Updated: Oct 26, 2021
This is the best Italian Wedding soup because there are so many meatballs in it! Don’t you hate it when you get a soup and there are only 2-3 pieces of meat?? This soup is loaded with them!! The only “long” part of this recipe, is making the meatballs. However…they can be done the day before! You could also make it a fun thing to do with your kids or a friend or family member with play music playing in the background. It took me around 1 hour to make them as 1 person, so two people will cut that time in half to 30 minutes!
The other good thing about this recipe is that I cook the pasta separately. So you can add how much pasta you want, or if you don’t want any pasta, you can omit it! I feel this soup can hold its own without the pasta if needed. Lastly, it is a lower sodium soup because I use unsalted chicken broth and control how much salt I add. So don’t worry about getting bags under your eyes from sodium with this soup! Enjoy every bowl and share with others :)
Serves: 7-8 people
1 lb Ground Beef
1/3 cup Light Buttermilk (I used Friendship Dairies brand)
1/2 cup Italian Style Bread Crumbs (I used Progresso)
1/2 cup Grated Pecorino (I use Locatelli)
1 Extra Large Egg
2 tsp Granulated Garlic Powder
1 tbsp Dried Chopped Onions (McCormick Brand)
1 tsp Dried Basil
The Remaining Ingredients:
5 Stalks of Celery, bottoms cut off - sliced (around 1 1/2 cup)
4- 5 Medium Carrots, peeled and small chopped (does not need to be perfect cuts!)
3 Medium Onions chopped (around 2 1/2 cups)
1 tsp Dried Basil
1 tsp Fresh Rosemary
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Fresh Garlic - minced (2 cloves)
1/4 cup Pecorino Cheese (I use Locatelli cheese)
1 lb Box Orzo Pasta
1/4 cup Good Red Table Wine (wine you would like to drink)
2 tbsp Light Oil
5 cups Unsalted Chicken Stock
1 cup Water
5 oz Baby Kale
Good Quality Pecorino or Parmesan Cheese for Topping
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 sheet trays with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, thoroughly combine meatball ingredients with your hands (yes, get your hands!). Roll out meatballs to the size of dimes (1 lb of beef should make around 175-200 mini meatballs depending on the size of the meatballs)...Forewarning, this will take a little while...I would do it with a friend or family member, and do it to music! You can also make these the day before!
3. After all of the meatballs are made, cook the two trays for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and hold on the side for adding to the soup later.
4. Add 2 tbsp light oil to a large pot over medium high heat. Add the cut celery, carrots and onions and cook for 5 min or until onions are sweated and opaque, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat to medium and add garlic cook for a min stirring constantly.
5. Add 1/4 cup good wine and cook for a min, scraping the bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the chicken stock, water and baby kale and stir to combine into the soup.
7. Cook the soup on medium heat for 20 min and then add the meatballs. Cook on medium low for an additional 10 while you make the orzo.
8. Make the orzo by following the packaging instructions, drain the water and hold on the side.
9. Assembly/Serving: Put the desired amount of orzo (I use 2-3 tbsp) in the bottom of a bowl and spoon the soup mixture into the bowl to fill. Top with good quality pecorino or parmesan cheese and serve with good quality bread!