Friday, June 10, 2011

Minestra Maritata (Italian Wedding Soup)

The first time I ever had Italian wedding soup was on a vacation
in Estes Park, Colorado at a little diner called the Mountain Home Cafe. This is the kind of restaurant that is normally known for it's fluffy morning omelets, hot coffee and cocoa for visiting vacationers, not it's evening soup.  However, we had just stumbled into town late in the evening and were starving as usual.  I don't remember anything else about that meal EXCEPT for the wonderful soup. I instantly fell in love with it and its little meatballs, rich broth and small delicate pasta.   

Fast forward about 6 years and I thought it's about time to try this soup at home!  My kids enjoy the tinned version but I knew homemade would be out of this world.  After settling on a recipe I decided to include something I read somewhere.  I drizzled 2 beaten eggs in to the broth after everything else was cooked.  It's just like you do when you are making Italian Egg Drop Soup (Straciatella).  It really sets it apart from other recipes.

I served it with garlic toast grilled cheese sandwiches that my
family could dunk into the rich broth.  I had a housefull of kids hanging around my house that night and everyone cleaned their bowls!  I'm afraid there's no going back to that tinned kind ever kids are so spoiled!  ;)

Italian Wedding Soup

adapted from

(printable copy)

1 lb. ground beef
2 eggs, slightly beaten
4 tablespoons breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon onion powder
12 cups chicken broth (about 7 cans)
4 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 cup orzo pasta, uncooked
2/3 cup carrots, finely chopped
2 eggs, whisked,to drizzle in broth
parmesan cheese, for garnish

In a medium bowl combine, meat, eggs, breadcrumbs, parmesan, basil and onion powder into 3/4" small meatballs.
In a large dutch oven, heat broth to boiling, stir in spinach, carrots, orzo and meatballs.
Return to a boil; reduce heat to medium.
Cook at a slow boil for 10 minutes or until orzo is tender.
Stir often to prevent sticking.  
Drizzle eggs into mixture and cook a couple of more minutes until
eggs are cooked.
Serve with additional Parmesan cheese for garnish.
Serves 6


  1. Italian wedding soup is one of my faves...I am dying over here!

  2. This is one of my all time favorite soups! Yours looks de-lish!

  3. I've never had this, but erevy time I see it, I want to make some. Yours looks delicious and maybe it will inspire me.


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