Italian Wedding Soup

Late in October, the roasting Florida temperatures ever so slowly begin to creep down a few degrees. Not by much—while we watched snow falling on the news the other day, we cheered because it would be in the upper 60s for the morning bus stop walk—but it’s enough of an excuse for me to crave a steaming bowl of comfort.

I would eat Italian wedding soup every single day for lunch if I could. Actually, for years, I kinda did. Don’t lash me with a wet noodle, but I helped keep Progresso in business with my rations of their canned soup. I know, I know. . . high in sodium, preservatives, and mega-processed. . . but it was easy, relatively low-cal, and yes, yummy. (Except for the one time I opened a can, and it contained no meatballs. NO MEATBALLS. Yes, I wrote the company. That’s like getting a twinkie with no cream. The horror.)

It was time to stop being lazy and make my own.  My son had a sore throat, and nothing makes you feel better than a pot of homemade soup. And I’ll use any excuse to break out my grandmother’s vintage Cousances pot. It’s just so dang pretty and steeped in history. If pots could talk…

The result was a total win. I’m never going back to canned soup. Well, once I run through all the cans in my pantry. Shhhhh!

Italian wedding soup, turkey meatballs, meatball soup

This is a hearty soup fit for a meal, not a thin little side dish or starter. No wimpy can of chicken noodle consistency, where there’s more broth than bite. My family says I don’t make soup, I make stoup (I think we stole that from Rachael Ray?).

Italian wedding soup, couscous

 I had a Costco-sized bag of pearl couscous. It’s the same shape as the cute acini de pepe pasta, and I had a ton (okay, just a few pounds), so into the soup it went.

Italian wedding soup ingredients, mini turkey meatballs

I also am a firm believer that zucchini can go in just about anything. Seriously—sometimes it shows up in fajitas, quesadillas, and spaghetti sauces—tossing some in soup is a given. Beans follow the same rule. Extra fiber and veggies for everyone! Toss them in!


Italian wedding soup

Italian Wedding Soup {with mini turkey meatballs}

Serves 8


Soup ingredients:

1-2 tbsp olive oil
2/3 cup carrots, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 can cannellini or great northern beans
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried basil
1 1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/4 cup white wine (optional)
8 cups chicken broth
6oz baby spinach, chopped
1 1/2 cups pearl couscous or small pasta
Parmesan or Romano cheese for serving

Meatball ingredients:
1lb ground turkey
2 tbsp milk
1 egg
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup  breadcrumbs
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic pepper pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

  1. In a heavy-bottomed soup pot, heat olive oil. Add carrots and onions; saute for 5-8 minutes or until softened. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes more.
  2. Add wine; cook down for 2 minutes. Add broth, heat to slow boil.
  3. Add zucchini, seasonings, pasta/couscous, and meatballs**. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until your pasta is tender.
  4. Add chopped spinach, stir through until wilted, about 2-4 minutes.
  5. Once in individual bowls, sprinkle with cheese (optional, but who doesn’t like cheese?)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with non-stick aluminum foil (the best invention ever) or regular foil and coat with non-stick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients well. Using a rounded 1 tbsp measuring spoon or small melon baller, scoop out meat; shape into small balls. Makes roughly 100-120 meatballs, depending on how small you make them.
  3. Place meatballs on baking sheet, making sure they don’t touch. Bake for 10 minutes.

italian wedding soup, turkey mini meatballs,

I made the meatballs earlier in the day (they take about a half-hour, but I was slightly distracted by House Hunters International to note the exact amount of prep time.) You can make them while the soup cooks. It’s soup—it can simmer for a long time.

**You can cook the meatballs in the soup. Drop them in one at a time, and they will cook in about 10-15 minutes. I prefer to cook them separate because I don’t want the extra fat and didn’t want to risk undercooked meat.

Now, go make a pot. You won’t be sorry 😉


Need some more delicious soup recipes? Check out these favorites:

Easy French Onion Soup

Easy French Onion Soup


Curry and Wild Rice Soup (vegan)

Curry and Wild Rice Soup (vegan)

34 thoughts on “Italian Wedding Soup

    1. Vicki Delozier

      This is really good soup! I’ve made it a few times now with great response from family. I made it vegan by using vegan meatballs instead the meatball recipe provided and it’s still great. I wholeheartedly recommend this recipe!

  1. betti

    I love Italian Wedding Soup but I am the only one in my family that does, so I usually end up only eating it when I am out somewhere. Yours looks very good!

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  4. lauren

    Just wanted to let you know tha this soup is a huge hit in my family. It’s my husband’s absolute favorite soup..maybe even his favorite dinner ! Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe, this soup will continue to find it’s way to our table time and time again.

    1. Kerry Ann Post author

      I don’t see why not. I’m planning to try it in the crock pot in a few weeks when it cools off a bit more. (Still 85 out today here in Florida!) Thanks for visiting!

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  8. Olivia

    I just wanted to tell you I made this today and it was good. The only thing is next time I’ll leave out the beans they soaked up a lot of the liquid and left the soup too thick. I followed the recipe.

  9. Carol

    My husband and I loved the soup! next time I make it I will cut back on the couscous to 1 cup. Thanks for the great recipe!

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  12. Pam

    This has become a go to soup for us. I love it and don’t mind that it is a bit labor intensive with the meatballs. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Joan Damon

    Jan. 25, 2015 Made this soup yesterday and loved it. I agree, I’d leave the beans out next time. I added
    half a can of petit diced tomatoes and a stalk of celery diced. Halved the meatball recipe
    and had ample for that amount of broth. Cooked the ditalini separately and put it into the
    bowls before I serve. Otherwise it absorbs the liquid. Labor intensive, but I’ll make it often.

  14. carol

    I live in florida too, but doesn’t stop me from eating soup….love the Italian wedding soup, and going to try the french onion tonight! Thanks!!

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