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Authentic Italian Wedding Soup

This Italian-American soup is made with chicken meatballs and vegetables, along with fregola sarda, a small round pasta which comes from Sardinia and is similar to Israeli couscous. The meatballs are made with ground chicken, breadcrumbs, parsley, parmesan, garlic and onion, and the soup itself is made with celery, carrot, baby spinach and chicken demi-glace (usually made with equal parts of veal stock and espagnole sauce, but you can buy it readymade since you only need a little for this recipe).

This soup actually got its name from a misunderstanding. In Italian it is called ‘minestra maritata’ which translates to mean ‘married soup’ not ‘wedding soup’ because it refers to the fact the meat and vegetables ‘marry together’ nicely and the flavors are good together, but switch the word marry for the word wed and, while the words might mean similar things to us, they do change the meaning of the soup name! The original recipe is prepared during the Christmas season in Italy and also in Spain, because it is hearty and warming.

Once you have prepared the meatballs, you can sauté some of the aromatic vegetables and then it is time to add the pasta demi-glace and water. The meatballs are cooked in the soup so they can soak up the lovely flavors. If you want to cut one meatball in half to check when they are done, that is a good idea. The spinach and parsley go into the soup right at the end because they simply need to wilt a little rather than cook, and then you can serve this with some extra parmesan on top if you like.

Chicken Meatball Soup with Fregola Sarda
Summary: There is no doubt the meat and vegetable flavors 'marry' well together, hence the name of this soup, and the chewy fregola sarda pasta is really good in this too.
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 2
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 10 oz ground chicken
  • ⅓ cup plain breadcrumbs
  • Roughly chopped leaves from a bunch of parsley
  • ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 peeled, minced garlic cloves
  • 1 finely diced yellow onion
  • 1 finely diced celery stalk
  • 1 finely diced carrot
  • ½ cup fregola sarda pasta
  • 3 oz finely chopped baby spinach
  • 3 tablespoons chicken demi-glace
  • 3 cups water
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Mix the chicken, breadcrumbs, half the parsley, half the parmesan, half the garlic and quarter of the onion together.
  2. Grind in some salt and black pepper to taste.
  3. Shape this mixture into 28 meatballs.
  4. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a pot, then sauté the celery and carrot with the rest of the onion and garlic.
  5. Season with salt and black pepper.
  6. Cook for 3 minutes or until softened.
  7. Add the pasta, demi-glace and water, then add salt and black pepper to taste.
  8. Bring to a boil then add the meatballs.
  9. Simmer for 5 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.
  10. Stir the spinach into the soup and simmer for 2 minutes or until wilted.
  11. Add the rest of the parsley and stir.
  12. Check the seasoning one last time, then divide the soup between 2 warmed serving bowls.
  13. You can top the soup with the rest of the parmesan or offer it at the table.

Photo Description:

This is a filling soup and one which is popular in Italy and also in Spain. The fregola sarda pasta is tasty in there and the homemade chicken meatballs are wonderful as well. The demi-glace based soup is very good and we are also adding celery, carrot and spinach for extra nutrients and flavors, not to mention color. This is a very simple recipe. It makes 2 servings but it is easy enough to double or triple if you want to make more. Serve it with some crusty bread perhaps to mop up all the lovely soup.
 


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Christine Szalay-Kudra


Hi I'm Christine, and I am happy you are visiting. Food is a large part of our family's lives, and we love to try new dishes, especially Italian food which offers so much freshness and flavor, whether you are making a classic Italian dish like lasagna or pizza, or experimenting with new appetizers, entrées or desserts from Italy.


Even if you are brand new to this cuisine, you will be able to find all kinds of tempting recipes here. I have been collecting classic Italian recipes, all conveniently in one place, along with unusual recipes from Italy plus some dishes inspired by Italian cuisine.


When the weather is cold, a baked pasta dish or juicy pork or veal recipe might be ideal. During the summer months, an Italian salad might be your dish of choice. We have vegetarian recipes, Italian soups, and even tips on how to work with Italian ingredients for the best results, whether you are making lasagna, gnocchi or an Italian casserole

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Christine

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