Italian Wedding Soup

Contrary to the logical assumption, this soup is not traditionally served at Italian weddings. The name comes from the way the flavors of the soup are “married” together forming a rich and complex flavor profile. It can be made with bulk sausage or meatballs.


  • 6 cups chicken stock or broth

  • 1 lb. Italian sausage or meatballs

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed

  • 1 large onion diced

  • 2 carrots, sliced

  • 1 rib celery, split lengthwise and sliced

  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 1 large bay leaf

  • 2 14 oz. cans cannellini beans

  • 1/2 bunch kale, chopped

  • 3 strips bacon, cut into 1 inch strips

  • 1 t dried oregano or more to taste

  • 1 t Italian seasoning

  • fresh basil and oregano, chopped, to taste

  • crushed red pepper, to taste

  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  • Fry bacon in a Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium heat and set aside. Brown the sausage if using bulk and set aside.
  • Add onion, carrots, and celery and fry until translucent. Add garlic, bay leaf, crushed pepper, Italian seasoning, and dried oregano and cook for 2 mins.
  • Add stock. Once the stock is hot, add the meatballs if using, otherwise return the sausage and bacon to the pot. Add the kale, fresh oregano, and fresh basil, reduce heat and simmer for at least 15 mins to let flavors meld.
  • Serve in bowls, top with parmesan cheese, and more crushed red pepper if desired. Crusty bread and a salad are nice accompaniments if using for the main course.

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