This is probably not your mom’s Italian Wedding Soup. And that’s OK.

Uh-oh, here we go again. Venturing into prime “You don’t know what you’re doing” territory.

The land of “That isn’t the way my grandma did it so it’s wrong.”

Dare I go here yet again? After much ado (and plenty of a-don’t) about flourless chocolate cake; major differences of opinion regarding how many ingredients go into the perfect pie crust; and most recently, controversy surrounding the absolute authentic way to make Chicago-style deep-dish pizza (hint: there’s no cornmeal in the crust. There IS cornmeal in the crust), it’s with great hesitation that I dip my toe into Italian Wedding Soup – figuratively speaking, of course.

I actually like stirring the (soup) pot here on this blog. We all have our favorite comfort foods, and sometimes they’re so dear to our hearts (and clear in our minds) that we can’t see beyond our own memories. We have trouble allowing room in the kitchen for someone else’s family recipe. For someone else’s interpretation of, say, potato pancakes, seen through the lens of a different time, another place.

Bottom line: Diversity is just as much a plus in recipe-land as it is in society. We can share different versions of the same dish and learn from one another, if we choose to. And if not, we can agree to disagree agreeably – which is one of the tenets we work by here at King Arthur Flour.

So, back to Italian Wedding Soup. My decidedly non-Italian, Irish-Norwegian-New England interpretation of this soup is based on much Googling, and lots of thumbing through Italian cookbooks.

I took a little bit of this, a pinch of that, mixed it all together, and came up with a recipe that’s tasty, soul-satisfying on a cold winter day, and receives the stamp of approval from my 100% Italian mother-in-law. And my 50% Italian husband.

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Ditto the Scali Rolls.

Come share my version of two Italian-American classics. And I look forward to lots of friendly disagreement here. Since I CAN stand the heat, I guess I’m entitled to remain in the kitchen!

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To make the starter, mix the following:

1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/3 to 1/2 cup cool water, enough to make a stiff ball of dough
pinch of instant yeast

See how dough-like this is? It’s not your usual soft/liquid starter.

Cover, and let rest at room temperature overnight

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Next day, it should have spread out a bit; you’ll see some bubbles.

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Combine the starter with the following:

2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons Baker’s Special dry milk or nonfat dry milk
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2/3 cup lukewarm water
2 tablespoons olive oil

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Mix the dough — by hand, mixer, or bread machine set on the dough cycle — till it’s cohesive.

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Then knead to make a soft, smooth dough. This will take about 7 minutes at medium speed in a stand mixer equipped with a dough hook.

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This is what’s meant by “smooth dough” – an old-time expression says “smooth as a baby’s bottom.” If you’re a mom or dad, you get the picture.

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Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl or large (8-cup) measure; cover, and let it rise for about 90 minutes.

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The dough will just about double in bulk.

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Next, we’re going to divide the dough into six pieces. You can eyeball it; or for really pretty rolls, use a scale to divide the dough. 625g divided by six = about 104g each.

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There we are – six even pieces.

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Roll each piece into a thin rope about 28″ long.  As you can see, I’ll need to roll a few of these a bit longer. It helps to give them a short rest (10 minutes or so), if they start to fight back as you roll.

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Whisk together 1 large egg white and 1 tablespoon water. Brush each rope with the the egg white/water; this will be the “glue” to hold the seeds.

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Sprinkle heavily with 1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds, rolling the ropes gently in the seeds to pick up as many as possible.

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Starting with 3 ropes, grab one end of each, and squeeze together firmly. Braid the ropes, tucking the ends under to make a neat braided loaf.

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Repeat with the remaining 3 ropes; you’ll now have two long braids.

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How long? About 18” each.

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Cut each braid into six 3″ rolls.

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Squeeze the cut ends together to seal, and tuck them under.

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I wanted to make one long, skinny loaf, too; so I left one of the braids intact.

Place the rolls (or loaf and rolls) on a large, parchment-lined (or lightly greased) baking sheet. Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow to rise till very puffy, about 90 minutes.

Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F.

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Here they are after 90 minutes, nicely risen.

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Bake for about 25 to 35 minutes, till they’re a deep golden brown. The rolls will need to bake for about 25 minutes; the loaf may need to go a bit longer.

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Remove from the oven, and cool on a rack.

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Admire your handiwork.

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And now, sports fans – let’s make soup.

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First, the meatballs. Combine the following in a mixing bowl:

2 hamburger rolls or 4 slices white bread, torn into pieces
2/3 cup milk
1 large egg
1 1/4 teaspoons salt

Stir to combine. Allow the mixture to sit for about 10 minutes, till softened.

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Add the following:

1 medium onion, grated or very finely diced
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley

Stir to combine.

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Add 1 1/2 pounds ground beef or “meatloaf mix” (a mixture of beef and pork). Mix gently, just till combined.

Shape tiny meatballs, (about 1” diameter or less). Using a level teaspoon scoop (which volume-wise is actually 2 level measuring teaspoons) makes about the right size. Place the meatballs on a parchment-lined or lightly greased cookie sheet, and refrigerate them while you prepare the soup.

Alternatively, for a lower-fat soup, simmer the meatballs in water till they’re cooked through; then drain, and refrigerate. Or bake them in the oven (thanks for the suggestion, Julia T.). This rids the meatballs of much of their excess fat.

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LOTS of tiny meatballs!

Here’s another, much faster, much easier, reduced-fat way to make meatballs. Er, “meat squares.”

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Flatten the meat mixture between two pieces of parchment. Remove the top piece of parchment, and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for about 30 minutes, till the meat is cooked through.

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Remove from the oven.

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Cut into tiny squares with a rolling pizza wheel or sharp knife.

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Put in a bowl, and refrigerate till you’re ready to add to the soup.

I used this method for a church supper last night. Believe me, no one said a word about the “meatballs” being square, rather than round. They were too busy scraping every last bit of soup out of the pot!

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Prepare the following:

2 medium onions, diced; about 2 cups
2 cups finely diced carrots, about 3 large carrots

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Get out a large pot, at least 6-quart capacity. Pour 2 tablespoons olive oil into the bottom of the pot, and add the onions and carrots. Sauté, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.

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Add 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced; cook for another couple of minutes.

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Next, add the following:

4 to 4 1/2 quarts (16 to 18 cups) chicken broth, homemade or purchased
1 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs or 3/4 teaspoon each dried oregano and dried basil

Bring to a simmer, and cook gently for 10 minutes.

Note: If you’re purchasing cans of broth, the big can is 48 ounces. 16 cups is 128 ounces; 18 cups is 144 ounces. So three big cans  (3 x 48 = 144) should do it.

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Add a 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, total; the soup will take awhile to come back to a simmer, due to the frozen spinach.

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Help it along by breaking it up with a spoon or fork as it cooks.

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Next, gently drop the meatballs into the soup. Simmer for 30 minutes or so.

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Stir in 1 pound (about 2 2/3 cups) uncooked orzo, ditalini, or other small, roundish pasta. I’ve used orzo here. Cook till the pasta is al dente. For orzo, this will take about 8 minutes or so.

Add salt and pepper to taste; using reduced-salt canned chicken broth, I added 1 teaspoon salt; and 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper.

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Serve the soup garnished with freshly grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese. And those crusty rolls, of course.

You can see how thick the soup is in this picture. I ended up thinning it down with another few cups of broth. The recipe, as written above, reflects that. Still, you may want your soup even thinner. So once the pasta is fully cooked – and understanding it’ll thicken further as it stands – be ready to add extra broth as needed.

Clearly, this makes a lot of soup. Can you cut the recipe down? Of course; just reduce everything proportionally. Don’t bother to cut back the spinach, though; you can still use a 10-ounce box. And you might want to make just as many meatballs, saving half for your next spaghetti feed… This is (more or less) my Italian grandma-in-law’s meatball recipe, and boy, is it good!

Read, rate, and review (please) our recipes for Italian Wedding Soup, and Scali Bread/Rolls.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. nika

    You have successfully enticed me into making both this bread and soup. I am going to try whole wheat tho.

    Your bread is just amazingly beautiful, you make the braiding look easy :-)

    Braiding is easy if you don’t mind seeing a few lumpy places… just remember, outside to the middle, outside to the middle, outside to the middle, alternating sides. You can do it, Nika! PJH

    Reply
  2. Susan in Las Vegas

    ****I dip my toe into Italian Wedding Soup…****

    OMG, THAT is MY Grandma’s SECRET INGREDIENT. How did you find out?

    Susan, she told me! You didn’t know we were friends, did you? :) PJH

    Reply
  3. Alissa

    Thank you. These look wonderful. You have inspired me to try to make Italian wedding soup. It is my daughter’s favorite but since we discovered her soy allergy she hasn’t been able to have the canned kind. So I will try to make her this one. And you always have me sold on any kind of bread.
    Thanks again.

    Enjoy, Alissa – I hope your daughter finds it just as tasty as the canned! PJH

    Reply
  4. Pam Baker

    Looks delightful on this damp, decidedly un-January-like day here in Vermont.
    Having had a blog of my own for almost a year and a half, I can “feel” your pain, albeit exceedingly well handled, in response to some of your commenters. I have enjoyed reading all your previous blog posts and comments while I was unemployed this last 30 days and have noticed a slow and recent increase in some snarky type responses and a few odd outright hostile ones. All I can say, and what many other bloggers will tell you, is that the “anonymity” of commenting allows an opportunity for good manners and civil intercourse to fly out the window.
    Although you haven’t asked for it, I would like to offer a small piece of advice. Don’t pander to them. It justs makes them happy to have riled you up. Don’t apologize for what you do, if they don’t like it, they can go somewhere else or learn to comment in a civil and mature manner.
    You all write interesting, caring, educational, inspirational prose that is a breath of fresh air. Even though I don’t eat a lot of sweets or bread, I come back for your sense of humor and wit, your dedication and loyalty and of course…your expertise.
    So keep up the good work and bon appetit!
    Pam

    Thanks for the encouragement, Pam. Every now and then it’s good to remind people to play nice, that’s all. Wasn’t that weather weird yesterday? And more today – PJH

    Reply
  5. Marianna

    I love soup! I love it so much I have been known to eat it for breakfast. Now, don’t say “ewww”. It’s warm and healthy and it gives me a good start. My family has come to accept my occasional alternative to oatmeal. I like to make a big pot of soup on the weekend and then I have something quick and delicious to have for dinner when I just don’t have time or don’t feel like cooking. A great piece (or two) of bread just makes the meal. We do soup suppers at church and I know this Italian Wedding Soup would be a big hit. Thanks for another great recipe PJ!!

    Marianna, I’m with you – I enjoy pizza for breakfast, stir-fried, garlic/soy-marinated tofu, mac & cheese… I’ve never been devoted to sweets for breakfast, I’m much more a cheese/nuts type breakfast person. Enjoy your soup 24/7- PJH

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  6. JuliaJ

    Can the meatballs be BAKED to cook out some of the fat, and also to brown them a bit, before dumping them in the soup? Or will they slump (is that a real word?) into flat patties? You already have them on the cookie sheet, after all….

    Absolutely, Julia, baking is a good option; these are quite sturdy due to the bread, and won’t slump at all. Go for it! P.S. Hope you’re not being flooded out… PJH

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  7. Dave

    Wow… this does look amazing.

    Any hints on how to move the braid (or a long thin baguette shape for that matter) from your work surface to the parchment paper?

    This is the step that causes me the most trouble, and why I don’t try to make very long loaves.

    Any secret bread making MacGyver tips? :)

    Thanks

    MacGyver, hmmm… Well, this particular braid, being long and skinny and pretty stiff, is easy to move. Just grab it at both ends and pick it up. But really, the easiest way to move anything big and floppy is to shape it right on parchment, and move the parchment. You can also use a giant spatula to support as much of whatever you’re moving as possible, with your other hand supporting the rest (or another giant spatula, if you’re truly devoted to moving lots of big, soft wads of dough…) Or you can try a baker’s peel, which at 14″ x 14″ is big enough to handle most loaves. For baguettes, you can put them at the edge of your work surface, then roll them off the work surface onto a flour-dusted back side of a sheet pan, then from the sheet pan onto the stone in the oven. Other than that – put the pan you want to transfer the loaf to right next to your work surface, and quickly pick up and move whatever you’re working on. Pat it back into shape if necessary. Hope this helps – PJH

    Reply
  8. AJ

    Now THIS is what I think I would like this soup to be like. I’ve the “traditional” type in all the canned varieties and I’ve thought it
    could be a lot better. I like my thinner soups to be a little “heartier without going all the way over to a “stew”. We’d probably have the
    soft breadsticks with it since it’s a favorite

    Reply
  9. Lish

    I love Italian Wedding soup, and this is almost exactly how I make it. Mind you I am not at all Italian, so I don’t worry about authenticity since I have no one to tell me how to do it right. I watched Rachael Ray make it once years and years ago and I adjusted the recipe to make it how I like it. I always saute some celery with the onion and carrots since I always put celery in soup. And I always use fresh baby spinach, usually because it is on sale in the large plastic container. The first couple of days I make spinach salad, and then I make soup with what is left. Sometimes I even use whole wheat orzo. This soup is so comforting and filling. Love it. Can’t wait to try the rolls too. They look great. I love making braided loaves. The three strand braid I have mastered, but any suggestions for the 4 strand braid like I’ve seen on most challah recipes? I can not seem to get that.

    Lish, take a look at our challah blog for illustrated instructions for a 4-strand braid… You didn’t think we’d let you down here, did you? :) PJH

    Reply
  10. Erin in PA

    I have been eyeing up that Scali bread since you posted it on the Baker’s Banter the first time… this soup recipe looks great! I agree with the weird weather in the Northeast- yesterday it was in the 50’s – by Friday it’s supposed to be in the 20’s! I have been in a “soup” mood, especially for lunch these days. Yummy!

    Reply
  11. Justin (Warwick, RI)

    Thank you so much for the intro about “other peoples’ memories” of recipes. It’s so absolutely true and I was happy to see someone voice the opinion. We all forget, sometimes, that all of our family recipes are unique and meaningful (and tasty) within their own context.

    For example, I have a cookbook published by the American-French Genealogical Society filled with family recipes. In the book, there are no less than 10 or 20 recipes for Tourtiere (French Meat Pie) and every one of them is very different.

    Of course, I like mine the best. :-) It’s not a recipe from my own family, but it was handed-down to me by a wonderful French lady and I hold both the recipe and her dear to my heart.

    Incidentally, Rhode Island has one of the better known “Little Italy’s” in the country, so we’re pretty familiar with Wedding Soup around here (even to us Canadian French folks). Around here, you’d find the meatballs even smaller (think marbles) and I think you’d more commonly find escarole instead of spinach in it. Then again, there’s always “Chicken and Escarole” soup and “Venus DeMilo” soup (which I’m pretty sure is similar to Chicken Escarole but named after a local restaurant that serves it).

    Ah, Justin – you’re so right. Marble-sized meatballs are more traditional, but I just get too crazed making ALL those teeny-tiny meatballs… and yes, escarole is very traditional, but I figured spinach was much easier for folks to get. And I hear you about R.I. – I lived there for four years, in college. BUDDY!!!!!!! (You know who I mean…) :) PJH

    Reply
  12. Chris

    We are going to have very cold below zero temps the next 5 days or so. This recipe is just what I needed. I love to make rolls so that will be on the menu also. Thanks for the great recipes.

    Reply
  13. Daria

    We like thick soup in our house – the spoon usually stands up in it. This looks absolutely perfect! And the Scali bread – OMG I MUST make that soon!

    This recipe is very similar to the one I’ve made up over the years for Italian Wedding Soup. I use ground chicken to make the meatballs (usually with bread crumbs and a tad more cheese and somewhat more garlic all around). I also cook my meatballs on the broiler pan in the oven, so that any fat just drains away into the lower pan. Mmmm… I gotta get cooking!

    Reply
  14. Sue

    I’d like to make this soup in advance and freeze it. Do you think it would freeze okay?
    It would freeze beautifully – just make sure the soup is thorougly cooled before you freeze it. Molly @ KAF

    Reply
  15. Susan D. Dickes

    Dear Erin in Pa (and everyone else-I had never even heard of Scali bread until the first posting of the recipe on the blog by PJ. I now describe it as kind of “Italian Challah”. I HAD to make it immediately and my hubby loves it. It has become a regular in our house – very, very tasty. Thanks, PJ. Susan

    Reply
  16. Suzanne

    Great minds must think alike!! This is very similar to my ‘Italian Wedding Soup’, except I use fresh garlic in my meatballs instead of powder & I sautee the minced onion & garlic for a few minutes before I add it to the rest of the mix. I think it makes the flavors more mellow. Fresh baby spinach, added at the end & I boil my ditalini separately & serve it, buttered, in a warm bowl alongside of the soup & plenty of grated parmesan cheese. I just made a pot last week, so I’ll have to come up with another soup to make because I just have to try the scali bread recipe right away! I’m up here in the ‘Great White North’ too…not looking forward to what’s coming this weekend…hmmmmm, maybe I’ll make a pot of Potato Leek soup with bacon…

    Oh, boy, Suzanne… does that ever sound good, ALL of it. I love the idea of serving the pasta separately. Now I have to make this again- PJH

    Reply
  17. Erin

    Great and timely – thank you. Despite my name, I was raised by Italians who hail from Naples. My grandmother’s generation made wedding soup for most family celebrations, and to be sure there was a contest always among the sisters (there were four of them) for the best soup. My grandmother, of course, asserted that hers was best. The major reason she felt hers was that she used her own chicken stock rather than canned broth/stock. In fact, this point became family legend at her favorite sister’s funeral mass: the priest was talking about what made my Aunt Carmela special, and he noted that many said she made the best wedding soup. There and then, and well into her 80s, my grandmother shouted, “Bull%#*&! She used canned stock!” Certainly that was much needed comic relief at an otherwise sad occasion. We just buried my grandmother on 1/12/2010, well into her 95th year, and in celebration my brother, mother and I prepared her wedding soup, fresh stock (juiced-up a bit by my mother’s secret ingredient… a little yellow food coloring to make it look more “chickeny”). So, go ahead and honor my Nana – make your own stock!

    What a wonderful, touching story, Erin – B*#$%%^ and all! I can see my grandma-in-law having done that, too. And yes, homemade stock is good and quite easy; I make it regularly. And next time I’ll think of your Nana… Thanks for sharing – PJH

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  18. John Martin

    My nonna, Nicholina Maria, had a wonderfully pithy saying she used when people gave a know-it-all opinion. Unfortunately, I can’t repeat it here in English or Italian. But it is really funny and to the point. I use it under my breath often. We use endive here in Colorado instead of spinach. Great recipe!

    Reply
  19. Cathi Giacopuzzi Beery

    I make my meatballs, shape them and place them uncooked on cookie sheets lined with parchment and freeze them. Once frozen, I place the meatballs in a freezer bag. Each time I make soup, I take use only the amount of meatballs I need. This cuts my soup making time in half and the meatballs keep their shape. You could probably freeze baked meatballs for later use, too!

    Reply
  20. kathi

    It’s always soup weather in Montana, and it is snowing on top of the three feet we got over the weekend. It is always good to find a new recipe, and this one looks great!
    One question on the Scali rolls: It appears in the pics that you left your ‘starter’ in the metal mixing bowl overnite. Could this give me fits, should I use a non-reactive bowl? Or am I making more work than needed? I’m all about fewer dirty dishes.
    This is not a sourdough starter so the metal bowl will work just fine! Joan D@bakershotline

    Reply
  21. Great-grandma Bm

    Marianna and PJH, I’m with you. Where is it written in stone that breakfast must be oatmeal or corn flakes or eggs? Pizza, soup, white-box-leftovers from last night’s restaurant dinner . . . they are all fair game for my breakfast. Diversity is the spice of my life. And a new meal-in-a bowl to try. A blessed day to all.

    Reply
  22. Laura

    Ditto to all that Pam Baker (January 25 entry) wrote!!! It would certainly seem that the filters of manners, civility, common sense, and respect for fellow human beings are notably absent from a portion of the population. I admire the KAF writers in taking the high road with rudeness in the blogs. I suspect that many of your readers are as drawn as I am to the conversational style of writing as well as the fabulous recipes (scali rolls, for example) and baking expertise. I just wish I could keep up with making all blog recipes!

    I have done the meatballs for Italian wedding soup both in the broth and baked in the oven in advance. My family prefers the baked method to get the meatballs browned and firm; comes down to what you have time to do and your taste buds!

    Laura, I like them both ways, too. I find it easiest to just cook the meatballs right in the soup; but I find it makes the soup a tad greasy, though some (actually, many) I’ve served it too interpret this as “richness” – to each his own. I think next time I’ll simmer/steam the meatballs in about an inch of water (is that braising?), which is what I do for spaghetti sauce. Thanks for your thoughts here – PJH

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  23. Jennifer

    I’ve been meaning to look for a recipe for italian Wedding Soup. My husband and I always get it when we go to the Spaghetti Warehouse. We haven’t had a chance to go recently so I might have to try this. Thanks for posting it.

    Reply
  24. theshck

    this looks terrific and might become my birthday dinner later this winter… yum!

    in agreement with some other folks, i use ground chicken in any meatballs i make, not so much for health (i’m a big beef and pork fan) but if it’s dark meat it tastes great. i like it better than beef and pork, and it’s very tender. people always ask what i did to make the meatballs taste so good, it makes that much of a difference.

    i also bake my meatballs on cookie cooling racks placed in baking sheets to allow fat to drain off. this also helps alleviate flat spots on the bottom and allows browning all the way around.

    thanks kaf for all the truly great recipes. i’ve enjoyed many and plan to continue doing so!

    Reply
  25. Marcia

    I LOVE your blog! My mother wasn’t a good cook and I really don’t have any recipes to compare things to, so I’m the person in our family starting traditions. What a better place to get recipes from — King Arthur’s!! Thanks for all your wonderful ideas and thoughts. Many of us appreciate all you do.

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  26. Olivia

    Lovely!!! The authentic way, is to make the meatballs out of beef, pork and veal, to lighten them up a bit, and instead of spinach it’s made with escarole. Try those two changes for the authentic recipe, otherwise you did a great job. I intend to try it with spinach and without the veal. We also never brown the meatballs to keep them light in color. I’ll also try browning next time.

    Thanks, Olivia – I really need to try the escarole, esp…. PJH

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  27. StaceyT

    Well, I came to the blog because when I clicked on the link for the Italian Wedding Soup mix from the King Arthur Flour email it said “just add broth, egg whites, veggies, and sausage.” And I thought, sausage? Surely that must be a misprint. But here you’re making it with meatballs, as I expected. Do you think the email had a misprint? Just curious. Soup looks wonderful and I was just saying that I needed a good recipe for Italian wedding soup. Love the blog!

    Little mixup, Stacey – the email is connecting to our Italian Wedding Soup MIX – and the recipe link down below was supposed to conect to the soup, but it connected to the rolls instead. So the only way to get to the soup recipe is through this blog – thanks for following the crumb trail and finding us! PJH

    Reply
  28. Ricardo Neves Gonzalez - Petrópolis - R.J. - BRAZIL

    Itś not time here to HOT soups. I prefer to try my Gazpacho soup of fresh tomatoes and iĺl give a try to this recipe in next winter here!!
    But anyway, i loved the recipes and still waiting the Jewish Strudel. Any HELP you need?
    Byeee!

    Made the Jewish Strudel today, Ricardo – superb. I used bananas, pineapple, and lots of cinnamon. Not sure when I’ll post it, but it’s waiting in the wings – thanks so much for the inspiration, photo, and recipe! PJH

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  29. Rita Battaglini

    Wow! What great looking recipes. Can’t wait to try my luck. My mother-in-law only used veal for the meatballs and they are super tiny. It takes me one hour plus just to roll them, but I’d be in big trouble if I tried to sneak in the bigger ones. The soup looks great. Thanks for all your great recipes..

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  30. Sue E. Conrad

    Hey, P.J.!

    You just kick-started my memory chip!!!! I have a recipe for Italian Wedding Soup that I have yet to make……….hm-m-m-m, guess it’s about time to do so. Florida isn’t exactly soup central although with the winter we’ve had so far, I have made a couple – clam “chowdah” (a nod to my N.E. roots!!) and a chicken soup. Rather than canned broth, I use Kitchen Basics chicken stock; makes all the difference in the world!! That scali looks absolutely dee-lish as well! It’s supposed to rain this weekend, and I can’t think of anything more satisfying than spending time in the kitchen.

    Thanks again for yet another entertaining as well as informative blog…..and don’t let those naysayers get you down!!!!!

    Hi Sue – you’ve had your share of cold weather this winter, I understand – hope things are warming up for you now (though not enough to make it too hot for soup and chowdah…) I’ll keep that Kitchen Basics stock in mind. Thanks for joining in the discussion! PJH

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  31. Angela NC

    I am new to your blog. Thanks ever so much for sharing this information. The photos are super helpful with regard to the bread making. Like many of your readers I add my own international additions to base recipes having lived in a multi-cultural foodie family all my life. Recently, I took a bread making class (I ADORE good bread) which started me on the task of learning how to make good bread, having abandoned the effort years ago.The KA website has been very educational and introduced me to good bread-making flour. I have my work mates fired up about bread making and have passed on the KA catalogues to them. They will no doubt monitor your blog.
    With regard to negative comments, ignore them. There are negative people everywhere! Positive, constructive hints are much more CIVIL and pleasant to read. Again, thanks and keep up the good work.

    Angela, thanks so much for joining the community here. And for your kind words. Looking forward to hearing from you here again- PJH

    Reply
  32. Kristin

    Can this soup be frozen and reheated later? Also, thanks for all the great work you do!

    Absolutely, Kristin – just like any soup. Non-cream soups do better frozen, and this falls into that category. PJH

    Reply
  33. Tena

    I make Italian Wedding Soup once in a blue moon, mostly because, although I regularly make meatballs, I don’t usually make them small enough for soup. Yes, the Italians side of my family believes in bite-sized ones for soup, too.
    On my Mom’s side of the family (that’s the NON-Italian side), we have a family reunion in late summer or early fall. It bounces around from place to place as various family members host, and everybody brings pot luck. One year, I brought the makings of Italian Wedding soup. I make my own stock frequently, and usually have a good supply in my freezer, so I packed a couple of quart containers. I made the meatballs at home and froze them as well. I pre-chopped the veggies and put them in zipper bags – I’m addicted to escarole and wasn’t sure I could find it in the middle of Pennsylvania. I put my dried spices in a plastic film canister, paced up my favorite soup pot and utensils, and a crock pot to keep it warm during the party. The aunt who was hosting that year got the use of her church’s social hall, so about half an hour or so before the party, I got to work and saute’d the carrots, onions and celery (optional, but it tastes so much better with celery, I think). I cooked the pasta in the stock, added everything else (the escarole only takes a couple of minutes to wilt down nicely) and transfered it to the crock pot.
    It was a big hit. I had requests for the recipe for months. It’s one of those things I mostly do on the fly, so I had to make it again at home and measure everything out so I could write it out.

    Thanks for sharing your story here, Tena – love the idea of bringing all the fixin’s, then doing the soup in a crockpot. Perfect! I’ll keep that in mind next time I head south to my in-laws… PJH

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  34. Jennifer

    Stupid question:

    If I bake the meatballs, how long and at what temperature should I cook them?

    No questions are stupid, Jennifer – ever! Ask away. Depends exactly how big you make the meatballs. Try 350°F for 20 minutes, if you make 1″ balls; check to see if they’re cooked through. Remember they’ll continue to cook a bit in the soup, so don’t let them dry out. Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  35. Jenny (Perth) Australia

    I read all your recipes and only wish I could access your products here in sunny (100+deg weather this this time of year). I lived in Michigan during the 70s and loved the availability of so many different products. With regard to comments like “That’s not the correct way”my sister in law used to tell me this until I told her there is more than one way to make things as different regions do things differently. This soup and bread menu is one I will definitely make when our winter hits.

    Jenny Holyross
    Perth
    Western Australia

    Jenny, thanks so much for connecting here – 100°F, WHEW! We’re having a heatwave, too – 30°F! Hope you enjoy the soup when it gets cold – July? :) PJH

    Reply
  36. KimberlyD

    I wish I could make this soup, for it is one of my favorites, but I am the only one who likes it, so I will have to stick with the canned kind or when I fine it being served at a resturant. Or the next time my church has soup supper, and I will make it than. If I lived closer to Vermont I could come over and have a bowl with that yummy looking bread which I might make for my white bean & ham soup. We grow white beans here in the “thumb” of Michigan and its one of the local favorites, we even have a bean festival during Labor day weekend where they give out free bean soup! LOL!

    LOVE bean soup, Kimberly. Thanks for reminding me, I’d best save the next ham bone that comes along… When you’re ever over this way – let me know. I’ll make a pot of soup for us to share. :) PJH

    Reply
  37. ACN Tan (Singapore)

    The bread and soup look and sound fabulous. I can’t wait to try out the recipes despite our humid weather in sunny Singapore. I couldn’t agree more with all the other readers that civility disappears with anonymity. Bloggers blog to share their interests, passion and exchange information for their chosen area so I say a big “Thanks” to the KAF team, ignore the nay sayers and Blog On….:)

    We sincerely appreciate all points of view. There is no growth where there are no questions or dialogue! Thanks for sharing yours. Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  38. Kilty

    The Wedding Soup.
    It is exactly as I make and my mum and grandmum made it. Sometimes they put two beaten eggs in the nearly finished product and that added another layer of flavor.
    I leave them out for cholesterol concerns.
    The bread was so beautiful but I did not make it.
    I do bread all the time in the baking machine and this just intimidated me.
    It was so beautiful. If would love to have some with wonderful Olive Oil to dip it in and then add some Parmesan cheese and broil. Heaven.
    Thanks for the recipes,

    Thanks for sharing your family variations for this recipe. Follow the step by step directions for shaping the scali rolls or bread and you’ll be impressed with your hidden skills! Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  39. Tonia

    What a fantastic way to make “braided” rolls! When I saw the picture I just thought were fancy knots, then read the post and saw the picture — way cool!!! Thinking of when I could make them and can’t wait. Soup looks yummy too; out here in the Pacific NW (central WA state) we’ve had a warm spell for the last few days (mid to upper 30s), but it’s still soup weather!

    Glad the blog and pictures helped ease any anxiety about what appeared to be a challenging braid technique. Our weather is on a roller coaster from 40’s one day to single digits another – it may be soup season until June! Irene @ KAF

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  40. Ritch in Fitchburg

    I was able to print a” printer friendly “version of the Scali formula on 2 pages,, minus all the cool pics, but the I W soup has no such link, and way too many pic pages for printing.
    Is this an oversight, or just the nature of the blog format? I’m a first time blogger to ANY site so I’m not too savvy in blogging.
    I often print from your site to add to my collection…I must however find my early to mid 70’s copy of The Professional Chef, (my textbook in cooking school) so I can find their version of “Torte de Ricotta”. Many variations now exist that remind me of my first encounter some 38 years ago….a MUST re-make, and perhaps with a “makeover”!

    Thanx for the recipes memories!

    Sorry about the confusion with recipes and printing. The blog entries have a link to just the recipe (without the blog step by step and pictures). Look for the recipe title in red, underlined, and that will be a link to the recipe. You can get a printable version there for use in the kitchen. Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  41. Mary Ellen

    Hello everyone @ KAF! As usual, yet another WONDERFUL recipe combo of wedding soup & bread! As we say in the Pittsburgh area, “yunz” are the best! I’m going to try the bread recipe….have already made wedding soup in some form or another many times….but this one sounds very good, also. I like the mix & marry of the veggies & pasta in the broth along with the little meatballs. Just to throw in my 2 cents….you can make the meatballs with turkey if you like, but please, add a little FRESH flat leaf parsley, chopped, to the meatball mix. It gives such a fresh, bright flavor to the overall end product and lightens the whole dish. I’ve even heard of adding a few grates of lemon zest – not much – just a little to the meat mixture…also very good! Being Northern Italian, we have always used “pastina” in the soup…little pearls of pasta…I’m sure you’ve seen them or heard of them, available just about anywhere in the pasta aisle of any grocery store……just a bit more “traditional” in the way of wedding soup…perhaps your bloggers would like to try this variation as well. Overall, I can’t think of a better meal on a cold, wet day in PA than soup & bread. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this website! So wonderful to read and enjoy anytime…everyone @ KAF does such a fabulous job! I’d be lost without “yunz”! God bless! :0)

    Wow. Thanks for your fresh suggestions! These ingredients will make a big difference in the taste. Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  42. FRAN S

    I JUST WANT TO SAY THAT I VERY SELDOM FOLLOW A RECIPE EXACTLY (UNLESS IT IS FOR BAKED GOODS AND EVEN THEN I’M A BIT OF A REBEL) TO ME ONE OF THE JOYS OF COOKING IS MY OWN PERSONAL EXPRESSION AND INTERPRETATION. I ALWAYS TAKE A LITTLE BIT OF THIS AND A PINCH OF THAT FROM NUMEROUS SOURCES, AND ADD A TOUCH OF MY OWN INSTINCTS TO A RECIPE. LIKE YESTERDAY I WANTED TO MAKE CHICKEN FAJITAS. I CHECKED SEVERAL INTERNET SOURCES AND JOTTED DOWN SOME OF THE BASIC INGREDIENTS TO BE SURE I HAD THEM ON HAND. I THEN WENT TO MY KITCHEN AND GOT CREATIVE WITH GREAT RESULTS. (I’M NOT ALWAYS THIS LUCKY) I APPLAUD YOUR SUCCESSFUL DIVERSITY HERE WITH THE SOUP. I CAN’T WAIT TO TRY IT, AND ADD MY OWN TWIST.

    We’re looking forward to hearing about your variations! I admit I may be a recipe slave most of the time, but love to hear about other bakers successful products and take on a recipe. Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  43. Jackie

    My question concerns the rising time for the starter and the bread. Overnight temps in my house hover around 60 degrees, and I don’t think that is sufficient for rising. Daytime can get up around 67, depending on how much wood I put on the fire. My kitchen is normally cool, so what suggestions do you have for me to get my bread and starter to rise appropriately? I’ve found my bread is always flat, even if I rise it overnight in the refrigerator for those recipes.
    You can use a bowl of warm water in your microwave to raise the temperature. But a long cool rise is nice ane will develp nice flavor. You say you are experiencing problems with flat bread–call our bakers hot line to help you. Joan D@bakershotline

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  44. FRANS

    Just a little tip to pass along… whenever I add pasta or rice or even barley to soup I will pre-cook it seperately, then add it to the broth. That way it does not soak up all the broth from the soup. After a closer look at the recipe I don’t think I’ll change much but I do like the tip about adding fresh parsley to the meatballs. I might try a little fresh cilantro as I happen to have some on hand. As soon as I get to the store after work, soups on!

    Reply
  45. Shirley

    Hi, I am new to your blog and I’m so happy to have found the recipe for this braided bread/rolls. I was wondering what type of mesh surface that is that the braids lying on? I’m Italian and we use escarole and bite-sized meatballs made a ground beef, veal, and pork base when we make the Italian Wedding soup. Many times we also add Cannelini beans to the soup.

    White kidney beans, right? Great idea! And I like the mix of meats – it makes a more subtly flavored meatball. I’m braiding the rolls/loaf on our silicone rolling mat, perfect for keeping the counter clean as you work.

    Reply
  46. Megan

    I just wanted to share my favorite soup tip. I usually make a pot or two of soup each Sunday. After it cools (and I’ve eaten a bowl) I transfer it into small storage containers (glad, rubbermaid, ziploc, etc) about the size of a bowl of soup. Then I freeze them. During the winter I keep lots of these individual “bowls” of frozen soup stashed in the freezer. They make perfect lunches at work or dinners when I’m tired from work. Just pop it in the microwave and its done. It is THE most convenient, no fuss, homecooked meal!

    I’m with you, Megan – I do this with the small, round microwave-safe dishes that Chinese takeout comes in. They’re the right size for a generous bowl of soup, and they stack in the freezer beautifully. AND they all come with their own snap-on plastic lids – it’s like free Tupperware! Thanks for reminding me of this – PJH

    Reply
  47. BaschaW

    I have to admit that I cannot stand spinach… as soon as it gets creased or warm… /blech/ but I really REALLY want to try this soup. I was thinking of halving the onion, and adding a leek, instead… and then I saw the postings on escarole and endive (I know nothing about them, so will start my Google research shortly) My question to you is: can you think of anything else or more conventional that I could try to substitute with? I live on an island in Alaska, so we don’t have much variety in the produce department.
    Thanks!
    – BaschaW

    You could just leave the greens out entirely. Or sauté the onion till it’s golden brown, leaving it in strips or 3/4″ or so squares, rather than chopping it up. It would add some visual interest and, of course, lots of good flavor. Perhaps add some chopped flat-leaf parsley, too. PLEASE feel free to experiment! That’s so much of what baking and cooking are all about… Enjoy – PJH

    Reply
  48. FRAN S

    I’d like to pose a question to other bloggers. I always scoop my meatballs with various sizes of cookie scoops for uniformity and I always bake them on a cookie sheet. But the question I have is do you leave the scooped meatball as is or do you roll them in your hands to make them smoother and “evener”? Maybe I am being too anal but I think they are a little too “shaggy” if l don’t roll them.
    I made a huge batch of meatballs last night as I bought over seven pounds of meat on sale. I was a little skeptical of the bread and milk and they smelled a little strange when thay were baking but they came out very tender and yummy. I made tiny ones for the soup and large ones for saghetti or meatball sandwiches. I keep them frozen in big baggies for when ever I need them.
    I did follow your recipe with two exceptions. I sauted my onions before adding them to the meat mixture, and I added a little freshly chopped cilantro. Tonight I’ll finish making the soup.
    Lastly, someone mentioned ground dark meat chicken, where do you get that? Do you grind it yourself? I have never seen that in the store but it sounds like it would make great meatballs.
    Thanks!
    Ground chicken makes great meatballs – just make sure not to overcook them. My supermarket keeps the it in the freezer section with the specialty meats. Molly @ KAF

    I roll the meatballs after scooping if I want to impress someone, Fran; otherwise, they look a bit shaggy around the edge, but fairly round (with flat bottoms), and I just leave them as is, beauty being skin deep… :) PJH

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  49. Chris

    I made the soup and rolls for dinner last and they are both keeper recipes. I have never made bread with a sponge before but it was great. I used fresh spinach and made half the recipe of the soup. On a cold night it was the best. I made all the meatballs and froze some for later. They were nice and soft and I did bake them for 15 minutes so there would be less fat in the soup. Thank you for the recipes.

    Reply
  50. Tamatha

    I made both the soup and rolls for dinner last night, and just stole a bowl for lunch-they were both terrific-as a first time finder of your blog I felt like I hit recipe payday!
    I did make an exception- there seemed like there was a lot of adding ingredients, simmering, adding ingredients…after sauteing the onion and carrots I added everything except the pasta and simmered it all for 30 minutes, then added the pasta for an extra 12. It seemed a lot easier (and definitely faster), although having not tasted the original don’t know if there was a degradation of flavors.
    Also, my bread was getting toasty after 20 minutes, thankfully I checked on it…
    Thanks for the wonderful recipes!

    Glad it all worked for you, Tamatha. And adaptations are what cooking is all about – we all tweak recipes to suit ourselves. I’m betting your version of the soup was easier and just as good – I’ll have to try it next time. PJH

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  51. Jeri

    We had a surprise dump of snow today, and I’m about the ONLY one who wasn’t in school, as I had an appt this morning. Hooray! So I baked your cinnamon raisin bread for breakfast tomorrow, and thought I’d try the soup for dinner.

    Yummm. I must admit, I ate at least 7 of the meatballs before they even got in the soup. I used ground turkey breast instead of the beef, and baked them in the oven because they hold together better. I use a scoop and don’t roll them after. They’re supposed to look home made! : ) I also didn’t have any orzo on hand, but I have a Israeli couscous mix from Trader Joe’s that has (large) couscous, orzo and a few other things. It was fine. Will definitely make this again.

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  52. marilyn

    Can’t wait to make the Wedding Soup. The bread looks like a winner too.
    I make crossiants almost monthly with the dark chocolat au pain sticks. It has been cold and rainy in Ca. this winter so the oven has worked overtime. Thanks again for your recipes. I use a sponge with my crossiants, this way I can use less butter and they taste the same

    Reply
  53. Magart

    We are knee deep in snow here in the South but what do we care!!! I made both the soup and the bread today and are they ever wonderful. That is possibly the best IWS I have ever tasted, I’m not Italian tho so what do I know! It was fun to make and everything turned out as advertised. Thanks KAF for the great website and blogs.

    You don’t have to be any particular ethnicity to make and enjoy anything at all, Magart – right? I cook “Chinese food” terribly and still eat it with gusto. It’s the creation, the happiness of sharing with friends and family, and the delicious taste that keep us coming back into the kitchen. Thanks for sharing your success! PJH

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  54. auntliv

    our German version of wedding soup is similar. Cook a big chicken for the broth. Add the cut up chicken to the soup along with the meatballs. we never add a pasta, and use escarole. Just serve it with good crunchy bread.

    Reply
  55. Susan

    My daughter made the soup this weekend for another family. Of course we had to each have a bowl before passing it along. She (my dd) kept saying how good it smelled while it was cooking. I finally asked her if she had thought before she started making it if it would be good. She said, “No.” Well, my hunch was correct in choosing this to make for others – it was very good. I’m sitting here wishing I’d saved out another bowl for myself. And, yes, I frequently try a completely untested-by-me recipe to give to someone or to take to a fellowship meal. THIS time it worked. It doesn’t always.

    You’re brave, Susan – but why not, eh? When things don’t work out, we can laugh about them together. Glad this one was a hit – PJH

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  56. Christine

    Made this for dinner tonight and what a great pot of soup it was! I thought about buying pre-made meatballs because I was short on time and starving. Sure glad I made your meatballs! My husband said they were some of the best tasting meatballs he’s ever had. We both found the soup to be nutritionally balanced and absolutley “soul satisfying”. It was well worth the time and effort, especially since there is enough for the rest of the week. I am so pleased with it, that I e-mailed it to my Mom. Thank you and I’ll be back to check out more recipes.

    Thanks for checking in here, Christine. That’s one of the nice things about this soup – it makes a LOT. Glad your husband gave a thumbs-up to the meatballs – they’re a real “go to” dish for me. PJH

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  57. Tracey

    Made the rolls yesterday – my first-ever foray into baking bread. Success!!!!

    My rolls did not come out quite as pretty as yours, but they were better than any scali bread I can recall. My boyfriend was quite impressed. All rolls were devoured within 24 hours – YUM!

    Tracey, I’m THRILLED! Congratulations on joining the wonderful world of bread-baking. And successful the first time out – you ROCK! PJH

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  58. marie loftain

    Hi – can you please tell me where to click to print out the recipes for your scali rolls and italian wedding soup. I am anxious to try them both. Thanks for the good things you send just please tell me how to print them out. My thanks, Marie

    Right at the end of the blog, Marie – just after the pictures end. But here they are again: Scali Bread/Rolls, and Italian Wedding Soup. PJH

    Reply
  59. N Gudgell/Scottsdale AZ

    I would like to make the soup. Can the frozen spinach be defrosted chopped up as fine as can be? I have a husband and 12yr old daughter, that will refuse to eat it if there is visable spinach.
    They need not know what is in my cooking:) I hide flax meal in their cookies and other baked goods, it is good for them and again they need the healthy stuff too.

    Sure, do whatever you want with the spinach to disguise it. Defrost in the microwave; squeeze dry; process in a foo processor. Or perhaps proces first, then squeeze dry… PJH

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  60. angela

    Love the bread and soup. When you say a pinch of yeast do you mean a pinch or packet? Can you use water instead of eggwhite for sesame seeds?

    Angela, by a pinch, I mean grab some yeast between your thumb and first finger – a real pinch. Water won’t hold the seeds n nearly as well; they’ll stick at first, but fall of easily once it’s baked. But sure, if you can’t have egg, go for water (or milk). PJH

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  61. SeattleSuze

    Oh, for some escarole! Couldn’t find it, but we made the soup with ground turkey and spinach instead. It was delicious, more fragrant and tasty the longer it sat in the kitchen. We stopped after three bowls and there’s still plenty left for the rest of the week. Next, the scali rolls. Thank you so much for the effort you put into making these wonderful recipes and photographs. You’ve got us spending more time in the kitchen together, inspired to bake and cook, not to mention eating like royalty!

    And thanks for connecting here, SS – glad our recipes are inspiring some “quality time” in the kitchen! PJH

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  62. gail frascinella

    The Scali bread looks wonderful. I’m just getting back into baking bread and my skills are pretty rusty. It’s difficult to find authentic Italian bread in New Hampshire. We usually stock up when we visit family in NY and Jersey. Oh yes! Dozens and dozens of loaves of scali bread. Wrapped and ready for the freezer. The soup, or the pasta has always been a thinnly veiled excuse to eat that particular bread – crunchy on the outside,soft and tender inside and loaded with sesame seeds. It’s always the same at the end of the meal, coffee and Regina cookies, good conversation, and watching adult and child alike licking their fingertip to snag the last of the table scattered sesame seeds. YUM. I “created” a version of IWS when my kids were little although I didn’t know it. We just called it meatball soup; my youngest called it The Italian Flag soup because of the colors; red tomatoes, green string beans and the white of the tortellinis. Aside from the meatballs which were made ahead and frozen, this was a fast half hour soup made with what was on hand and never the same way twice. Onions, garlic, carrots, mushrooms minced and sauted. Beef , chicken stock, sometimes mixed; water to stretch. A bay leaf or two, Italian spices. A can or two of tomatoes; Italian style, stewed, even Muir Glens Fire Roasted. All good. Then comes the meatballs, baked; green beans and tortellini simmered til tender. Salt and pepper to taste and a good Parmesan to top to finish. Now it will have your Scali bread to round out the meal. Sounds wonderful! I’ve already started the sponge. Just a few stray thoughts. Use boneless, skinless chicken thighs for the dark meat for your meatballs. Frozen kale and escarole can usually be found somewhere near the spinach. And for FRAN s; cilantro and meatballs? Really? I know it’s the most used herb in the world but that’s mostly Asian and Latin. Italian meatballs, not so much. Now I’m a big advocate of different strokes for different folks and if you really,really like cilantro – go for it. There’s an I Hate Cilantro website. That’s where you’ll find me! I tried to be fair, even made room in the garden for several years. Couldn’t give it away. Everyone thought it tasted like soap. The closest I get to thinking it might be ok is when I mix it with a bunch of mint. Cilantro, mint and meatball? Again not so much. But like I said, go for it. You just never really know how it will turn out. Thankyou KAF for the great recipes and this great site. I’m always amazed and inspired by the wonderful stories and this great group of cooks and bakers. Thankyou!!

    Gail, this is literally food for thought – love your long post here. Thanks so much for connecting – and I agree, each to his own. There are NO FOOD POLICE out there… PJH

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  63. Mary Ellen

    This soup is so good and so easy to make! I made it last weekend using ditalini for the pasta and fresh kale chopped finely and it was a big hit with my family. After reading the comments on the cooking methods for the meatballs I ended up frying up a panful on the stove and dropping the rest uncooked in the soup to cook–best of both worlds. The soup wasn’t greasy (I used 86% Angus beef) and the meatballs tasted great both ways.
    This recipe is a keeper!!

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  64. JH

    This sounds like a good soup recipe, and will try it. However the bread really sounds good to me. I would like to copy the step by step directions, but would rather buy a cookbook with step by steps. Is there one out there? Always find great info. from KA! Thank you.

    Sorry, JH, don’t know of a step-by-step cookbook; I haven’t looked at cookbooks in so long, though (aside form our own), that there could very well be something out there that’s perfect – I just don’t know about it. Did you check Amazon? Also, our onlilne recipes at kingarthurflour.com/recipes have easy step by step directions. Enjoy – PJH

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  65. Sarah

    Hi there! This soup recipe looked fabulous and it did not disappoint, perfect for the Blizzard of 2010! My only variation was using chicken pesto sausage from Whole Foods as the meatball meat due to the Blizzard and it was great. I love Italian Wedding Soup and this has been the best yet. I will definitely be following the blog for more recipes!

    Thanks for sharing your success, Sarah – PJH

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  66. Karen

    Finally got to make the soup-delicious! I made tiny meatballs with 90% lean beef -maybe 3/4″ each, and baked them on foil lined cookie sheets for 13 min at 400 degress. I needed to use 2 pans, the first pan I packed them pretty closely-the second they were more spread out and they stuck a little to the foil ( not enough grease to keep them from sticking I guess). So next time I’ll spray the pan with cooking spray. I also used fresh spinach and put it in the pot at the same time as the orzo. Next time I make this I may try to just spread the meat mixture 3/4″ thick or so and bake it like that-then just cut it up into small squares. No italians in my family-so no one will be shocked! : )

    Karen, I love that idea about cubing the meat – how about baking it as meatloaf then cutting it in cubes? It would be nice and juicy. Boy, great idea – thanks! PJH

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  67. Jess

    Thanks for the great recipe! I made the soup for dinner tonight, and doubled the meatball recipe to throw some in the freezer for spaghetti sauce. I used 2/3 lean ground beef and 1/3 93% lean ground turkey and it worked great. I baked them in the oven as suggested.

    The only adjustment I plan to make in the future is to thaw the spinach and squeeze it out before adding to the soup next time. My family are not as big fans of spinach as I am and they felt the broth tasted strongly of spinach. I quite liked it, but to mellow the spinach flavor next time, I figure thawing and squeezing it first should mellow it enough for their tastes.

    Overall great recipe that I plan to use again, and I am looking forward to trying the bread. You make that stuffed pizza yet, PJ? :)

    Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

    Glad the soup worked well for you, Jess. No, no pizza yet – I’ve been waylaid by the gluten-free launch we’re working on for March 1. But my deadline for copy is today, so hopefully I’ll be back in the kitchen tomorrow. Which reminds me, I’d better buy the meat for the sausage tonight – thanks for the nudge! :) PJH

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  68. Jess

    Another minor suggestion. If you are planning to make this soup to serve over several days, you might consider cooking the pasta separately and adding at time of service. After a day in the fridge, the pasta soaked up much of the broth and got a little too soft. It was still wonderful but almost more a pasta dish than soup on day two. I’m taking leftovers to work for lunch today, and looking forward to it!
    Thanks for the suggestion, Jess! Molly @ KAF

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  69. Nella

    I was raised on my mother’s wedding soup. She served this every Christmas. I have my mother’s original recipe and I have to say it is very very good. Better than the canned stuff, you hear that Campbells.

    Reply
  70. MICHELE

    THIS BREAD CAN ALMOST BE USED AS A JEWISH CHALLAH BREAD. IT LOOKS THE SAME WHEN BRAIDED. SOME PEOPLE ALOS USE POPPY SEEDS OR SESAME SEEDS.
    SO, YOU HAVE MANY OPETION WITH THIS BREAD.
    THE BASE OF THE SOUP CAN BE CHICKEN BROTH THAN THE REST CAN BE PASTINA AND ITALIAN PARSLEY AND THE REST TO THE TASTE OF THE PERSON (OPTIONAL).
    THIS IS ALL GREAT STUFF!
    I HAVE MADE IT!!
    GREAT WHEN IT IS COLD OUT!!

    Reply
  71. fran s

    To Gail in NH,
    I don’t know if you will read this at this point or not but I just want to say that the meatballs with cilantro came out great. I think the key is moderation. I have overdone it with the cilantro in some dishes and it just about ruins it. So I can see how some people would hate it.
    This soup was fantastic. It did make a very large batch so I was able to freeze several containers of it. I have one left that may just become dinner tonight. I too had a bit of trouble with the pasta sucking up the broth, even though I did initially cook it seperately. All I do is add some more broth and it stretches the soup even further.

    Reply
  72. Becca

    I found your blog through a friend’s blog and am so excited that I did! I have printed out several recipes and I think I am going to tackle the no-knead crusty white bread first. I’m so excited! I’m also dying to make the Italian wedding soup – I’m printing out the instructions so that I can make it to accompany the bread. I’m excited!

    Reply
  73. Catherine

    Hi! I’ve been looking to try to figure out how to make italian wedding soup. I tried it at work and it’s SO yummy! I just HAVE to learn how to make it. Your recipe looks like the best one I’ve found! Thanks for sharing! I have one question, though, is it possible to make this soup in a crock pot? If so, how would you do that? Thanks, in advance!
    I have not done that but what a good idea. I would put your raw or seared meatballs in first and just load the vegetables on top with the liquid. I might suggest you cook your pasta separately to be added once the soup is done. Or the pasta can be put into individual bowls first. Then, ladle the soup on top of the noodles. Done! Elisabeth @ KAF

    Reply
  74. willemscholtens

    This is a wonderful soup. It was a cold day today in Reno, and I made it along with the Scali bread for my family.

    The entire thing from the bread and the soup to the point of simmering actually took me about 5 hours, but Im sure I’ll get that down now that I’ve gone through the steps. The only thing that I would do different is to replace some of the chicken broth with water/white wine combination in order to add the wine flavor and decrease sodium a little, because it was just a little salty.

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  75. Michele

    Hi, I am so excited to try this recipe! I was planning on making this soup tonight. If you bake the meat balls in the oven for the soup, should you still simmer them in the pot for 30 minutes or will this overcook them?
    Well, if the meatballs are right out of the oven, just drop them into individual bowls and ladle the soup right over. If they were previously made, drop into the soup to rewarm until heated through. You could do this at a slow simmer. I love the soup season! Elisabeth

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  76. i_love_cooking11

    Wow this recipe looks great! I am always looking for new recipes…its like an adventure and I get to stay home and then eat it :) Anyways, would you suggest using low sodium broth for the soup since I would be using that much?

    I would certainly use low or no salt added broth for this recipe. That way you can choose how much salt you want!-Jon

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