Best Italian Wedding Soup! We’re not fans of eating soup from a can, but we have while renting a room after marriage.
Cooking was limited to getting in the kitchen and getting out, but we make homemade soups as homeowners now.
For many people, a taste of home means Italian Wedding Soup with mini meatballs with or without acini de Pepe pasta.
The acini de Pepe pasta is a small ball of pasta that means “seeds of pepper” and is delicious.
You’ll find this recipe is easy to transform the traditional Italian Wedding Soup recipe into a keto Italian version.
Pasta is full of gluten, so this Italian Wedding Soup is perfect for Keto, low-carb or gluten-free diets as long as the high-carb ingredients are substituted.
However, if you are keto or gluten-free and still want pasta, there are options for you which I’ll discuss below.
Today, I will share how we make Italian Wedding Soup with and without acini de Pepe pasta.
Why Is It Called Italian Wedding Soup?
Today, a soup such as Italian Wedding Soup is inexpensive to make for a hungry group.
Italian Wedding Soup is also known as the married soup and is typically served at weddings or made just because it’s delicious.
When you make an Italian Wedding Soup, it will always have meat, broth, pasta and vegetables.
For example, mini meatballs made from a pork and beef mixture and slowly simmer in chicken broth.
Married soup allows ingredients to bring out the best flavours, just as a married couple should.
Italian Wedding Soup Is Peasant Soup
Our family soup is easy to make and known as a “peasant soup” in Italy for those living in poverty.
In Italy, you never leave food on your plate, but it gets packaged up for the next meal if you do.
So much work goes into farming and bartering for food that waste is NOT an option.
We were told that many Italians were farmers or tradesmen in the 50s and likely before this.
Depending on Italy’s people and family influences, this soup may not be part of your meal plan.
Growing Vegetables And Fruits In Italy
Growing massive gardens filled with vegetables and herbs was not uncommon and still thrives today.
In the early days, Mrs. CBB’s father grew up on such a farm and fed the pig’s figs that had fallen.
Figs in Canada cost a small fortune, so it’s hard to fathom feeding them to pigs.
However, figs and other fruits are in excess in Italy as the weather is perfect for growing.
There were no funky ways they would bulk out animals as it was organic all the way.
As far as the eyes can see, you might find chickens running around cages for eggs and meat and fruit trees.
Many Italian people would farm turkeys, cows, goats, pigs, ducks, pheasants, chickens and sheep to produce milk, cheese, eggs, and meat.
Italy’s different parts grow various foods such as olives for extra virgin olive oil, carrots, wheat and broccoli.
If you love grapes, they are a staple in Italy for making wine and snacks, as are figs, cheese and vegetables.
It’s not uncommon to find lemons, limes, walnuts, chestnuts, plums, oranges, prickly pears, and peach trees.
Herbs such as fennel greens, mint, parsley, basil, oregano, Rosemary and many others are also grown.
There are many medicinal benefits of various herbs in your diet. I’ll write more about that in another post.
Foraging For Italian Wedding Soup Ingredients
Making soups from whatever ingredients they could find often meant foraging, growing or bartering.
Foraging is one of our favourite things when taking walks in the forest.
Both Mrs. CBB and I were taught by her father how to forage, including what we should not pick.
- Garlic Greens or Scapes
Our favourite finds are the asparagus, leeks, shaggy mane mushrooms, chicken mushrooms, and yes, they taste like chicken.
How To Barter For Food In Italy
If you want to eat, you need to barter, and farmers in each part of Italy know each other and what they farm.
For example, if a farmer in Italy has eggs and another who produces durum wheat, they would swap eggs or the chicken for flour.
Pasta is widely made in Italy, and bartering for durum wheat milled into flour is a big deal.
Why Is Italian Wedding Soup Like A Marriage?
Italian Wedding Soup has Acini de Pepe pasta, celery, carrots, onions, greens mixed in a homemade chicken broth with mini meatballs.
It’s a marriage of love in a pot of hard work, although today we go to the grocery store to buy what we need.
Hunting and Fishing Food For The Table
Hunting is also typical around Italy and another way to put food on the table for families in need.
Many old-school Italians live in Canada and replicate their life in Italy before moving to Canada.
It’s pretty phenomenal how invested they are in gardening, hunting, fishing and wine-making.
Although I don’t hunt, I enjoy fishing and keeping the tradition of gardening, fruit trees and herbs alive.
Related: Italy Hunting Season
Italian hunters fall into three groups: bird hunters, basic hunters and the specialised group.Italy Hunting Season
How To Make Italian Wedding Soup With Mini Meatballs
If you don’t want to make homemade meatballs, you can buy pre-made in the freezer section of your grocery store.
- 1lb of medium minced beef
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs *replace with crushed pork rinds if keto)
- 1lb of minced pork
- 1 large egg
- 4 cloves of minced garlic (use less if you don’t like that much garlic or elminate)
- 2 teaspoons of each dried parsley and oregano
- 1 teaspoon of salt (add less or more as desired)
- 1 medium onion minced for mini meatballs
Tip: I always fry one meatball in extra virgin olive oil to taste to ensure I’ve added enough salt and herbs.
Instructions: Add the beef and pork mince to a bowl, followed by the rest of the ingredients.
Mix only until combined, or the meatballs can turn out tough, especially if you plan to fry them first.
Using a small melon ball scoop or your hands, make 3/4 inch to 1-inch meatballs and set them on a tray.
When the broth is ready, slowly add the raw meatballs into the soup pot and cook until tender, typically 1 hour.
If you have extra meatballs that won’t fit in your pot, set them aside and fry them with extra-virgin olive oil and a clove of minced garlic until browned and fully cooked.
We put the mini Italian meatballs in our soup raw and let them cook slowly, so the flavours come together.
I used a Le Creuset Soup pot for this recipe that stands up to the quality the product line boasts.
You can use any soup pot, though.
Italian Wedding Soup Broth Ingredients
Tip: Always wash your vegetables when you use them with a mixture of vinegar and water.
- 1 medium white onion minced
- 3 ribs of celery diced include any celery leaves into the pot
- 1 carrot peeled and diced * elminate if keto
- 4-6 cups of Escarole or Spinach chopped (use any green you’d like)
- 1 cup of cauliflower florets (optional not traditional)
- 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons of salt (adjust as needed) We use sea salt or pink himalyan salt)
- 2 teaspoons of dry parsley and oregano
- Add some whole or chopped fresh basil leaves as desired
- 8 cups of chicken bone broth homemade or store-bought
Making Chicken Bone Broth Or Buying Bone Broth
Leave the greens closer to the end of preparing your soup unless you use pre-made bone broth.
If you plan to add cauliflower, add it from the start, so it has time to soften and again, this is an optional ingredient and not part of a traditional Italian Wedding Soup.
Put all broth items into a pot and bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and add raw meatballs. – no carrots if Keto.
If you choose to use fried meatballs, the traditional soup will be ready far quicker, but homemade is best.
Additions For The Last Ten Minutes
During the last 10 minutes, add your small soup pasta to allow it to cook through.
The total time to make this recipe is 35 minutes with pre-made broth and fried homemade meatballs.
If you make the homemade meatballs and homemade bone broth, the total time is 4 hours; however, most of the time is the bone broth you can make the day before.
If you buy frozen pre-cooked meatballs and bone broth, the total time is 20-30 minutes, depending on if you have to fry the meatballs first.
I’m using homemade bone broth for this recipe that I will make the day before in the crockpot.
I will make the raw meatballs the day of, taking about 30 minutes from start to finish.
The Wedding soup recipe is ready to serve when the meatballs and pasta are cooked.
I leave the soup on the stovetop for about 45 minutes to 1-hour, stirring often.
Types Of Italian Pasta and Keto Pasta
- 1 cup or Orzo or Acini Di Pepe noodles *elmintate if keto or replace with substitute keto pasta.
- Freshly grated Parmigianno Reggianno cheese which you can find at the grocery store, Costco Canada or a local Italian grocer. It’s worth paying the extra for the best cheese especially since a little goes a long way.
I hope you enjoyed a little bit of Italian history, but now it’s time to make Italian Wedding Soup.
Let me show you how to make this Italian Wedding Soup recipe.
How To Make Italian Wedding Soup (Keto and Non-Keto)
Discussion: Do you make Italian Wedding Soup a different way? Will you give this recipe a try? Let me know in the comments, please.
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