What is Italian Wedding Soup?
Do you like Italian wedding soup? The classic Italian wedding style soup (also known as Zuppa Toscana) is named after the Italian phrase “minestra maritata,” which was translated to “married soup.” It is called this because of the delicious marriage of flavors within the soup and the combination of pasta, meat, and greens.
This is a popular Italian-American dish, and you will not find this zuppa soup as a staple in Italy. And you probably won’t see this sopa tascana at weddings either!
What is in Italian Wedding Soup?
The show’s stars in this dish are pasta, meatballs, and leafy greens. The style of pasta and types of meats and vegetables used can vary from each family’s version of the recipe; however, these are the key ingredients.
The most popular style of pasta to use is acini de peppe, which gives the classic appearance of the tiny pasta balls in the soup. If you cannot find this style of pasta in your grocer, you may opt for orzo pasta.
The meat in the Italian wedding soup meatballs can be a personal preference, although we recommend a mixture of high-quality ground pork and beef. It is important to season the meatballs well to your liking, as it provides another level of flavor to your soup.
Spinach is probably the most popular green to be added to this recipe; however, you can substitute it with another style of leafy greens such as kale.
The soup can be a combination of fresh vegetables such as celery, carrots, and onion with store-bought chicken stock, or it can be a homemade stock of your choosing. If you are the type to make your entire recipes from scratch, then a homemade stock would be perfect for you, but the store-bought stock can taste just as good with a little TLC.
And of course, as with any pasta dish, you want the best Italian-style parmesan cheese for serving.
Our Top Tips for Making Easy Italian Wedding Soup
If you want to take your Italian wedding soup to the next level, follow our tips for enhancing the flavor.
- Make the meatballs small enough (bite-size is good) to suit the consistency of the soup.
- Use fresh herbs in the soup, and when seasoning the meatballs, you will be able to taste the difference, and the aromas are amazing!
- Sear your meatballs before adding them to the soup to simmer. By browning them, you can add another dimension to the dish.
- Don’t be scared of too much garlic!
- If you can use fresh breadcrumbs in your meatballs, they will taste so much fresher than if you use dry breadcrumbs.
- Ground pork and beef are our favorite combination of meats for the meatballs.
Which Pasta is the Best to Use for Progresso Italian Wedding Soup
If you are looking for a quick and easy Italian wedding soup, look no further than Progresso’s tinned Italian wedding soup! You can add some tasty extras such as fresh greens, homemade meatballs, parmesan, and of course, pasta to make a flavor explosion!
The premade soup already has tubettini pasta in it, but you can add your favorite pasta that you enjoy with this dish, such as acini de peppe or orzo. You could also keep it simple and add in tubettini.
Can You Substitute the Greens in Authentic Zuppa Soup?
You can substitute the greens depending on your taste. The best substitutions can include collard greens, kale, or endive. Remember to include extra cooking time if using another green than spinach (which cooks incredibly quickly). Here is how to make zuppa toscana:
How to Make Italian Wedding Soup (Zuppa Toscana)
Italian Wedding Soup (Zuppa Toscana)
Time: 50 Minutes
Serving Size: 6
Prep Time: 25 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
|Nutritional Facts/Info Per Serving/in Total:|
|Calories per serving: 396||Calories from fat: 180|
|% Daily Value|
Saturated fat: 0.2 ounces (6 grams)
|Carbohydrates: 0.9 ounces (25 grams)|
Fiber: 0.11 ounces (3 grams)
Sugar:0.14 ounces (4 grams)
|Protein: 1 ounce (29 grams)||58%|
|Vitamin A: 7490IU||150%|
|Vitamin C: 16.6mg||20%|
|Nutritional percentage based on a 2000 calorie per day diet.|
- Large mixing bowl
- Non-stick skillet
- Large soup pot
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/4 Cups 1/4-inch (0.6-centimeter) diced carrots
- 1 1/4 Cups diced yellow onion
- 3/4 Cup 1/4-inch (0.6-centimeter) diced celery
- 4 Cloves garlic, minced (1 1/2 tbsp)
- 5 14.5-ounce (411-gram) cans of low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 Cup dry acini de pepe or orzo pasta
- 6 ounces (170 grams) fresh spinach, chopped
- Finely shredded parmesan, for serving
- 8 ounces (226 grams) lean ground beef
- 8 ounces (226 grams) ground pork
- 1/2 Cup fresh, hearty white bread crumbs
- 1/4 Cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 1/2 Tsp minced fresh oregano
- 1/2 Cup finely shredded parmesan
- 1 Large egg
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
For the Meatballs
- Add your ground pork and beef in a large mixing bowl, and season with parsley, bread crumbs, oregano, egg, parmesan, ¼ tsp pepper, and 1 tsp of salt.
- Use your hands to mix all the ingredients gently, and you may use gloves if you don’t wish to get your hands dirty.
- Once sufficiently mixed, begin to shape the mixture into small meatballs: ¾-inch (1.9-centimeter) to 1-inch (2.5-centimeter) in size.
- Coat your large non-stick skillet with one tablespoon of olive oil, and heat on medium-high heat.
- To ensure you get a perfecting browning on each meatball, ensure you only cook half of the meatballs at a time, turning occasionally. Each batch will need about 4 minutes in total.
- When your meatballs are nice and golden, transfer them to a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Remember that these meatballs are not cooked through yet, as they will further cook in the soup.
- Repeat the process with the other half of the meatballs, and set them aside.
For the Soup
- Start by sauteing the classic soup vegetable trio; carrots, celery, and onions. Saute in a tablespoon of olive oil for about 6-8 minutes (or until softened). The final aromatic to be added is the garlic, which should be added sauteed for one minute.
- Next, add your chicken stock and favorite seasonings (or just salt and pepper for a classic taste).
- Once the soup is to your taste, add the meatballs and pasta and reduce it to medium or medium-low for a light boil.
- Now cover the soup, occasionally uncovering to stir. The soup will be finished once the pasta and meatballs are thoroughly cooked.
- Add the spinach at the last minute of cooking to avoid getting very soggy, watery spinach.
- Serve warm, and be sure to sprinkle plenty of parmesan over each dish and enjoy!
Whether you are looking for a new recipe to impress your friends and family, or simply trying out new and exciting dishes, follow our tips and tricks to get the perfect authentic Italian wedding soup recipe!
Feel free to jazz up the recipe with your favorite herbs or additions, and always use fresh, high-quality Italian wedding soup ingredients for the tastiest results.