Minestra maritata (Married soup)

    50 min

    This Italian soup is also known as wedding soup. It refers to the marriage of flavours between meat and greens. In this soup beef mince meatballs are simmered with escarole and orzo. It's a delicious soup. Serve with grated Parmesan.

    760 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 225g lean minced beef
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten
    • 2 tablespoons dried breadcrumbs
    • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
    • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1.3 litres chicken stock
    • 100g thinly sliced kale or escarole
    • 200g uncooked orzo pasta
    • 50g finely chopped carrot

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Ready in:50min 

    1. In medium bowl, combine beef, egg, breadcrumbs, cheese, basil and onion powder; shape into 1.75cm balls.
    2. In large saucepan, heat stock to boiling; stir in kale, orzo pasta, chopped carrot and meatballs.
    3. Return to the boil, then reduce heat to medium. Cook at slow boil for 10 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Stir frequently to prevent sticking.

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    Reviews in English (687)


    After reading everyone elses reviews this is what I did to make the best Italian wedding soup I've EVER tasted. First I used about 7 cups of broth. 6 cups of chicken broth, 1 can of beef broth. The beef broth DEFINITELY adds that extra punch this soup needs. Definitely only use 1/2 cup of orzo, and boil in a seperate pot. I threw some green onions in. With the 7 cups of broth, it was enough for 4 people, + 1 days leftovers, which you'll definitely want! Next time I'll bake the meatballs before hand to get some of the grease off.  -  10 Dec 2006  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    My late grandmother came from the Old country, and I've used this recipe as a basis for replicating her recipe, but a few adjustments are critical. First, the pasta must be cooked separately; otherwise, it thickens and ruins the soup. If you don't plan on leftovers, the pasta can be cooked in the soup, but you need to go easy on the amount of pasta. She always preferred alphabet pasta. Second, she always used either ground turkey or chicken for the meatballs. Also, you need to take it easy on the spices in the meatballs because they can easily overpower the milder flavor of poultry. (By the way, why would anyone use ground beef in a chicken stock--it doesn't make sense, not to mention it isn't authentic.) Third, she used celery in her recipe. I add a couple of stalks, finely diced. I also up the amount of carrots. Finally, for an added touch, she always had hard-boiled eggs available for individuals to add, as they chose. It enriches the flavor and texture. This recipe is very good--with these few tweaks. Thanks for sharing it.  -  11 Nov 2006  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    I made a few changes to this recipe: - Reduce pasta to 1/2 cup (You can use orzo, small shells, ditalini, orecchiette...) - Brown meatballs in a little olive oil and drain before adding to soup. (Gives meatballs better color and flavor, and makes soup less greasy!) - I increased carrots to 1/2 cup, and sauteed with 1/2 cup onion in a little olive oil to start. I always saute vegetables in soup pot first, before adding broth. (Again, better flavor.) - I use spinach or escarole; both are yummy!  -  23 May 2006  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)