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Italian Wedding Soup
(Zuppa del Matrimonio) {Recipe}

Italian Wedding Soup recipe from Fabio’s Italian Kitchen: Over 100 Delicious Family Recipes by Fabio Viviani

Italian Wedding Soup

Photo credit: Matt Armendariz


Author Fabio Viviani:

This traditional southern Italian recipe celebrates the marriage of vegetables with meatballs in a heaven of soup. So it pretty much has nothing to do with a real wedding. Nobody who gets married in Italy eats this soup at the wedding. “Hey, let’s get married! I can’t wait to have meatballs!” Are you nuts?

Cooks&Books&Recipes Editors {Dee}:

First off, I’m so glad that Fabio Viviani answered my question on what the heck this soup has to do with weddings in Italy. Apparently nothing. According to folks on Wikipedia, “The term ‘wedding soup’ is a mistranslation of the Italian language phrase minestra maritata (married soup), which is a reference to the fact that green vegetables and meats go well together.” OK, that’s logical.

Anyway, on to the recipe: I vowed never to make this soup myself after receiving a batch, years ago, from my local deli owner when I was sick for a few days. His was SO good, why would I bother cooking it? Sadly, his deli closed, and we moved, so when I saw Fabio’s recipe I knew it would be the first recipe to try.

Am I glad I did! This one gets 5 stars for simplicity, especially if you cheat, as I did, and use ready-made stock. For you purists, I’m sure using Fabio’s stock recipe would amp up the flavor even more. Regardless, our version of this recipe received 5 stars for taste as well, from both me and the husband. Maybe it’s not a soup for a wedding, but we think it’s the perfect soup for a happy marriage.

What did our version look like? Non-professional photos below:

Italian Wedding Soup (C&B&R 1)

Photo: Cooks&Books&Recipes


Italian Wedding Soup (C&B&R 2)

Photo: Cooks&Books&Recipes
















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Italian Wedding Soup
(Zuppa del Matrimonio)

Featured Recipe From: Fabio's Italian Kitchen: Over 100 Delicious Family Recipes

Yield: Serves 6–8


½ cup olive oil
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup yellow onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 lb. lean ground beef
2 eggs
1⁄3 cup panko breadcrumbs
3 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and pepper
3 cups fresh baby spinach
3 quarts chicken stock (see recipe on page 260)
2 cups orzo pasta


Preheat the oven to 375˚F.

Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot and cook the carrots, onion, and celery until soft and starting to caramelize, about 15 minutes.

While the vegetables sauté, make the meatballs. Mix the beef, eggs, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl.

Form into 1⁄2-inch balls and set on a baking sheet. Bake for 12–15 minutes.

Add the spinach to the sautéing vegetables and let it wilt. Then add the chicken stock to the vegetables and cook over high heat until it is somewhat reduced. Add the pasta to cook, and when the meatballs are ready, add them to the pot, too.

Boil 5 minutes and season with salt and pepper.

© 2013 VF Legacy, LLC

Reprinted with permission from Fabio's Italian Kitchen: Over 100 Delicious Family Recipes by Fabio Viviani (Hyperion)

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