This One Pot Homemade Italian Wedding Soup is a simply delicious, popular soup that is served on Christmas day and you guessed it, weddings! It’s an authentic Italian Wedding Soup recipe that is great for winter colds because of the homemade chicken broth. It’s the perfect remedy for a sore throat. Plus, who can resist the cute, little tiny meatballs whether you’re sick or not?
Italian Wedding Soup (a.k.a. Holiday Soup a.k.a. Escarole Soup) is made by stewing a whole chicken to make homemade chicken broth then adding escarole, celery, onions, and carrots, mini meatballs and chicken bits. This authentic Italian chicken soup will make you turn your nose up to canned soup.
I have childhood memories of eating this delicious soup on Christmas day and at other celebrations. It was always served after the antipasto course and before the pasta course. My mother was an incredible cook! I loved her delicious unparalleled home cooking!
I’m sure you’ll read the recipe instructions and think to yourself that it’s complicated and time consuming. Well, it does take some time but, having a food processor will make it much easier and faster. I’ll show you some short cuts.
I love making soups in the winter. They are so satisfying on a cold, damp day especially when served with a crusty piece of homemade bread! YUM!
This Neopolitan soup has alias that include Holiday Soup and Escarole Soup along with its proper Italian name “Minestra Maritata.”
I’ve also made this soup in the past with spinach instead of escarole which, tastes very similar and is a good alternative to escarole if you don’t care for the taste.
Making this soup is not difficult but, it can take some time if you are stewing the chicken which, I highly recommend. But, you can certainly use canned chicken broth if you want to make the soup quickly. If you stew the chicken, you will have left over chicken that you can use to make chicken and biscuits, chicken pot pie or chicken salad.
One Pot Italian Wedding Soup is a great soup to eat when you are sick with a cold and have a sore throat. As a matter of fact, I like to have some on hand in my freezer in the winter months for this very purpose.
I make a big pot of Italian Wedding soup every Christmas and bring a large quantity to my mother-in-law’s house and I keep the rest for my family while freezing a good bit of it. However, I don’t add the pasta for our Christmas meal because the pasta makes the soup more filling and we have so much more food to come after the soup course.
How to Make Old Country Homemade Italian Wedding Soup
Stew a 3 lb. stewing chicken for one hour and then remove it from the stock. While the chicken is stewing, put the celery, onions, and carrots in a food processor (chop them if you prefer) and set them aside. Clean the escarole and chop it.
Then, make the mini meatballs with ground beef, onions, fresh and granulated garlic, seasoned Italian style bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, egg, salt and pepper. Roll them into 1 inch (1 cm) round meatballs.
When the chicken is ready to be pulled out of the water (now chicken stock,) add the onions, carrots, celery and escarole. Let the vegetables cook until the escarole is wilted while adding the meatballs.
If you’re going to add the pasta, add the Acini di Pepe after you’ve added the meatballs. Continue to cook on med/low heat until the escarole is wilted and the meatballs and pasta is cooked.
It stores for several days in the refrigerator and freezes well too which makes it perfect for cold season and Christmas dinner.
Store bought meatballs taste processed with fillers so, I always make my own. The meatballs can be made a day or two beforehand too. If you’ve never made meatballs, give this recipe a try. You may never buy them in the freezer section again!
This Old Country Homemade Italian Wedding Soup is great for Christmas dinner. It is the perfect remedy for a sore throat and winter colds. This soup is simply delicious and warms you up while putting a smile on your face. It is a classic soup that tastes best from scratch. Give it a try; You won’t be disappointed!
- Use canned chicken broth instead of homemade but, homemade will taste much better!
- Use spinach (fresh or frozen) instead of escarole
- Add or omit pasta. Use Pastina, Orzo or Acini di Peppe
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- 3-4 lb whole stewing chicken or a whole fryer
- 1 gallon and 1 pint of water
- 1 head of escarole washed and chopped or 6 oz fresh chopped spinach or 10 oz frozen
- 2 ribs of celery chopped or diced
- 1 cup of baby carrots or 1 carrot chopped or diced
- 1/2 medium onion chopped or diced
- 3/4 cup of Acini di Peppe pasta uncooked (optional)
- 1 lb of ground beef
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup grated Italian style seasoned bread crumbs
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1/4 cup of finely diced onions
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp of parsley flakes
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- two dashes of garlic powder
Remove any of the chicken parts that are stored in the cavity of the whole chicken, such as giblets, neck, liver, etc.
Boil the water in a large stock pot. Add the whole chicken and cook/stew on high heat for one hour.
Skip down to next step to prepare meatballs while the chicken is stewing. When chicken is done cooking, remove chicken from pot and let rest. Salt the chicken stock in the pot to taste. Start with 2 tbs of salt if you are unsure.
After the chicken has been removed from the pot, add all of the vegetables to the chicken stock and continue to boil.
Begin rolling the meatballs into 1 inch diameter balls and place them directly into the chicken stock while the vegetables are cooking in the chicken stock.
Add the pasta to the soup if you choose to add it.
Chop about one cup of the chicken (white or dark meat, whichever you prefer) and add it to the soup. Continue to heat on high covered until all of the meat and pastina has been added for about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine all of the meatball ingredients. Mix well. Put back in the refrigerator until the chicken stock is ready (chicken is removed from water after stewing.)