Italian sausage links, removed from their casings.
For each meatball, scoop 1 heaping teaspoon of the turkey mixture and roll into a ball. Place on a baking sheet. Place on a baking sheet.
Bring 12 cups of low-sodium chicken broth to a boil in a large saucepan set over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs to the broth and cook at a gentle boil until the meatball are cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in 1 pound fresh spinach leaves.
In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 eggs and 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan. Stir the soup in a circular motion and slowly drizzle in the egg mixture.
Gently stir the soup with a fork until the egg forms thin strands, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately. If desired, top each serving with grated Parmesan cheese.
Other soups using Italian sausage:
Italian Wedding Soup with Turkey Meatballs
- 1 small onion grated
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1 large egg
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons bread crumbs
- 8 ounces ground turkey
- 2 links Italian sausage casings removed
- 12 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 pounds fresh spinach leaves
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan plus more for garnish
- salt & pepper
- In a large bowl, combine onion, parsley, egg, garlic, salt, pepper, and bread crumbs. Stir well. Stir in grated Parmesan, ground turkey, and Italian sausages. For each meatball, scoop 1 heaping teaspoon of the turkey mixture and roll into a ball. Place on a baking sheet.
- Bring chicken broth to a boil in a large saucepan set over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs to the broth and cook at a gentle boil until the meatball are cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in fresh spinach leaves.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 eggs and 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan. Stir the soup in a circular motion and slowly drizzle in the egg mixture.
- Gently stir the soup with a fork until the egg forms thin strands, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately. If desired, top each serving with grated Parmesan cheese.
Thanks to all of you for your very kind comments and personal memories of this soup.
I'm sorry that I didn't acknowledge your comments earlier. Google wasn't forwarding alerts to me, so I didn't know that comments had come in. Soon to be fixed!
I just made this last Sunday and it is so very delicious - one of my favorite soups....
perfect for the chill in the air!
I know my family would love that soup. Looks very delicious. I love green vegetables in soup...makes it look healthy
Beautiful photos. You are right on with the translation. From my experiences, each family has their own rendition of a "married soup". My family didn't refer to this as a married soup or wedding soup. My mother called it, in English, minestra with tiny meat balls. My grandmother said it in Italian and I have no idea now how to say or type it. Her neighbor made a similar soup and called it the same Italian name. Quite a walk down memory lane your wedding soup recalled, thanks.
The Chickenless Chick
OMG that's EXACTLY what I picture when I think of Italian wedding soup.
Your soup looks great. I love this type of soup and your photos are making me drool!
Gera @ SweetsFoods
Turkey and Italian sausage at this soup is a marvelous idea...excellent for cold days 🙂
Nice why of what you had. I've had all kinds of wedding soups and yours seems to be the simplest I've seen yet. Meatball are a great chance to having it all chunky and what not. i like the spinach, too.
This soup looks delicious, especially for the cold wether.
Great post, lovely soup and I did enjoy the picture you painted. Thanks for posting in the UKFB 'I've blogged' group.
I have the strands of the Godfather theme starting to ebb into my mind... a song that will no doubt stay lodged in my brainpan indefinitely, like the kiss of death from a Corleone family thug. But as my last request, I would most assuredly ask for a bowl of this soup! Leave the gun, take the cannoli!
Woah - that spinning soup makes my eyes go buggy - neat! 😛
That said, this does look really good. I love using ground turkey in place of beef or pork. Turkey sausage is also very tasty!
I've been in soup mode for several weeks...this will be a good one to try! I love Italian Wedding soup and my husband will be thankful for the meatballs. 🙂
5 Star Foodie
Lovely soup and I love the addition of sausage in the meatballs!
Oh but this seems like a "get well soon" soup to me :)))
Can I come for dinner at your house? That looks so good! (Worth getting married for!) 🙂
I love the bright green color of the soup. A great way to get your spinach:)
I've looked at about 5 different foodie posts this morning, and this is the ONE I want to eat! Beautiful colors and simple ingredients. Only the best recipes are made of these. I can't wait to make it!
The meatball spinach soup as a wedding soup sounds a perfect idea!