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Italian Wedding Soup

Author: PJ Hamel

Italian Wedding Soup Recipe

Packed with onions and carrots, spinach and pasta AND meatballs, this hearty soup is perfect for chilly winter nights. Serve a big bowl of wedding soup with crusty rolls for a satisfying meal.

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directions on our blog

At a glance

29 cups, about sixteen 12-ounce servings.
Nutrition information


Choose your measure:


  • 2 hamburger rolls or 4 slices white bread
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef or meatloaf mix
  • 1 medium onion, grated or very finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced; about 2 cups
  • 2 cups finely diced carrots, about 3 large carrots
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 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
  • 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 2/3 cups uncooked orzo, ditalini, or other small, roundish pasta


  1. To make the meatballs, combine the bread, egg, milk, and salt, stirring till everything is well moistened. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes to soften.
  2. Add the ground meat, onion, cheese, and herbs. Mix gently till thoroughly combined.
  3. 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.
  4. Get out a large pot, at least 6-quart capacity. Pour the 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. Add the garlic, and cook for another couple of minutes.
  5. Add the broth and herbs, bring to a simmer, and cook gently for 10 minutes.
  6. Add the 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. Help it along by breaking it up with a fork as it cooks.
  7. Gently drop the meatballs into the soup. Simmer the soup for 30 minutes or so, then stir in the pasta, cooking till it's al dente. For orzo, this will take about 8 minutes or so.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste; using reduced-salt canned chicken broth, we added 1 teaspoon salt; and 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper.
  9. Serve the soup garnished with freshly grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese.
  10. Yield: 29 cups, about sixteen 12-ounce servings.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 1 serving (374g)
  • Servings Per Batch 16
Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories 230
  • Calories from Fat 90
  • Total Fat 3.5g
  • Saturated Fat 3.5g
  • Trans Fat 0g
  • Cholesterol 40mg
  • Sodium 840mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 20g
  • Dietary Fiber 2g
  • Sugars 3g
  • Protein 15g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.