Italian Tomato Wedding Soup

There are endless variations on this soup, but the main elements are meatballs and greens.

While the name indicates that the soup might be served at an Italian wedding, it is actually a mistranslation of minestra maritata, which refers to the “marriage” of greens and meat in the soup.


1/2 pound ground beef
1/3 cup dried bread crumbs
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons chopped oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 egg, beaten
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Pinch of paprika


2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup chopped white onions
3/4 cup chopped carrots
1 stalk celery thinly sliced
5 large mushrooms thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
or 2 chicken oxo cubes & 4 cups water
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 cup frozen spinach thawed
1 package onion soup mix
1/2 tsp thyme and parsley


For the meatballs, put beef, bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, egg, nutmeg, and paprika into a large bowl and use your hands to mix well.
Use a teaspoon to measure out meat for even sized meatballs. With damp hands, shape them into 1-inch balls and transfer them to a large plate. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.

For the soup, melt butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, garlic, salt and pepper and cook until translucent and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Stir in broth, tomatoes, spinach and 2 cups water. Add package of onion soup mix.

Cover and cook 10 minutes over medium heat or until soup comes to a boil.

Add meatballs to the boiling soup and stir to make sure they are fully submerged. Cover and simmer for another 15 minutes over medium heat. Test a meatball and a piece of orzo to ensure that they are fully cooked.

Taste and adjust seasoning.

Top with grated cheese or parmesan cheese. Serve immediately with crackers or warm rolls.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Karen says:

    Jackie, I just love your site! I love to cook too! my Dad was a great cook and he used the Joy of Cooking cookbook as well!

    1. Sprat says:

      Thanks Karen, cooking is such great fun isn’t it and the joy of cooking sure stands the test of time! Thanks for your comments 🙂

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