Keeping Warm With Italian Wedding Soup

Italian  Wedding Soup

A bowl of steaming soup can cure whatever ails you – whether it’s the blustery wet weather we’re having here in Cali, snow white blizzard conditions or a busy day at work where all you want to do is relax and put something warm and comforting in your hungry belly. Because we eat with our eyes first, a soup of many colors and textures is especially inviting and exactly why Italian Wedding soup, with an abundance of vibrantly colored, good-for-you vegetables, plump meatballs and dapples of tiny pasta shapes, is one of our all-time favorites.

There are a lot of things I make that never make it to the blog because I don’t bother to write down my “method” or take pictures – especially at this time of year when it’s dark at 5:00 p.m. But when I shared my version of Italian Wedding Soup on Instagram and Facebook it received a lot of love and friends clamoring for the recipe, so I’m sharing it here, too. Fortunately, I had written down the ingredients and typed up the directions before I forgot and there was plenty of soup left  to take a few hi-res shots.
Italian Wedding Soup

Hope you all are enjoying the weekend and getting your holiday shopping and decorating done with minimal stress. We hosted our second annual Ugly Sweater Holiday Party last night – so much fun!! – so bought our tree and accomplished all our Christmas decorating the weekend of Thanksgiving. Throwing a party is excellent motivation :)

Ugly Sweater Party

 Even the guys were in the spirit! Grampa on the right won – you would have to see this sweater to appreciate its details :)

Ugly Sweater Party food

Of course there was amazing food!

Ugly Sweater collage

 Now for the Italian Wedding Soup recipe so you can cozy up by the fire :)

Italian Wedding Soup-8563

Italian Wedding Soup
An abundance of fresh vegetables, including kale, make this comforting Italian Wedding soup doubly delicious, nutrient-rich and satisfying.
Serves: 6-8 servings
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ¾ cup Panko crumbs
  • ½ cup freshly grated Comte cheese *
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
Soup ingredients:
  • 8 cups homemade turkey stock *
  • ¾ cup small pasta such as tubetini or stars
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 2 tablespoons extra vigil olive oil
  • 1½ cup chopped carrots
  • 1 leek, sliced or 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • ½ teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the ground pork, ground beef, parsley, garlic, Panko, egg and spices. Use your hands or a wooden spoon to mix all the ingredients together. Use to scoop up small amounts of the meat mixture and form 1 inch meatballs. Arrange meatballs on parchment paper placed on a rimmed baking sheet. I made about 40 small meatballs for the soup and a few larger ones for meatball sandwiches. Bake for about 30 minutes until browned.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables for the soup If you're using a leek, wash thoroughly, cut off the upper dark green part and discard. Then cut the white and light green part of the leek in half lengthwise and slice crosswise. For the kale, remove the center rib using a knife or your hand and chop or tear the leaves into pieces. In a heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat and cook the carrots for 5 minutes. Add the celery and leeks and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the chile flakes and garlic and cook for another minutes.
  4. While you're cooking the vegetables, heat the turkey stock in a large soup pot over high heat until boiling. Add the pasta and kale, lower the heat to medium high and cover. Cook for about 8 minutes until the pasta is al dente and kale is softened. Add the carrot mixture, meatballs, and thyme. Cook for about 5 minutes more to heat all the ingredients and meld the flavors. Ladle into bowls and serve immediately.
*Comte is a French aged cheese, Parmesan and Fontina are equally delicious.
*Low Sodium Chicken Broth may be substituted.


Italian Wedding Soup-8581


However you celebrate your holidays – may they be filled with family and friends, peace, love and joy!

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10 Responses to “Keeping Warm With Italian Wedding Soup”

  1. Cut 'N Clean Greens December 9 at 5:18 am #

    Priscilla, this soup looks fantastic and healthy! Just perfect for the newly-cold weather here. We’re going to use our bagged Lacinato kale, and we like how you used homemade turkey stock (no doubt made from your Thanksgiving bird).

    Well done!

    –Your friendly So Calif. farmers from Cut ‘N Clean Greens

    • Priscilla December 9 at 12:46 pm #

      Thank you! It is delicious and perfect for this wintry weather we’re having :)

  2. Ally's Kitchen December 9 at 6:07 am #

    What a FUN party! And, Grandpa’s ugly sweater will be a hard one to beat next year! Loving the Italian Wedding Soup…especially that kale in there, and the photography just makes me wanna squeeze through this screen and nuzzle up to your warm fire!! xo

  3. Jeanne @JollyTomato December 9 at 9:06 am #

    Love this! Italian wedding soup is a staple in my family. Lots of my Italian relatives and family friends use escarole as the “green” in this soup but I don’t see esacarole much here in Southern California. Kale looks good too!

    • Priscilla December 9 at 10:10 am #

      Escarole is the traditional green I think, but I had kale from Melissa’s Produce :)

  4. Kate (@KatefromScratch) December 9 at 4:52 pm #

    I love this soup. Looks simply delicious.

  5. Nami | Just One Cookbook December 11 at 10:14 pm #

    I have never tried Italian Wedding Soup and I’m always curious why it has that name (I should Google after I write here…). The ugly sweater party! Hahahahah! That sounds fun! I think I heard about it before too. Sounds like a fun American tradition! :)

  6. Adri December 16 at 4:52 pm #

    I’ve always loved this soup. I think every family has their own version, but I am completely intrigued by your use of Comte cheese. I bet it lends a very unique flavor twist – what a great idea! Brava!

    • Priscilla December 17 at 3:08 pm #

      Thanks so much, Adri! Not only does Comte add a unique flavor, but it is lower in sodium than Parmesan or Romano :)

  7. Easy Italian Recipes March 4 at 6:45 am #

    Hi! Your Italian wedding soup has been nominated as one of the “Best Italian Wedding Soup Recipes on the Net”. To vote for it please visit (your recipe is positioned at #15).

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