ne Pot Homemade Italian Wedding Soup is simply delicious. It is made by stewing a chicken to make homemade chicken broth. It has tasty mini meatballs, escarole, minced celery, onions, and carrots with real chicken bits. This soup will make you turn your nose up to canned soup. It is the perfect remedy for sore throat.
This traditional chicken broth based soup is a favorite to many people, including myself, with its mini meatballs, escarole, Pastina and other vegetables that season the soup to make it savory. 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.
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.” It is an Italian tradition to serve this soup on Christmas Day before the pasta course. Hence, this is how it became named “Holiday Soup.” It is made of chicken broth, Escarole, mini meatballs, celery, carrots, onions and sometimes a whisked egg is added and stirred into the soup.
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.
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 Pastina (pasta stars) 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.
Making the One Pot Homemade Italian Wedding Soup
I stew a 3 lb. stewing chicken for one hour and then remove it from the stock. While the chicken is stewing, I put the celery, onions, and carrots in a food processor (chop them if you prefer) and set them aside. I clean the escarole and chop it. Then, I make the mini meatballs with onions, garlic, seasoned bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, egg, salt and pepper.
When the chicken is ready to be pulled out of the water(now chicken stock,) I add the onions, carrots, celery and escarole. I let the vegetables cook until the escarole is wilted and then I add the meatballs. If I’m going to add the pasta, (you can use Acini di Pepe past instead of Pastina) I’ll do it after I’ve added the meatballs. It stores for several days in the refrigerator and freezes well too.
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 One Pot 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!
This One Pot Homemade Italian Wedding Soup is featured on Foodgawker!
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Italian Wedding Soup
- Chicken Broth:
- 3-4 lb whole stewing chicken or a whole fryer
- 1 gallon and 1 pint of water
- Vegetables for soup:
- 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 carrot chopped or diced
- 1/2 medium onion chopped or diced
- 3/4 cup of pastina (pasta stars), uncooked (optional)
- Mini meatballs:
- 1 lb of ground beef
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup of finely diced onions
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp of parsley flakes
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1/8 tsp 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 the soup 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 pastina to the soup.
- 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.
- Mini Meatballs:
- In a large bowl, combine all of the meatball ingredients. Mix well. Put back in the refrigerator until the chicken is removed from water.
While the chicken is stewing, you may prepare the vegetables and meatballs.The cooking time includes 15 minutes to boil water, which is time you can use to prep the vegetables. The soup cooks for about 30 minutes after the chicken stock is made or how long it takes you to roll the last meatball and 10 minutes longer.
This soup freezes well. You may add one cup of pastina or pasta stars into the soup at the point in which the meatballs are being added.