How to Make Rachael Ray’s Italian Wedding Soup Recipe at Home

Although it’s often served on special occasions, Italian Wedding soup has nothing to do with weddings. This Neapolitan soup, dates back to ancient times. Minestra Maritata as it is called in Italian, means “married soup”. Not the marriage of 2 people, rather the marriage of leafy greens and meat.

It is an example of “cucina povera”, or poor cooking that was a necessity in parts of rural Italy. Nothing went to waste; leftover greens, meat, and cheese were usually used.

Over the years, the delicious recipe has evolved , and different regions use varying ingredients. But the full-flavored heartiness remains.

The popular chef Rachael Ray has her own take on this Italian delicacy. Known for her down-to-earth energy, Ray has a way of making even the most complicated dishes easy to make, while staying delish.

So enjoy this version of the cooking queen’s Italian Wedding soup recipe.

How To Make Rachael Ray’s Italian Wedding Soup Recipe At Home

Ingredients (for the Parm-Reggiano stock)

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 1 head of garlic (cut in half and keep the cloves in their skins)
  • 1 lemon cut into 4 slices
  • 3 stems each of fresh parsley and thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a few peppercorns
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 quart of chicken stock
  • 1 big chunk of rind from a block or wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Ingredients (for the meatballs and soup)

  • 1 pound of ground pork
  • 2/3 of a cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 of a cup half and half
  • white pepper and salt
  • 1/4 cup of nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of grated parm-reggiano
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 cups of escarole, chopped
  • 1/4 pound of egg pasta
  • juice of 1 small lemon (to serve)


  • Over a medium heat, warm olive oil in a pot. Drop in the garlic, onion, and lemon slices to caramelize.
  • Add the herbs, peppercorn, stock, water, and the large cheese rind. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Cool and strain the stock.
  • Combine the breadcrumbs and cream. Let the mixture sit for about 3-4 minutes.
  • Do a little fluffing of the crumbs with your finger tips or a small fork.
  • Add the breadcrumbs to a mixing bowl with the pork, egg, salt, pepper, garlic, nutmeg, grated cheese, and olive oil. Mix well.
  • Roll the mix into 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch meatballs.
  • Bring the stock to a gentle boil and add the meatballs to the stock and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the egg noodles to the stock and cook for another 4-5 minutes.
  • Place the greens in the soup and simmer until “wilted”, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Ladle into bowls. Drizzle some lemon juice and more cheese to taste.

Nutritional Information

  • calories: 171
  • fat: 6.5 grams
  • cholesterol: 39 milligrams
  • sodium: 900 milligrams
  • carbohydrates: 16 grams
  • fiber: 2 grams
  • sugar: 3.7 grams
  • protein: 12 grams
  • calcium: 93 milligrams
  • iron: 1.8 milligrams
  • potassium: 325 milligrams

How Long Can You Keep Italian Wedding Soup?

Italian Wedding soup will stay fresh in your refrigerator for 3-4 days. Make sure it’s in a secure container.

If you want to freeze it, the soup will last for up to 12 months in a deep freeze (0 degrees or less). Simply place the room temperature soup (never hot) into airtight containers or freezer bags. Place them in the back or bottom of the freezer.

You will want to take the noodles out beforehand. Pasta does not freeze well. It breaks down and will give the soup a grainy texture. You can always make fresh pasta when you defrost the soup.

It’s All About The Escarole

Wedding soup can be made with just about any leafy green. Veggies like kale and spinach can be used, but nothing is better than escarole. Part of the chicory family (along with endive and radicchio), escarole is more dense and is more tender when cooked. It has a zippier taste than other greens but won’t take over the whole soup.

Kale tends to dominate the soup and spinach tends to get a bit too mushy. Escarole will give you the perfect balance of firm yet tender and great taste without being overpowering.

What Goes Well With Rachael Ray’s Italian Soup Recipe?

Italian wedding soup is delicious and nutritious all by itself. But if you want to jazz it up with a tasty addition, try one of these sizzling sides.

1. Breadsticks

Breadsticks and soup are a classic pairing. Add some garlic butter or just dip them in the soup.

2. Green Bean Almondine

If you’re looking for a veggie side, green bean almondine is an upscale and nutritious accompaniment.

3. Baked Stuffed Potato

Pairing your wedding soup with a baked stuffed potato turns a yummy soup into a decadent meal.

4. Arugula Salad

Keep the green energy going with a savory salad of arugula, cucumbers, tomatoes, and onion.

5. Grilled Cheese

If you want a simple, classic comfort food to eat with your soup, nothing beats a grilled cheese. Add a few cheeses like provolone and mozzarella to make it even more flavorful.

What Are Some Other Great Italian Soups?

The Italian people have a way with soup. Combining simple ingredients and turning them into some of the most mouthwatering creations on the planet. If you can’t get enough of Italian-style soup, try the delicious dishes.

1. Chicken Gnocci Soup

If you’re a fan of gnocci, then this soup is for you. Filled with carrots, celery, and spinach in a creamy broth. It’s sure to satisfy.

2. Minestrone

A classic soup with vegetables in a tomato-rich broth. It’s low in calories and easy to make.

3. Pasta e Fagioli

This bean soup can be eaten hot or cold. Healthy and tasty, you can eat it all year round.

4. Pasta e Ceci

An Italian chickpea soup made with shell pasta and sausage.

5. Italian Fish Soup

This soup is great because you can use whatever fish and veggies are in the house (or buy whatever is affordable).

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