Rouse’s Italian Wedding Soup

Here’s a different sort of soup recipe; it is very tasty — “Italian Wedding Soup.” I was excited to find a recipe which includes fresh dill — now have a good use for the herb which grows in my garden. Although the soup is often served at weddings (and June is a popular wedding month) the title actually refers to the “marriage” of the flavors in the soup — not the actual wedding.  But please serve this soup any time of the year — the hearty soup is also very healthy and satisfying.            .

My new favorite neighborhood grocery store featured the recipe in its bi-monthly magazine last summer. Rouse’s Grocery Market was founded in New Orleans. The store is still family owned, now in it’s 3rd generation of Italian descendants, and is expanding  throughout the Gulf coast area. I was glad when I learned that the store was opening a branch a few blocks from where I live. Now a good source for authentic New Orleans crusty French bread!

Their by-monthly magazine includes lots of family recipes as well as authentic New Orleans’s style recipes and stories. The recipe for “Italian Wedding Soup” was contributed by Marc Ardoin, Rouse’s Corporate Chef, and is used here with permission.

Italian Wedding Soup Recipe

The Italian soup recipe contains small meatballs served in chicken broth which includes pasta, spinach, carrots and other seasonings such as dill. The flavors do “marry” nicely making a very healthy and rich soup. Chef Marc Ardoin made chicken meatballs, I included pork sausage rather than chicken sausage — either work well. And this time I added dried dill weed, although fresh dill is used in the recipe.

Here are most of the ingredients for the meatballs.

And here are the ingredients for the soup. (Note that Chef Adroin used chicken stock not broth.)

For the meatballs, grind the chicken, mix everything up and make small meatballs. These are baked in the oven. The recipe makes about 40 small meatballs.

For the soup, saute the onion, carrots and celery in olive oil. Add chicken broth and wine, then the pasta. After the pasta cooks, stir in the fresh dill, then add back the cooked meatballs, adjust seasonings of salt and pepper and lastly the fresh spinach.

Easy enough. It’s basically a one-pot soup (after you make the meatballs). Very satisfying for a summer supper. Or dinner party. Or wedding. Enjoy this classic Italian Soup recipe.

And I will be looking for more great recipes contributed the the Rouse’s family members and chefs.

Rouse's Italian Wedding Soup by Chef Marc Adroin

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients for the meatballs:

  • 3/4 lb ground chicken
  • 1/2 lb chicken sausage, casings removed
  • 2/3 cup white bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 3 Tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  • 1 extra large egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients for the soup:

  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup yellow onion, minced
  • 1 cup carrots (about 3 carrots) diced
  • 10 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup small pasta (acini di pepe or orzo)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped dill
  • 12 oz baby spinach, washed and trimmed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method and Steps:

  1. Peheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Place all ingredients listed for the meatballs, including the salt and pepper, in a bowl and combine gently with fork.
  3. Drop (by teaspoon) 1 – 1-1/4-inch meatballs onto pan lined with parchment paper. (You should have about 40 meatballs).
  4. Bake the meatballs for 30 minutes, or until cooked through and lightly browned, Set aside.
  5. In the meantime, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large soup pot with a heavy bottom. Add the onion, carrots and celery. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the chicken stock and wine to the pot, and bring to a boil.
  7. Add the pasta to the broth. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the pasta is tender.
  8. Add the fresh dill to the soup and stir.
  9. Add the meatballs to the soup, simmering for 1 minute to warm the meatballs.
  10. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Stir in the fresh spinach and cook for 1 minute, or until the spinach has just begun to wilt.
  12. Ladle soup into bowls, Garnish each serving with a sprinkling of grated Parmesan.

Used with Permission. Source: “My Rouses Every Day,” July – August, 2018.

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