When my husband leaves me here in the madness and goes to that place called “work” I always speak of, he runs our families business. We own a home renovation and handyman service. Most of our clients are residential ones, but we do service a couple of large restaurants in our area. Last winter my husband brought me home some soup from one of those restaurants. It was called, Italian Wedding Soup. I had never tried that kind before, but I really enjoyed the “marriage” of flavors with the meats, pasta and spinach.
The only thing I didn’t like was that I thought their version of the soup was a little thin. I like my soup with a lot of “stuff” in it. If that makes sense. So, I set out on a quest to make my own version of this soup. I have made this one several times and it has become a family favorite. It is really easy to make, just takes a little time to mix up and roll out the meatballs. You just want to make sure that you do not make your meatballs too big. You will also want to serve this with a loaf of some type of crusty bread. One of my favorite parts of this soup is sopping up the broth with the bread.
** You can make this gluten free by using Better Than Bouillon for your broth (or another GF version) and GF bread crumbs in place of the Panko.
Italian Wedding Soup
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 bay leaves, fresh or dried
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan/Romano Blend
- 1/2 cup Panko or plain bread crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 14 cups chicken broth, I used Better Than Bouillon
- 1-1/2 cups dried pasta, I use Ditalini but you can use whatever you want
- 6 oz bag of spinach, rough chopped (this ends up to be about 6 cups)
Combine the meat, egg, garlic, grated cheese, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, nutmeg in a medium size bowl. I use my hands for this so that I can make sure everything is very well combined.
Take a small amount of the mixture and roll between your hands to make a meatball about 1 to 1 ½ inches across. You want them fairly small so they are bite size. Once you get them rolled out, set them aside.
Add your broth to the pot, increase heat to high and bring the soup to a boil. When soup is at a full boil, drop in the meatballs. When they are in, give them a stir to make sure none of them have stuck to the bottom of the pot. I wait about 5 minutes to allow it to come back up to a boil, then add in the pasta. Be sure to give it another stir to make sure none of the pasta sticks on the bottom (you may need to do this a couple of times during cooking). Cover and simmer soup for about 10-12 minutes, or until pasta is cooked to your liking.
Uncover the pot and add in the chopped spinach and give it a good stir.