Italian Wedding Soup, this is a classic soup in my family, we always served it at our Christmas dinner. It is a great dish to serve during the cold winters up here in Maine, and my wife and daughter love it, so everybody wins!
The story of this soup is actually quite an interesting one! Italian-Americans do not call this soup “Wedding Soup” because it is served at weddings, but the name is actually a mistranslation of minestra maritata (“married soup”), which refers to the fact that the green vegetables and the meat go well together!
Normally, I make this with 50% ground lamb and 50% ground veal, but since we are trying to eat a bit leaner since the holidays, I have made this with ground turkey. You will probably also notice that I do not use egg in my meatballs, I just use olive oil instead, and a bit more cheese to bind. It is a rather simple preparation and a very comforting, light meal!
Italian Wedding Soup with Turkey Meatballs
- 1 whole breast of chicken (ribs and bones included)
- 1 carrot chopped into 3 pieces
- 1 stalk of celery chopped into 3 pieces
- ½ bunch of parsley stems
- 2 or 3 sprigs of thyme
- 1/2 white onion quartered
- 3 cloves garlic unpeeled
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 lb. Ground Turkey
- ½ white onion diced grated
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon rosemary
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley.
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup of acini di pepe
- ½ lb. chopped escarole.
- Put the chicken breast, carrot, celery, onion, garlic, bay leaf, peppercorns, salt in a stockpot with about 2 – 3 quarts of cold water and bring to a soft boil over medium heat.
- Take the parsley stems and the thyme and tie with some butchers twine and place in the stockpot.
- Once stock comes to a soft boil, reduce to a simmer.
- Simmer for about 40 minutes, until chicken is nice and tender. Add a bit more water if you need to keep about 3 quarts in the stockpot.
- To make the meatballs, take the ground turkey and the rest of the ingredients for the meatballs and mix well in a mixing bowl.
- Take a rounded tablespoon of meat for each meatball and form the ball with your hands and place on a large plate.
- Once the chicken is done, take out the chicken breast to cool and pass the stock through a medium mesh sieve into another stockpot.
- Reheat broth if you need to and then one-by-one, place the meatballs in the chicken broth.
- Once the meatballs begin to float, simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
- Put the acini di pepe pasta into the soup, simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Once the chicken breast is cool, shred the chicken and toss the ribs and bones. Then put the shredded chicken into the pot.
- Take the chopped escarole and wash well! Then put the escarole into the pot.
- Garnish with some more grated Parmigiano cheese and you are ready to serve!